Comments on: Coming up with “A Bitter Pill” Steven Brill Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:30:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: unkjwea Fri, 08 Mar 2013 20:01:42 +0000 Excellent article and I say that following the money, which is what exposed Watergate, illustrates the pure greed factor behind the abuses.

Having said that, I say it’s ridiculous to not blame the individual for their part of the problem. I know nurses who SHOULD be well aware of the horrible consequences of cigarette smoking, yet they still smoke. As I drive past a McDonald’s I see the obese and out of shape sitting in their cars munching sausage or burgers and drinking 32oz high fructose corn syrup.

Basically, people need to stop being so lazy and whinny. They have an enormous stake in their own healthcare. The biggest stake of all.

Fixing the problems with greed will not fix the problems with people not being responsible, but then again, aren’t greed, sloth, gluttony, and avarice four of the 7 deadly sins. Religion aside, much harm, personal and public, is the result of behavior that is bad. Only they themselves can exercise the self control to make change, even if that change is expressed as a collective a cooperative venture, it still starts with the individual.

By: candca Fri, 08 Mar 2013 15:43:15 +0000 I belong to a developing country and always hearing great system of government that is USA. In my ountry, a parliamentry democracy, people want to change to US system as our system has many problems. But learning and watching how USA runs its Healthcare and how powerful corporations subvert any attempt by Government to improve transparency, I feel it is good that we have not changed over to American capitalism.

By: codder Fri, 08 Mar 2013 09:08:20 +0000 Why is this new news to Americans? My friend just paid 1200 USD cash for a 10-minute sunburn consult in Hawaii( 600 for the ER and 600 more for the doctor)!
What is your conclusion? Did/Will Obamacare solve this imbalance? Why is Medicare on the chopping block of the republicans in Congress if it is the only bright spot in the picture you paint?

By: Sarasota Fri, 08 Mar 2013 03:51:27 +0000 The advent of health insurance as the middle entity heralded both the buyer and the supplier for the service we’ve termed health care. The health insurance industry is seen by the consumer as the provider of the service, while the health care provider sees insurance as the payer. It’s a market that’s rigged towards the middle at the expense of both poles, hence the expense.

By: robinea Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:49:37 +0000 This is the medical world we live in. Life expectancy for white Americans living in the rural areas has dropped significantly, especially among poorly educated women. The main killer of middle age women in the areas I cover – 8 poor, rural counties in upstate New York and Pennsylvania is…prescription drug overdose or fatal interaction (poly-pharmacy). While some of this is intentional (suicide), most of this is accidental. The main drug group is prescription narcotics. Narcotic pain killers (opiates and synthetic opiates) are the cheapest to manufacture and the most profitable drugs for big Pharma. The fatalities I deal with may have a suitcase load of prescription drugs in their home – and yet no one in the home would have ever seen a dentist. The prescribing behavior of many providers – physicians, PAs and nurse practitioners is out of control. The situation is depressing and pathetic – and mostly preventable. Do any of you really think our elites intend to block this gold mine of profit which has the secondary benefit of winnowing out the surplus population and implement real health care reform for the citizens? Lets be serious.
OK, take Obama’s much publicized electronic medical record conversion for the nations hospital and clinics. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent subsidizing our hospitals and medical offices conversion to any one of the hundred plus medical information systems on the market. The result is a nightmare. The systems do not ‘talk to each other’, huge – really huge – mistakes are occurring – who know how many? Who cares?. Why were we forced to ‘purchase’ one of the Tower of Babel’ private systems – when the highly efficient, fully integrated system developed at the VA years ago was available for free? How could the lobbyists for the private medical software companies force their defective garbage on us – with billions of federal dollars attached?
It gets worse and worse. No one takes any responsibility for this multibillion dollar mess.
As a health care worker – I take some perverse comfort in the thought that our elites or their loved ones might just end up in one of our really dysfunctional emergency rooms and enjoy what the rest of us have to endure.

By: goguddy Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:04:49 +0000 Having worked in clinical medicine since 1965, for nearly 40 years. I witnessed changes that contributed to higher costs.
There was the growing influence of distrust between Dr. and Patient. Ambulance chasing lawyers saw a new niche to occupy. Then The chemical industry reduced the costs by inventing plastic syringes, needles, disposable single use everything. Prior to this everything was reusable Stainless steel, and glass. Remember Central Supply, where everything was pressure sterilized using steam?. Blood is no longer stored in glass bottles, but in plastic bags. Plastic is generated by Dupont and others, from crude oil supplies.

The technology from the 40’s to the present drives the ever expanding options for Medical businesses to hold down their bottom lines. Of course they didn’t pass that on to the consumer. They kept it to feed shareholders and keep them happy. Blue Cross/Shield arose to convert investor premiums into a way to make profits by selling ‘protection’ from catastrophic illnesses and the fear of them happening. Don’t forget, such businesses, especially insurance are gambling that you will not have an accident or become ill and you are gambling it will happen. It is a form of fear mongering. The older you get the more the insurance company becomes closer to your belief that illness and death will occur sooner and that is when they increase premiums…, Old Age.

After the 70’s, DRG’s, were force upon Medicine to try to help the government to control the corruption of the kick-back culture. Labs especially, were being hammered for that ‘special’ relationship with Dr.s, groups, and others they needed to build their volume. Even Doctors were/are(?), receiving kickbacks for promoting specified drugs, or the newest contraption(stents), by competing manufacturers.

There are innumerable vehicles for the medical supply industry to supplement the income of Dr.s, and all other consumers of needful supplies.

One of the most drastic consequences of single use supplies is the by magnitude increases of hospital/ medical garbage that must be incinerated and disposed of into the oceans or landfills, especially designed and designated hazardous to receive all the potential infectious and radioactive waste generated and monitored for leakage. Ultimately, where has all the costs, of this huge mountain of waste products fallen upon? The Government, also known as you and I.., our taxes.

I understand that all American businesses, view Uncle Sam, as having the biggest/deepest pockets, filled with unlimited amounts of money. Find where all the money is and find ways to tap into it. Legally or otherwise. Someone once asked a 1920’s Gangster, ‘why do you rob banks’, his reply? ‘Because that is where all the money is’ The medical industry, like most Capitalistic industries, are driven by profits, if your % earnings don’t increase significantly every quarter then get rid of the CEO, cut back the employees, reduce costs. Then Greed enters and becomes part of the equation. Free Capitalism at it’s best.

By: act1 Thu, 07 Mar 2013 15:00:39 +0000 This should be a “must read” for all in Congress. No other advanced nation allows this chain of gouging of the public.
Congress tries to make Medicare the goat of runaway medical costs when in fact it provides the only sanity in coping with outrageous billings. We owe a debt of gratitude to this newman, Mr.Brill, for revealing the obscene greed that permeates the medical field, particularly the so-called non-profit hospitals.

By: Shamizar Thu, 07 Mar 2013 13:55:13 +0000 SunAndRain:
From CBC News,Dec 12, 2011:

Wait times to receive medical treatment in Canada are the highest they’ve been in 18 years, according to a new report.
The median wait time is 19 weeks between the referral from a general practitioner and the start of elective treatment, finds the report, released by the Fraser Institute.

Doesn’t sound great to me!

By: usagadfly Thu, 07 Mar 2013 00:45:16 +0000 One major reason for high medical costs within the borders of the USA is that the American Government wants it that way. Other countries do not.

In the USA, we have the exceedingly odd notion that the taxpayer should fund medical education, with Government funded educators in Government funded buildings doing Government funded research, yet we call this system “private”. We require no service in return for this education and no return for the fruits of the research. Other countries are simply not that gullible.

In the USA, we allow private professional organizations to control medical licensure and then are surprised when they protect their own living standards. This is also foolish. For all the money that gushes into our medical system, we should have the best medical system in the industrialized world. Yet, looking at results, we have the worst.

By: Chromehawk14 Wed, 06 Mar 2013 22:03:56 +0000 To SunandRain

1 ) We are not Canada or Switzerland. Canada has the economy and population of JUST California. Switzerland would barely rank in the top TEN states.
To compare us to them you would need each state capable of having it’s own unique and unrelated and un-federally managed healthcare.

2 ) Citing Canada and Switzerland may not be all you think.
Switzerland in December banned minarets. Sorry muslims they dont like your architecture. erland-minaret-ban-violates-rights

And Canada makes the US treatment of Native Americans seem enlightened. Why in June 17 of 2011 they actually had a Supreme Court ruling acknowledging Native Americans are covered under human rights. Nice to know they have been human for only 2 years.  /06/17/human-rights.html
AND they still get Status cards — that is to recognize their status as “Wards of the State”.
A ward of the state is the same in Canada as here. It is someone incapable of managing their own affairs so the government manages it for them.
( Think Down’s Syndrome ).
But in Canada it applies to ALL Native Americans because of their race.  /?id=1058
read the third paragraph
“Status Indians” are wards of the Canadian federal government, a paternalistic legal relationship that illustrates the historical imperial notion that Aboriginal peoples are “children” requiring control and direction to bring them into more “civilized” colonial ways of life”
“They’re injuns … obviously the are mentally incompetent.”
Could you imagine the outcry if the US said Blacks or Latinos were “Wards of the State” due to their race?

So not only are your friends not capable of comparing well as they are at best the equivalent of ONE State … not FIFTY.
BUT they are citizens of some of the most bigoted countries on earth.