I’m confused since the Republican Party always tells us how countries with socialized medicine hate it — supposedly furriners all come here for their health needs. Yet there they were, celebrating their healthcare system at the Opening Ceremony. #interesting #messagetoromney #MittTheTwit
I’ve been at the hospital since 6:45 am. I thought I was getting a regular CT scan of my neck today (I have two places fused in that area). Instead, what I found out when I got there, was that my doctor had ordered a myleogram. So that was an experience I’ll gladly do without in the future.
Healthcare shouldn’t be managed under a system that attempts to maximize profits for insurance companies and their CEOs and stock holders. The U.S. healthcare system is becoming impossible under the current fee for service system, which is due to insurance companies managing our healthcare decisions with profit as their bottom line.
[W]e don’t have a health care system, we have a treatment sales system. The more tests and treatments a doctor can sell, the more money he or she can make in fees — that means there’s a financial incentive to order an extra MRI or perform a surgery that may or may not be completely necessary.
This system is commonly called the “fee for service” model for medical practice. That, in turn, is married to an employer-based health insurance monopoly — the combination drives up costs for all of us. (Perhaps that’s why we spend more money than any other country worldwide on health care, but come in at #37 in quality of care.)
To discuss the issues with our model “fee for service” healthcare, Dylan was joined by former DNC chair Dr. Howard Dean — he has called “fee for service” the single biggest barrier to controlling health care costs in America. Also in this segment is Charlie Kolb, president of the Committee for Economic Development, which represents a wide variety of major corporations in this country.
In the United States, bypass surgery costs over $59,000, in Britain just shy of $14,000.
Why do we pay so much, more than any other country in the world, and have relatively so little to show for it?
We outspend the rest of the world but in a country like France, which spends half as much as we do, the people live longer, they have lower infant mortality rates and they don’t have the obesity problems that we have.
Greece used to have an extensive public health care system that pretty much ensured that everybody was covered for everything. But in the last two years, the nation’s creditors have pushed hard for dramatic cost savings to cut back the deficit. These measures are taking a brutal toll on the system and on the country’s growing numbers of poor and unemployed who cannot afford the new fees and co-payments instituted at public hospitals as part of the far-reaching austerity drive.
At public hospitals, doctors report shortages of all kinds of supplies, from toilet paper to catheters to syringes. Computerized equipment has gone unrepaired and is no longer in use. Nurses are handling four times the patients they should, and wait times for operations — even cancer surgeries — have grown longer.
Now Greeks will have the opportunity to go bankrupt over medical bills just like us. Isn’t that great?
Call me a socialist, but I’d rather see my tax dollars pay for a universal public health program – like Medicare for everyone – instead of paying for military bases all over the world and perpetual wars. You?
David Brooks today argues that a bottom-up approach to healthcare cost-control is more likely to work than top-down. I sincerely wish that were the case. Alas, it seems to me that the patient-as-consumer model just doesn’t work in healthcare for reasons laid out here and here. There is competition among health insurance plans now – for companies to pick from – and the result is still far, far higher costs than abroad, with no better end-results. Ezra Klein compares costs:
Atop our giant government health-care sector, we have an even more giant private health-care sector. Altogether, we’re spending about 16 percent of the GDP on health care. No other country even tops 12 percent. Which means we’ve got the worst of both worlds: huge government and high costs.
Our current system will never be affordable when there are huge profits to be made on “health” insurance and hospital care. It’s when you’re unhealthy that you need medical attention. Everyone eventually pays for the sick, whether we pay for health insurance or not.
Successful capitalism requires profits must climb every quarter, so premiums and hospital costs will always increase to meet stockholder expectations and CEOs annual bonuses. It’s the Ayn Rand way.
Greg Sargent interviewed Nancy Pelosi today, and she clarified what some understood to be her position that Medicare should be “on the table” for deficit reduction (emphasis mine):
Pelosi insisted that any claims she could support cuts in the program are wrong. “No benefits cuts,” she said flatly. Pelosi added that Dems have already put on the table the type of reform they should continue advocating for: The Affordable Care Act.
“We gave the blueprint for how we strengthen Medicare in the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said, a plan which is still “ripening” and “which does not reduce benefits. It lowers costs to taxpayers, the deficit, and beneficiaries.” She said the only type of Medicare cuts she’s open to are extracting savings via bureaucratic and pharmecutical reforms that don’t touch benefits.
Pelosi said she hopes Dems frame their defense of Medicare as a matter of values, to remind voters what’s at stake. “It is a value, an ethic, a pillar.”
[...] “The fight of this Congress and beyond will be to preserve Medicare and not have it abolished,” she said. “The three most important issues we should be talking about are Medicare, Medicare, and Medicare.”
“President Barack Obama urged newly empowered Republicans on Saturday not to wage “symbolic battles” against him but to instead work together to help spur job growth and economic recovery. Obama issued his appeal in his weekly radio address after Republicans took power in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting up potentially fierce fights with the president and his Democrats on spending, debt and healthcare.”