Originally Posted by lkw15
Missing the humor, sorry.
I'm just sick of hearing that being thrown around. You can't respectfully disagree, and if you do - you branded either a completely naive idiot or a bigot. I was having dinner with some friends the other night and one of them actually said "I don't know why anyone would choose to be a Republican."
I am very much against the proposed legislation, but I would love to see a TOTAL overhaul on how we deliver medical care in this country. From the payer to the provider to the recipient. Just trash the entire existing sets of rules and start over.
The legislation passed by the House will be an anchor around the neck of this country for decades to come. We will drown in a sea of our own debt. $1.2T is just the tip of the iceberg. That number will double by years 21-30 but the funds will not be there to maintain the benefits as they are currently being defined.
Until we address the real costs of providing medical care, mandatory insurance will produce runaway costs for medical care.
Articles on defensive medicine
The WSJ article make an interesting point beyond defensive medicine - patients sometimes DEMAND added tests or procedures. What it doesn't mention, but any doctor can tell you, is that insurance covers much of it. People suddenly stop demanding things when they have to pay cash, write a check, or throw down a credit card.
Spending on medical malpractice litigation seems to amount to around anywhere from $30 billion to over $50 billion per year. That's not including the cost of malpractice policies, which are figured into the reimbursement formula.
So add up costs of medical malpractice, costs for defensive medical care, costs for demanded procedures and tests, and then look to see how this is addressed in the House bill. Let me help you there - it's not. It maintains the status quo, except you may have a government appointed bureaucrat deciding which treatment you might get.
Consider this - teaching hospitals for DECADES have had medical residents work on Standards of Care. These standards exist in every hospital, are presented at numerous conferences, debated and rewarded everyday in the medical community, and are largely ignored by tort law and lawmakers in general. Make these standards the Legal Standard of Care, and start evaluating future law suits against these standards. Let a panel of docs in the field evaluate cases against the standard, provide them with the patient file, and let them see if there is any merit to the law suit. Its' black and white, quite simple, and would reduce costs across the board. But Democrats, backed by the very powerful American Bar Association, won't hear of such a concept.
Next, old folks have more medical costs, but the system proposed by the House Democrats removes an insurance company's ability to price risk into the system. Older sicker patients cost more to treat - why shouldn't they pay more? Also consider that huge sums of money are spent in the last two years of a patients life - some estimates say $50B - and produce no discernible improvement in outcomes. http://www.newamerica.net/blog/new-h...ding-life-3181
. We need to be realistic in our treatments of ALL age groups, and realize that we can be compassionate and fiscally responsible at the same time.
Lastly, when evaluating the dollars we spend on health care as a country, and comparing those results to other countries, it's faulty logic to compare results one for one. Obama made a speech back in June criticizing the performance of the medical industry against the money spent on medical care (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5090277.shtml
). What he and so many politicians fail to mention is that we are one of the most obese, personally irresponsible developed nations on the planet. We like our fast food, we like our processed food, we like to smoke, drink and not exercise. Of course we have higher costs!!