One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

1/23/12

Dear Cone Health: "The Money Traps in U.S. Health Care"

Did the largest generation of parents in American history
promise themselves healthcare benefits
their children won’t have enough money to pay for?

"Why does an appendectomy in Germany cost roughly a quarter what it costs in the United States?

Or an M.R.I. scan cost less than a third as much, on average, in Canada?

...In 2009, we spent $7,960 per person, twice as much as France,
which is known for providing very good health services.

And for all that spending, we get very mixed results — some superb,
some average, some inferior — compared with other advanced nations.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients
…and never do harm to anyone

In every house where I come
I will enter only for the good of my patients
keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing

Hippocratic Oath

...Health reform is supposed to control costs,
but there is no simple avenue of attack.

Why wouldn’t the healthcare industry’s position
as a top political campaign contributor
correlate to subsidized healthcare
being one of the government’s largest expenditures
and if not, why does the healthcare industry
contribute so much to those who wouldn’t reduce profits?

Our aging population has played a role in driving up medical costs,
but Germany, Italy and Japan have much bigger percentages of elderly people
while spending much less per capita on health care.

How much should taxpayers pay for medical costs
to extend the life of a terminal patient for 3 months?

The spread of health insurance,
which shields patients from price sensitivity,
has played a role in driving up our spending.

...A recent report...concluded that spending is high here
partly because the prices charged by American doctors and hospitals
are higher than they are anywhere else.

...Americans paying a lot more than people in other countries
for the same services.

Would healthcare cost less
if medical insurance wasn’t subsidized by tax breaks
and regulated pricing mechanisms?

...We set prices in Medicare and Medicaid programs."

NYT

Why did 2007 US healthcare spending rise to $2.7 trillion
from $2.1 trillion in 2006?

Why did employer sponsored healthcare insurance premiums
rise 10 times faster than family income between 2001 and 2005?


If the Veterans’ administration can haggle for lower drug prices
why can't the government negotiate for Medicare part D?

Why have employee out of pocket healthcare expenses
more than doubled in the last decade?


Why is health care called Market Based
when federal tax dollars flow through insurance companies to healthcare providers
and Socialized when the government directly pays medical practices?

Does America’s healthcare industry maintain high profit margins
by providing superior care and/or medicine
or by financing the political process with profits provided by patients?


If federal budget figures indicated Medicare Part D
would cost more than $1.2 trillion between 2006 and 2015
why did supporters repetitively proclaim the program
would not cost more than $400 billion over ten years?

Did ~86% of fiscal 2004’s $11.1 trillion
federal unfunded future obligation growth
reflect the long term costs of 2003’s prescription Medicare legislation?

1 comment:

W.E. Heasley said...

George:

The essay below is very enlightening.

Milton Friedman, How to Cure Health Care, 07/30/2001, link appears below.


http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7298