Monday, January 30, 2006

a little health fisky

So I saw in my G-mail news filter this little Chestnut from Newsweek and I had to go roll it out.

Here's the paradox: A health care system that satisfies most of us as individuals may hurt us as a society. Let me offer myself as an example. All my doctors are in small practices. I like it that way. It seems to make for closer personal connections. But I'm always stunned by how many people they employ for nonmedical chores—appointments, recordkeeping, insurance collections. A bigger practice, though more impersonal, might be more efficient. Because insurance covers most of my medical bills, though, I don't have any stake in switching.

Here is the wonderful thing about this chestnut. He assumes these jobs are required by business need. Indeed nothing is often further from the truth. Medical records and Collections are dictated by policies set out by Medicare and Medicaid which were later adapted by insurance companies as a way to keep paying money. Yes Virginia many insurance companies wait years before they pay the money that is properly billed.

This here is really the heart of this article poor assumptions to meet a predictable( this is Newsweek) “solution”

The people who proclaim it rarely tell you the discomforting choices it might involve. Instead, they focus on a few specific shortcomings of our $1.9 trillion health-industrial complex and imply that, if we correct these often serious flaws, we'll have "fixed" the system or at least made a good start.

This gem is a wonderful start. It is so wonderful because it sets up what he wants you to believe already in advance.

You have unrealistic consumption, and thus are wrong.

Americans generally want their health care system to do three things: (1) provide needed care to all people, regardless of income; (2) maintain our freedom to pick doctors and their freedom to recommend the best care for us; and (3) control costs. The trouble is that these laudable goals aren't compatible.


If we work with the current health care business model I fully agree that is correct. But if we are willing to be truly radical we can do all three. But there is too much at stake for that radical a change to the system to work. But his assumption is best by blaming the patient all the smarmy leftist ways to approach things.

Americans want more health care for less money, and when they don't get it, they indict drug companies, insurers, trial lawyers and bureaucrats. Although these familiar scapegoats may not be blameless, the real problem is us. We demand the impossible. The changes we truly need are political. We need to reconnect people with the public consequences of their private acts. We should curb the subsidization of private insurance. Medicare recipients, especially wealthier ones, should pay more of their bills.

Subsidization of private insurance is infinitely cheaper then a public funded mandate. I do agree with his second point there and that we blame others for the problems in the system rather then accepting we aren’t realistic about the system

But the fault isn’t us. The fault is we’ve build a shiaty system. And we need to correct that.

But let me go back to that first quote I used for the first sentence

Here's the paradox: A health care system that satisfies most of us as individuals may hurt us as a society.

This is a true statement, but it is not true that all systems which satisfy most individuals hurt a society

But this is Newsweek so of course they are going to take the cardigan sweater approach to things

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