Saturday, January 18, 2014

Put it on HIS Tab

There are a multitude of reasons as to why American healthcare has gotten so expensive; technology, demand, aging populations, regulations, overhead, malpractice and defensive medicine, etc., etc.. But the major reason for the burgeoning costs in my opinion has been the proliferation of these third party payer groups. I mean, it's common sense. When folks spend their own money they are far more careful with it (you wouldn't, for example, go to the emergency room for a head cold and spend a thousand dollars) and, yes, because of that, a) the demand goes down and b) providers of these services are actually forced to compete for your business.........................................................................And, yes, folks, there is an abundant amount of evidence to substantiate this; a) the fact that the noninsurance sectors of the American healthcare economy (lasik eye surgery, plastic surgery, full body scans) have consistently been going down (in the case of lasik eye surgery by as much as 80% in certain areas), b) the fact that the people of Singapore pay for the bulk of their healthcare with out of pocket cash and the costs there are 80% less there than in America, c) the fact that the corporation, Whole Foods, has largely gone to a plan in which personal health savings accounts (supplemented by a high deductible policy) are featured and costs have gone down markedly, d) the fact that the state of Indiana has also gone to a plan (for their state employees) in which health savings accounts are featured and their costs have gone down significantly and with no negative change in outcomes, e) the fact that healthcare spending in the U.S. was but a tiny percentage of overall GDP right up to the start of Medicare and Medicaid and then it majorly started to skyrocket. Again, it's just good old common sense here. You get rid of the middle-man and you save yourself a boat-load of money.

15 comments:

Rusty Shackelford said...




Hey...news flash....Obama promises Germans we wont spy on them......he also says they can keep their doctors and their health plans........Germans breath a sigh of relief....

dmarks said...

Another big problem is profiteering (used as a general term): excessive greed from the drug industry and hospitals, so-called nonprofit hospitals in which those at the top make millions, and greedy unions in which workers who make a very comfortable living treat it as a crisis that they aren't even more wealthy.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

One way to deal with this would be to fast track some of these drugs into generic form earlier. Not sure if it's possible but I'd like to see it done.

BB-Idaho said...

What this country needs is a good
5 cent MRI...

BB-Idaho said...

This site has detailed information
about the Singapore system. Always interested in dmarks 'greedy unions', we find that Singapore physicians average 91656 SD/nurses 25404 SD, a ratio of 3.6: in the US physicians average 179000 USD/nurses 50000 USD, a ratio of 3.6. Considering the exchange, 1 USD=1.28SD, both
doctors and nurses in Singapore make 40% of their US counterparts.
(which explains the less expensive
Singapore medical costs and nulls
the greedy union theory)

Jerry Critter said...

Roughly $20 to $50 billion per year could be saved by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices like the VA and Medicaid do. All it takes is for Congress to act.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I am sooooooooooooo with you on that one, Jerry.......I would also find a much more robust role for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants (in that we are probably going to face a doctors shortage soon). I work in healthcare and I'm telling you, nurse practitioners (especially the ones with experience and a PhD) are every bit as smart as doctors and they tend to be nicer and more patient, too (at least from my experience).

Jerry Critter said...

I agree about nurse practitioners. They can do many of the tasks of a GP.

I once had a doctor tell me being a GP was the simplest thing a doctor could do. If anything serious came along, you referred the patient to a specialist, and 90% of the other people would get well no matter what you did.

Just don't kill anyone and you would be OK.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Yeah, killing someone would definitely be a monkey-wrench.

dmarks said...

BB said: " Always interested in dmarks 'greedy unions'"

How is there any question about this when they use methods ranging from legal extortion to outright threats of violence to get pay for workers that is way above the real value of the work?

Which might be OK in a vacuum and economic realities are ignored. But in the real world, this forces a combination of offshoring, firing workers to make the much higher payroll, price increases (which hit poor people the worst), and customer service/quality going to crap. Next thing you know, you have situations like the auto industry shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs. Because the situation that the union demands, where, say, a worker is paid $60+ an hour to do extremely shoddy work to produce the worst cars sold in the country, really isn't sustainable.

I believe the way to get more money is to do better work, not to bully people. Must make me old fashioned.

dmarks said...

And no, nothing you listed, BB, did anything to "nulls
the greedy union theory". In any situation where unions force wasted money on overpay, it increases the cost of health care. This also includes the SEIU and its hospital janitors.

Pay a fair wage, and allow workers the choice of whether or not to join a union, and things will be fine.

Rational Nation USA said...

You are putz RCT. Yep, Germans are happier with there health plan than Americans are with theirs Before the ACA even.

Like I said, a putz.

Rational Nation USA said...

And excessive money lust on the part of private insurers as well.

BB-Idaho said...

I'll go along with nurse practioners, and would not be surprised to see them moving into the family practice area replacing
MDs. My NP is just as good as my
former MD, at least in the areas of test/diagnosis/prescription:
(I still think I'd prefer an MD
when it comes to cutting and stitching). In my experience, the NPs, mostly women, prefer shorter hours and are not driven by the pay and the business end of clinical work; they will take their time and in the end, they
work and consult with MDs on an hourly basis.

Rusty Shackelford said...



Read the post "deep thinker."

Had nothing to do with German health care.

Damn man....I think the fumes from the solid waste plant you managed has affected your thinking.