Health Care: A real solution???

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by kuyu, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    After a macrumors hiatus, I'm back (school is crazy this semester). Hope I haven't missed too much. I'm guessing that most everyone here still hates Bush, but is as nervous as I am about the election. Whoever wins, half the country is going to be seriously pissed off.

    Anyway, regarding healthcare, my brother emailed me this pdf outlining a book called "Miracle Cure". It's written by a Canadian woman who now resides in the US. She basically gives the facts about the health care systems in the US and Canada, and then makes recommendations to fix them both. Her book is recommended by Milton Friedman (nobel prize in Economics), so I'm inclined to take what she says as both true and viable.

    Some of the more interesting tidbits are as follows...

    She basically states that the main problem with US healthcare is that we have all come to believe that insurance means free doctor's visits. However, she contends that "insurance" is just that; insurance in case of major problems. But, because we all believe that "insurance" should pay for everything, the prices are spiraling out of control. What would car insurance cost if it covered oil changes and gas fill-up's?

    Also, she states that doctor's spend about 30 minutes doing paperwork for every hour they are with a patient. This drives costs up. We get charged for 1.5 hours for a one hour visit.

    Her solutions:
    1)Move back to using "insurance" as coverage for catastrophic events. Pay for a routine check up yourself. This is easier if the government allows us to use tax-free dollars to do so (HSA's, which are already signed into law. They take effect next year).

    2)Get rid of state by state laws regarding insurance. This over complicates things and makes insurance more expensive. Allow for companies to offer a product nationwide.

    3)Reform medical malpractice insurance and the current system that encourages lawsuit abuse.

    4)Fix medicare. It's set to broke in 2019 anyway.

  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I don't know what world Milton Friedman lives in, but I can guess -- and it ain't mine. I haven't had a free doctor's office visit in many, many years. The HMOs have seen to that. As for carrying only catastrophic health insurance, this form of coverage is already more costly than what many people can afford.
  3. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    We've been told for years now that managed care that encourages regular office visits saves money in the long run. So that's strike one.

    I really don't think you can take away the states' rights to regulate businesses the way they see fit. Nor would you want to. That's strike two.

    Back in 2002, the Congressional Budget Office found that "malpractice costs account for a very small fraction of total health care spending" and that even radical reform "would have a relatively small effect on total health plan premiums." That's strike three, and she's out.
  4. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    Good thing she titled it "Miracle Cure" 'cause that instantly puts her right in the category with the run-of-the-mill snake oil salesmen.

    The problem with American healthcare is twofold, but barely. In order of importance, here are the reasons we're so messed up:

    1) Healthcare companies are bloated bureaucracies that would put the most bloated government programme to shame.
    There are so many inefficiencies, middle men, pencil-pushers and executives skimming cash from the system as it's pushed around that it's literally more like an organised crime operation than a business.

    2) Pharmaceutical companies fleece us. They also coordinate a clever plan to remove or lower the presence of effective drugs whose patents have run out and replace them with newer ones just approved.
    And, naturally, they have no interest in curing anything that's not fatal.
    They'd rather have you pay to treat it for the rest of your life.
  5. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Assuming all health businesses (and consumers) go by these guidelines to save money, I don't see any real savings passed on to the consumer. I believe the health companies will keep the savings for themselves as profit, possibly passing on a miniscule "savings" to the consumer, just to make them think they are "saving".

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