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Is Healthcare Broken, or Does it Just need A Tune-up?

When your car isn’t running properly you take it to a mechanic. If your repair shop tells you the car needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to fix a miss in the engine, you would call him an idiot or crook and find another mechanic. America has the finest healthcare in the world but to hear Obama and the Demigods, I mean Democrats, speak; healthcare in the US is the worst healthcare system in the world. In fact, it is American research that has led the world in disease prevention and cures.

One thing they are right about; American healthcare is the most expensive and that needs to be addressed. Obama and the Demigods want to cut cost by providing less. They will regulate when you can see a doctor and for what. It is more cost effective to provide expensive procedures and medicine to a young adult than a senior citizen. Should a man who has a lump in his chest get a mammogram or an operation to remove the lump, even if the Doctor, Radiologist and Surgeon all agree the lump is probably benign? Breast cancer is very rare in men (1 in 200), so under most government run healthcare; either the procedures would be denied or postponed. Even under American healthcare today, most men who get breast cancer do not survive because it is so rare. I happen to be one who did.

I was fortunate to feel a small bump being irritated by my seat belt. Since I had Bypass surgery a few years before, I assumed it was just scar tissue from the surgery. Since I had to see my GP a couple of weeks later I mentioned it to her. She said it was probably nothing to worry about but I should get a mammogram, so I did. The Radiologist said it was very small and probably nothing to worry about. Even the surgeon said it was small, probably not cancer and it was up to me whether I wanted to have it removed. Fortunately I elected to have it removed. When I woke from surgery, I was missing my left breast. The doctors were amazed I really had cancer but said I caught it very early before it had a chance to spread. My oncologist said I had a very good chance of survival without chemotherapy but I elected again to go thru chemo just to be safe.

I was 58 years old when I found the lump. Under most government run healthcare I would have at least three strikes against me. Since breast cancer is so rare in men, I would probably not qualify for a mammogram. Even if I received a mammogram, the results would have probably precluded me from surgery. If I had been fortunate enough to have the surgery, because of my gender, the size of the tumor and my age, I would never been allowed expensive chemotherapy.

There are ways of reducing healthcare expense and giving everyone necessary care. Congress just needs to do a little diagnostics. Your mechanic needs to know what’s wrong with your car before he can fix it. Congress’s solution to fix a miss in your engine would be to replace the engine. That still wouldn’t fix the miss if the problem was a bad plug or injector and those items weren’t replaced.

First let’s look at Prescription Drugs. I am told the main expense of drugs is the cost of research. If the government puts a cap on the price of drugs, who will pay for the research? The reasons drugs are cheaper in other countries like Canada is those governments do put a cap on drug prices. So who pays for the research on their drugs? We do. The drug companies subsidize their drug cost by charging us more. We are paying for research on our drugs and everyone else’s drugs also. Why doesn’t congress pass a law that forces the drug companies to spread the research cost of a drug to everyone no matter where they are sold? If the other governments want to put a cap on the price of the drugs sold in their country, I guess they will have to make up the difference or not have access to those drugs. That would save insurance companies, people who don’t have drug coverage and Medicare/Medicaid.

Second are liability costs. I know the republicans are always spouting tort reform but there is a problem there. It’s not just tort reform, but I’m sure doctors, hospitals and other providers order many tests, medication and other procedures more for CYA than real medical needs. I’m not a lawyer but I do believe there could be some rules that would work. Look at workmen’s Compensation. All states have limits on awards and lawyer’s fees when dealing with Workmen’s Compensation. Those limits may be too harsh for malpractice but I’m sure doctors, lawyers, insurance companies and patient’s representatives could hammer out compromises that would work for everyone. There could always be exceptions in the law for extreme cases.

And then there is Fraud. Of course the government can’t clean up crime in their own house so I doubt they can save much money there unless the hire a private security company.

If Congress would implement these simple proposals, healthcare would be much more affordable. Insurance could be cheaper more people could pay for their own healthcare. For those people with preexisting conditions, they could be handled the same way some state do with auto insurance. All the health insurance companies could be forced to join a pool and a lottery set up to assign these individuals insurance coverage at an affordable rate.

Finally, the few remaining qualified uninsured people could receive government assist to purchase catastrophic healthcare insurance. No one should be denied healthcare for serious disease or injury but that doesn’t mean they need to go to the doctor or hospital for every sniffle. Unfortunately, if something is free, or prepaid, it is human nature to use it to the fullest. For this reason, there has to be some cost incurred by the consumer.

When I was growing up we had no insurance. When my father finally started working where he could get insurance, it was what they called Major Medical. What that meant was if you had a serious injury or illness, it would pay for at least part of the doctor and hospital bill. We still owed some money, but the bill did not bankrupt us. Ordinary doctor visits were not covered so we went when necessary only. I took a lot of castor oil back then and I survived. But when I had a serious illness or injury, I did go to the doctor or hospital. Now everyone runs to the doctor for a hangnail because it’s covered by insurance.

Yes, healthcare needs a tune-up, not a replacement or complete overhaul. Thank God, It looks like the monstrosity they are calling healthcare reform is not going to pass, but it is a shame also. If Congress had just a bit of common sense, they could ‘tune-up’ healthcare and make it affordable to everyone without bankrupting the country!

~Joe~
Post Script:

After publishing this article I have received a lot of criticism that waiting times in countries with government healthcare was myths so I have included this video excerpt for ABC’s 2020 show.

I am just one voice. I have set up this blog site to publish the truth as I understand it. You might ‘see’ a different truth. That is why I encourage you to post your vision. I never edit other’s comments or block them. I want to hear your thoughts and reasoning. The real strength of our great country is the ability for everyone to voice their opinion no matter their position. The only contributions I have requested so far is your word but now I ask for your help. If you would like to join me in starting a P.A.C to help replace these career politicians who refuse to listen to their constituents; please donate a few dollars.

Let’s take our government back!

Of the People, By the People and For the People


42 comments to Is Healthcare Broken, or Does it Just need A Tune-up?

  • First of all may I say I'm glad to hear that there was a happy ending to your story. Having said that there are a number of points I would take issue with in your article.

    "If your repair shop tells you the car needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to fix a miss in the engine, you would call him an idiot…"

    None of the plans being kicked around at the moment could really be described as "rebuilding from the ground up", most of them are tweaks aimed at covering the uninsured.

    "Obama and the Demigods want to cut cost by providing less"

    Maybe _some_ Democrats are thinking this way (there is some disagreement within the party) but Obama has said several times that he favors a plan where people get to keep their existing insurance plans.

    "Under most government run healthcare I would have at least three strikes against me."

    I'd be interested to read the sources you used to come to this conclusion. Since public healthcare institutions have to publish this kind of data it should be pretty easy for you to post links to the information you used. To follow your argument I am supposed in infer that private health insurance would always pay for the treatment you had. Given the circumstances you describe it sounds like you were lucky to have good insurance. The "Major Medical" you describe might not have paid for all the treatment you had. In any case, who is saying that you have to switch over to the Government scheme? Name the politicians behind this proposal. It certainly isn't the president, as I said before he wants people to be able to keep their existing plans if they want to.

    "Thank God, It looks like the monstrosity they are calling healthcare reform is not going to pass" – which of the multitude of plans that are working their way through the system are you referring to as a monstrosity? All of them? It strikes me that you haven't done enough research here, and you are making a straw man argument about a plan which isn't actually being discussed.

    • The point I am trying to make is Slow down and look at what really needs fixing. Congress is doing its usual 'Throw a lot of money at it and hope it works' with a lot of pork on the side,(it may not be in there now, but I guarantee it will be full of pork before it gets to a vote.

      • Just for a moment, I'd like to point out, if my article had been read it was pointing at issues regarding personal opinions and views and experience, which more people need to voice, when people are low income, on medicaid plans, and the rough economy with so many out of work. I never said I was for or against "Obama's" plans, but I heard speeches about the middle class. My concern is for those already without, already struggling, either cut by their jobs or on disability, facing medicaid plans that sometimes don't work the greatest either because they vary from state to state, and then when medicaid doesn't kick in their tacked an enormous hospital bill which is ludicrous, when they are probably already in debt because their disability benefits fall way short of what this economy runs on. GREED.

    • "None of the plans being kicked around at the moment could really be described as "rebuilding from the ground up", most of them are tweaks aimed at covering the uninsured. "

      This is a very uninformed comment. Please go read the bill at http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/public

      In those 1018 pages, it doesn't take long to come across pg16 which defines the grandfathering into the system of existing private insurance. It states very clearly that NO NEW private insurance policies are permitted after the effective date of this bill. It then says after 5 years, all private plans must be converted into Exchange conforming plans.

      Here's a quick table from the bill that outlines the effective "tax" imposed on small businesses if they don't offer a public plan.

      If the annual payroll of such employer for The applicable
      the preceding calendar year: percentage is:

      Does not exceed $250,000 ………………………………. 0 percent
      Exceeds $250,000, but does not exceed $300,000 2 percent
      Exceeds $300,000, but does not exceed $350,000 4 percent
      Exceeds $350,000, but does not exceed $400,000 6 percent

      On pg 167, the Amendments to the IRS code requiring TAXING individuals not participating in a public plan 2.5% of Adjusted Gross Income.

      But of course, on pg170 it exempts any non-resident alien from having to pay such a tax.

      On pg203,204 it squirms out of that nasty commitment to not raise taxes on everyone under 250k by stating;

      "The amendment made by subsection (a) shall not be treated as a change in a rate of tax for purposes of section 15 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986."

      There is literally line after line of oppressive government control over what were our freedoms to choose.

      There goal is quite apparent once you've read this document. Too eliminate the private healthcare industry. Before you say how absurd that is, do yourself a favor and go read the bill. If you haven't read the bill, I'm not going to waste my time on your comments.

  • Linnea

    Great post. You say "Obama and the Demigods want to cut cost by providing less" . You perhaps mean demagogues, but you are right. They want to cut medicare services by 500 million. That is their plan for paying for half of the bill. That is going to result in a lot of people losing a lot of coverage.

    You allude to the major solution here, which is to put the costs right back in the hands of the individual in most cases. All minor care costs should be carried by the individual. The individual is a better shepherd of money than the government will ever be. And moving to a system where we have major medical is a good idea. My dad used to call it "hospitalization". Yes, it used to be that minor things were paid on a fee-for-service basis, and only when you got into the truly expensive realm did insurance come into play at all. Think of the costs that could be saved in administration alone were we to go that route again.

    I am glad you got well. I have never heard of this happening to man. And I am glad you did not live in Britain or Sweden or Canada when you got sick or you would not be alive today to tell this story.

    • I never claimed to be an English major. Even with Insurance, My wife an I spent almost $10,000 on medicine and healthcare last year and that wasn't the year I had chemo. Don't ask what I spent that year.

  • Let's start with the beginning we have the 37th finest healthcare system in the world http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=8126691&a… And in some cases, we're even farther behind: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN

    And how can you provide less, when the cost of this health insurance casino we have now, is so prohibative people can't afford the premiums, and if they can, they can't afford the deductibles and co-pays, meaning people aren't getting the care they need, much less the preventive care.

  • TeriBeau

    I've worked in the legal feild for 20 yrs. You don't understand tort reform AT ALL. If you take away the people's right to sue, health ins. companies will really run hog wild. They can deny coverage all day long and never worry about bad faith lawsuits. What we really need is to enforce the Rule 11b sanctions already on the books, but judges, who are generally elected, don't want to make those kinds of enemies. So, we're going to take away people's access to the courts and voice , because judge's don't enforce the law? Really? I thought republicans were FOR individual liberty.

    When I was growing up, I had government health care. I was born on a military base, and even served myself. For the first 22 yrs. of my life, I knew nothing but military health care. It had it's differences, and sometimes it wasn't as convenient or fancy , BUT no one in my family was EVER turned away, and we received world class treatment.

    cont . . .

    • I was in USAF years ago and experienced great healthcare but talk to any veteran who has VA healthcare, it is a very different story. I wouldn't mind as much if it was like VA but It won't be. The real problem with all countries with Gov. healthcare. When you don't have to pay for something, you use more of it. It is human nature. You don't believe me? Talk to any restaurant manager or owner of an 'All you can eat' buffet. There is a lot more waste there than an Ala Cart Restruant. That requires many more doctots, hospital beds, etc. I don't know if it's that way where you live but the last few times I have had to go to the Emergency room and be admitted, I had a long wait for a bed. In fact ,the last time I was admitted, they put me in one of the outpatient beds for 3 days before I got a room. How long did you have to wait to see your doctor last visit? That is why people die waiting for a doctor in some countries and healthcare is rationed.

      • So, you're saying if we have affordable healthcare, it won't be rationed enough? Jeez, this argument from the nah sayers is so strange and illogical it's impossible to pin down what it is you're really worried about.

        I get it, change is scary. We'd rather keep our crappy health insurance system, that leaves everyone one pink slip away from oblivion, just because we're afraid. But that's what's so great about us Americans. We push our fear down, and plow forward, leading the world in industry, technology, democracy, and a thousand other things. We don't allow our fears to keep us mired in some lousy circumstances we could fix if we only had the will.

        Please try to consider the actual FACTS and the actual proposals, if we ever get one out of conference from House and Senate bills. That's all I ask. :)

  • TeriBeau

    Frankly, this is really starting to PISS ME OFF! You've got a U.S. Senator, Jim DeMint, saying "If we're able to stop Obama on [healthcare] it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." This is all a damn game to them! They've been playing games and spending like there's just no end to how much money the American people can spend on bridges to nowhere and wars to nowhere for 8 f'ing years, and now they throw a few sound bites out there for the pigeons to consume, and they think they can kill health care reform? Oh hell no!

    How stupid do you have to be to think it's a good system to buy into the health ins. industry casino. I bet I'll get sick, they bet I won't, and even if I win, they only pay if they feel like it. This makes sense HOW?!?

  • It's all right there on the web, the soaring profits health industry profits:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2009

    They're scamming you out of your money, and you're demanding their right to do it. It's baffling.

    Here's my take on healthcare: http://teristirades.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-acces

    (Sorry, so many posts, but it was limiting how long I could go, and I already typed it all. :)

    • Sorry, but I want my doctor to make a profit. I work hard for my money and so does my doctors. If doctors can't make a lot of money, why should they go to college for 4 years, then Med. school for 4 years, residency for 2 years, then maybe 2 or 4 more years for a specialty. That is why there are not enough doctors in countries with government healthcare systems. They just become mechanics instead and make lots more money, LOL

      • Those aren't the doctors or hospital profits. Those are the health INSURANCE companies profits. Are you having trouble clicking on my links?

        But to that point, the American Medical Assoc. (that's the doctors) is behind health care reform, even this preliminary House bill. So are the Nurses associations, the Chamber of Commerce, and even the Pharmaceutical companies.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

  • You missed the post with all the statistics:

    France best, US worst in preventable death ranking | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN

    "The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance"
    http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html

    "Indeed, while spending one-sixth of its economy on health care, the U.S. ranks lower on life expectancy, infant mortality and preventable deaths than most other industrialized nations."

    "Today, only 16 percent rate the U.S. health care system as excellent or very good, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute."
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?stor

    The fact is, we're not the best in ANY way.

    • If France's healthcare is so great, why did their PM come to the US to have his operation?

      • Could you give me a link to this? I knew about Italy's PM coming to the US for an operation, but face it, would you let doctors in a country that created FIAT (Fix It Again Tony) operate on you? :)

  • Healthcare needs much more than a tune up – it needs a COMPLETE overhaul.

    Brent Russell
    twitter.com/Dr_Recruiter
    @Dr_Recruiter

  • Lol, maybe we have BETTER DOCTORS. What's that got to do with our health care system? You think France's PM signed up for some of our health insurance?

    If anything, that's about our education system, which may be better. I don't even know what doctor did his surgery, but I'll check if we're discussing that now. 😉

  • Note that all the stuff you claim isn't covered by "government health care" is covered by Medicare. I thought Medicare was government health care?

    • Medicare doesn't cover everything, My mother and Mother-in-law are both on Medicare and still need supplemental insurance to cover everything. and they still need Part D insurance to cover part of their medication. By the way, on Twitter someone said it was Republicans who created the donuthole. Yes, only because they created Part D to start with. Before there was just a hole and I don't care if the healthcare plan is Obama's, the Democrats, Republicans or Martians. All I want is a plan that is efficient and works. Of course using efficient and government in the same sentence is itself an oxymoron!

      • True, Medicare doesn't cover everything. But it covers the stuff Joe says wasn't covered under "government healthcare" yet is undeniably government healthcare.

        Not that it really matters, since HB3200 doesn't set up Medicare For All or Canadian or British "government healthcare", it sets up a Dutch or Swiss-style system of regulated private insurers with subsidies for lower income and unemployed so they can buy their own insurance. According to OECD numbers this is a fairly expensive way of doing things compared to government healthcare — the OECD's medical expenditures data shows that the more government involvement in healthcare, the cheaper it gets (I talk about the economics of why that is so on my own blog, but the data itself is clear and incontrovertible, more government means lower healthcare costs) — but given American's fear of "government healthcare", I can see why President Obama is doing it this way. If he had really introduced socialized medicine you can bet the AMA wouldn't be supporting it LOL!

  • All I can say is your doctor must have been last in his/her class. My doctors and hospitals are great. I very seldom have to wait more than an hour or two to see a doctor in my emergency room. In contrast, The County hospital (i.e Government run) in Memphis (the Med) where people with no insurance has an average 14 hour wait. This includes gunshot wounds. What makes you think it would be any faster if all hospitals were government run. (by the way, My hospital does not accept medicaid insurance because they don't pay enough and deny too many charges)

  • mousecrazy55

    Perhaps an odd question: Why does a wheelchair that can be bought for $295 on the open market like eBay, cost $2000 when billed to a Medicare provider? How does this fit with the theory that government involvement in healthcare produces lower costs? Similar situation with prices for MRI's…other diagnostic tests. When Medicare providers bill THE GOVT, the prices are inflated so they can recover the "correct amount. I reject the theory that government reduces cost when, after reading HR3200, I find that several new commissioners, secretaries, asst secretaries, committees, advisory panels, task forces, etc are being created. And, if it reduces cost, it is at the expense of the highest-cost patients, who will be denied treatment and offered morphine, end-of-life (literally) care instead.

  • Same reason an Advil costs $50 when it's prescribed to you at the hospital — because they can, because they know your insurance company will pay for it. Private insurance gets taken the same way, but it doesn't make the news. I had a knee injury a few years ago and the emergency clinic issued a knee brace that I know didn't cost more than $50. They charged my insurance company over $150 for it. Because they could.

    Regarding highest-cost patients, does Medicare currently ratio care to them? No? Why do you think this bill, which doesn't directly change anything about Medicare (except the donut hole in Part D), will suddenly make Medicare do something that it hasn't done a single time in its 43 years of existence?

  • How does the 'reform' help someone like me? I work full time as an office manager (for a doctor, ironically enough) and can't afford health insurance because I am currently at poverty-level income (which puts me in a higher income level than about 30% of my city) and my employer doesn't offer coverage because he is a struggling small business owner. The kicker is that because I don't have children I don't qualify for government assistance in health care. In my situation the ONLY way I'm covered for injury/illness is if it's related to a car accident (my auto insurance covers it) or if I get hurt when at school (my school insurance covers it).

    • Under the reform proposal, you will qualify for Medicaid if your income is below 133% of poverty level regardless of whether you have children or not. If you're above 133% of poverty level, you will qualify for subsidies to purchase individual health insurance via the Exchange based on your income level. See p133 of the draft, for example, if you're at 133% to 150% of poverty level, you will have to pay only 1.5% max of your family income for your premiums, while if you're at 350% through 400%, you will have to pay a maximum of 10% of your family income for premiums. The majority of the cost of the bill is the premium subsidies, which is paid for via four main funding sources: current Medicaid disproportionate share funds for uncompensated care, paying Medicare Advantage at the same rate as Medicare Classic instead of giving extra funds to Medicare Advantage providers, a 6% surcharge on employers whose payroll is over $400K/year who don't fund health insurance for their employees, and a reversion of tax rates on the rich to what they were during the horror of the Clinton years of peace and prosperity.

      My guess is that your employer doesn't have a payroll over $400K/year so the only real effect of the bill on you is that now you'll be able to purchase your own health insurance without it bankrupting you.

      Personally I am baffled as to why the health insurance industry is so upset about this bill. It amounts to a gigantic government subsidy for health insurers. I guess they're just upset that the bill also requires them to provide the health care coverage that people pay for, instead of being able to drop people's insurance once people get sick…

    • Next time you get sick, get in your car and drive 'into'yor classroom. LOL

    • There are horror stories and good outcomes in every healthcare system. That doesn't mean it's all good or all bad. We just need to take our time, consider all possibilities, fix what's bad and keep what's good. Fortunately it looks like Congress will have a little more time to consider all possibilities. Hopefully the Dems and Reps will leave politics out and work on the best possible outcome for the American people. (of course I can't remember any other time where that has happened, we can always hope!)

  • Why does Obama Keep lying about the Healthcare problem causing the Recession. If that's true then why didn't we fix the healtcare system first instead of bailing out the bank, AIG, Fannie and Freedie, and the Auto Industry. We wouldn't have needed to spend all that money on The so called 'Stimulus' bill.

    • Uhm that's not how I read the speech. Obama said the recession is causing healthcare problems as people lose jobs and their healthcare, not the other way around.

  • AJ Kandy

    Your post drastically oversimplifies and misrepresents the case.

    There is no "Obama" healthcare plan — there are currently two bills circulating in the House and Senate which will be harmonized when they go to committee in the fall — and Obama has indicated that he may veto something which doesn't meet some of his benchmarks, but in reality this has been crafted by people's representatives.

    Most of what has been proposed is not very radical, and completely preserves the current private insurance sector while imposing some well-needed reforms — such as eliminating insurance companies' ability to reject people with pre-existing conditions and curtail their practices of denying payment. In addition, they're pushing for a move to digital health records and standardized forms, which will save billions (presumably freeing up that cash to cover more people)

    What the Obama administration has indicated a preference for is a public, not-for-profit option IN ADDITION to the private sector, to compete in a national healthcare marketplace. Again, nothing radical: co-ops like the better branches of Kaiser Permanente already do this.

    There has not been any proposal WHATSOEVER for single-payer healthcare, nor has there been any calls for rationing nor for the government to "tell you" what doctor you can see. And it's a fact — none of the industrialized countries' single-payer systems (such as in Canada, France, or Britain) tell you what doctor you can see, either. There's no real difference in wait times or access to services between the US and Canada — but a trip to the hospital here will not bankrupt your family. In fact at most you might get a bill for $40 of meds, on average.

    As a Canadian, I can tell you that we do our own share of medical and pharmaceutical research right here — the US is not the sole provider of all drugs in the universe. Plus, here, they get a good degree of government R&D tax credits so they have even more incentive to work here.

    I've heard all too many healthcare horror stories from the US — it's clear your system doesn't work for anyone except the insurance companies. If anything, the current plans for reform are too modest, in my view.

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  • Pam, M.S.H.N, RRT

    I think your article is great! ….. I am a 30 yr healthcare professional (resp therapist) and I also have Lupus (in remission thankfully) ….. if my lupus were to re-activate i would be toast in the proposed gov system. What we need is a tune up….. we have world class medicine here and innovation….. innovation which will be stifled under the proposed gov system ….. note: canadians (& ppl from other countries) come here for care. That should tell someone something…..

    • 1. Google "Phantoms in the Snow". There is an actual study. The number of Canadians coming to the US for treatment is 0.11% of all Canadians who receive healthcare — roughly 3,000 per year total, out of a population of 36 million, most of which is from border communities where the nearest hospital is a U.S. hospital and their province contracts with that hospital for care.

      2. Under the current system, your lupus is a pre-existing condition and is not covered. Under the House bill lupus is covered, and it's *illegal* to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions — all conditions must be covered, pre-existing or not.

      3. The "new" system is not a "government system" or even truly new. It retains the current insurance industry and medical provider industry but adds mandates and subsidies to make it universal. It changes nothing about how health care is delivered by private doctors and hospitals. Indeed, I am baffled as to why the current insurance industry is so upset about HR3200 because my reading is that it is a massive subsidy to the insurance industry, transferring tons of tax money into their coffers.

  • Well said. Thanks for pointing me to your article via reply Tweet. I'm agreeable to most of what you've said. I strongly feel major costs are directly related to 1) Malpractice suits. There needs to be a cap. 2) Pharmaceutical companies and the massive lobbying they do in DC. WAY too many drugs out there today that are causing more problems. My sister has multiple health problems. Over the course of a year, she found herself on 28 meds at once prescribed by 2 doctors! She was in a brain fog, depression, severe weight gain and a state of muscle deterioration. She became an invalid at 45, homebound, unable to walk or tend to her own personal needs. Near death, she entered the hospital and their solution was more drugs. She declined and came home to die. She began to wean herself off all the drugs, she even had withdrawals. This was 6 months ago. Today, she only takes 4 medications, has lost 65 pounds, can walk again and can think clearly.

    I'm glad you were able to make the choices you did and got medical treatment. Kudos!

    • The CBO did a study on malpractice. They found actual malpractice costs are 0.3% of healthcare costs. They found that costs relative to "defensive medicine" are at most 1.4% of healthcare costs. While this is a problem, cutting 1.7% from our nation's healthcare budget is not going to solve our cost problem.

      I definitely agree that Big Pharma pushes doctors to overprescribe but part of the overprescribing problem is the lousy state of medical records today. My mother, a nurse, had to strictly police her mother's doctors and badger them about the medicines they prescribed, they forgot they'd already prescribed medicines for the same thing and doubled her up with conflicting medicines for example. There is no electronic health records system in most doctor's offices that will flash up a list of what you've already prescribed the patient before you go to prescribe something new to the patient.

  • Great article. As a man that has also been recommended to have a mammogram, I can see the likelihood of that kind of treatment being very limited under a government rationed healthcare system. Lot's of great responses to your post that I'm going to address but I have to say one thing first.

    I don't think anyone who hasn't at least skimmed the major points of the House bill (which is easily accessible online) has any business wasting our time with politically motivated, uninformed bashing of your ideas. Do everyone a favor, go read the bill and then let's have a mature discussions of the merits of giving up so much of your liberty and right to choose for a little more coverage.

  • Michael

    With all due respect. It's our own responsibility to take care of ourselves first before healthcare. If you're overweight as you are, expect more health issues to come and don't blame healthcare for the care you receive. I'm a cancer survivor myself and i take top care of myself, working out and doing preventative care including nutrition, chiro, massage and meditation.

    • However, research shows that obesity does not increase overall health care spending because while the obese use more healthcare while alive, they die *much* sooner — the average obese person is dead by age 70, while the average non-obese person lives to 85 or so. The deal is that those last 15 years of life that the obese person doesn't live (because he/she is dead) are *very* expensive years, much more expensive than the extra healthcare the obese person used during his/her life. In short, by dying quicker, the obese save us money. (Same applies to smokers, BTW — we have research on that too).

      We should of course fight obesity (and smoking), but because it's good for the health of individuals and the health of the nation as a whole, not because it saves money long-term. The long-term research says eliminating obesity (or smoking) simply doesn't give any long-term cost savings.

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