For some reason,
single payer, universal health care socialized medicine seems to be en vogue with our new administration and our state run independent media. But if the government takes over health care what does that mean? Surely the government will be able to do better right?
Finally, critics say that because of its breadth and national reach, the public plan will be able to collect and analyze patient information on a large scale to discover the best ways to improve care. The public plan might even allow clinicians who form accountable-care organizations to keep a portion of the savings they generate.
–Robert Riech Why the Critics of a Public Option for Health Care Are Wrong
Not so fast. Most Medicaid and Medicare already collect stats on their use. In New Mexico, the mental health system (Medicaid Salude) took over when private insurance companies bowed out. They left due to rising costs. New Mexico Medicaid found that “universal mental health care” was so expensive that they turned over day to day operations back over to private HMO’s (shocka!) to keep costs down.
Critics say the public option is really a Trojan horse for a government takeover of all of health insurance. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an option. No one has to choose it. Individuals and families will merely be invited to compare costs and outcomes. Presumably they will choose the public plan only if it offers them and their families the best deal — more and better health care for less.
Well, in my experience, whether it private health insurance or public, the accountants rule. Doctors, nurses and drug companies don’t make most of the decisions to deny care. Sure their are a few scrooges with medical degrees out there, but 90% of the time they want to treat you or give you the drugs you need. Big pharma needs you to buy it’s drugs to support their reseach efforts. Docs and nurses want to treat you.
No the biggest boogy man is the MBA or administrator who decides that you’re too expensive.
The answer is always no. It’s easier to deny care than to supply it at any cost.
Hospice is one option, but we do need take account of the cost — you know, I hate to say it, the cost-benefit of some of the things we do. And either we can do it directly, or we can do it by bundling the payments and let the delivery system deal with it. So it’s a combination of the delivery system dealing with it, or, and/or providing more information for people to make the right decisions, both for themselves and for the care.–Professor Stuart Altman of Brandeis University Via HotAir.com
Gee, does that remind you of anything?
So the elderly cost to much. No new drugs cause the ones we have are “cheaper”. I remember
the Medicaid forms had a 2″ x 2″ square where client’s goals (the treatment plan) and problems (things that would mess up that plan) were supposed to be written down. Mind you, these would take up to 4-5 pages in the doctor’s notes, but the HMO wanted us to jot it down in a square about the size of a single sheet of toilet paper.
As to the idea that government has more resources for research, yes but (and this is a big but) the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are not slacking off either. When I used to work in mental health, the drug companies and hospitals collected reams of data from my bosses. Hospitals that are run for profit want to maximise profit and drive down costs. Those that cut corners risk being sued into the ground. Lawyers love repoing doc’s BWM’s.
Costly mistakes and duplication do not magically disappear when government enters the arena. Remember what I said about New Mexico and Medicaid? Amtrack is a classic example of the government subsidizing a dinosaur. Instead of rail traffic improving, the government alternative is dying (we all pay for amtrack even if we don’t ride it).
A big chuck of the costs are in the administration of the health care system.
Supporters of the for-profit, free market health care system contend that the high level of administrative costs cited by advocates of publicly funded care arise out of the substantial level of government regulation that exists in the United States health care sector. According to a study by the Cato Institute this regulation provides benefits in the amount of $170 billion but costs the public up to $340 billion.– Wikipedia
Even private insurance gets stuck:
But private insurers, who strongly oppose public options, say the concept of a “level playing field” is a myth.
“Government today underpays for Medicare and Medicaid services. The only way hospitals can stay in business is to charge private insurers 130 percent of costs to offset the underpayments for government programs,” says Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry’s lobby.
—A hot button in healthcare reform: US role as insurance provider CSmonitor.com
Medicare vs. Private Insurance (via HotAir.com)
[O]n a per-person basis Medicare’s administrative costs are actually higher than those of private insurance–this despite the fact that private insurance companies do incur several categories of costs that do not apply to Medicare.
Pointing this out is sufficiently dangerous to the Left that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman attacked Book’s study — or, more accurately, attacked the Heritage Foundation, as ad hominem is twice as good coming from someone who used to advise Enron. Unfortunately for Krugman, the NYT allows comments, thus allowing Book to embarrass Krugman on his own site.
Admin costs will only skyrocket as the government moves in. The democrats see that they are losing this one like they lost HillaryCare. They tried to sell us on how “unhappy” the American public is with our health care system. Wikipedia again:
According to a Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health in 2003, 86.9% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their health care services, compared to 83.2% of Canadians. In the same study, 93.6% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their physician services, compared to 91.5% of Canadians (according to the study authors, that difference was not statistically significant).
Yet the left wants taxes, red tape and rationing. They even want to tax health bennies (someting Pres. Obama drummed Sen. McCain on back in 2008). Option? Riech gets it wrong, many on the left want you to sign up for gov’ment health care or be penalized if you do not. (H/T ace)
There could be a tax penalty for those with adequate financial resources who don’t elect to get insurance, according to the outline…
Worse still, even if you opt in, the government will make it impossible to opt out. Why? Money. To keep the system solvent, you can’t have the unwashed masses paying out of their own pocket. In the name of efficiency, the government will bully any hospital or private insurance (assuming any are left) to weighs the costs of treatment against the relative value of the person getting treated. The downside is that the terminallyill and elderly get the shaft.
…Basically, the government will tell some people that they’re just not worth the effort to treat, and will send them to hospice to die instead. And thanks to what will eventually be a nationalization of the health-care industry, just as in Canada and “England”, there won’t be any private options left, either
Which goes back to the youtube video of the “expert” professor above.
Why all the fuss? The common argument is the “better” health care avaible in Canada. Far from being a guide, Canada is not a model:
Ho believes, however, that there are also inefficiencies in the Canadian system. In her own work on hip fracture, she found that Canadian hospitals held patients for longer periods because there was no incentive to discharge them. “These patients are easier to take care of,” she explains, “and that helps [hospital administrators] justify their budget…. I think there is room for economic incentives [in the Canadian system].”
“Personally,” Ho adds, “my view is that the Canadian system is good for Canada and the American system is good for America. Neither side should switch, because the systems are a function of the population—the Canadian population believes much more in maintaining social safety nets.
—We’re Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.SciAm.com
So all aboard the failroad. We get taxes, more red tape and health care administrators with all the empathy of the Nazi’s T-4 program. Change we don’t need.