Saturday, June 20, 2009

Health Care Sellout at White House Gulch

I thought I'd do the neighborly thing and publicize a great blog post from the Earth-Bound Misfit. He is more than worth your time to read today as he spells out the sellout on health care at White House gulch (by our progressives, no less). (Emphasis marks were added - Ed.)

one thing struck me about the Senate's proposal, so far: All it does is mandate that everybody buy health insurance and for those who can't afford it, some paltry assistance with paying for it will be made available.

That's basically it. The bill looks out for the health insurance companies before anyone else. Yet the hard reality of the situation is that this country spends more, per capita, on health care than virtually any other nation and what we get for it is a system that is corrupt at its very core.

It is grossly inefficient. First, there are a number of health insurance companies, all with their own forms, their own authorization protocols and their own billing procedures. Any medical establishment, from a solo-practitioner to a major hospital, has to be able to deal with all of them.

Second, the system is geared towards encouraging that everyone buy the most super-duper machinery without any consideration as to demand so they can advertise "Bushwa County Hospital has a new, state-of-the-art, dilithium-quark imaging system". Of course, running someone through that shiny new DQIS costs three times as much as a PET Scan, four times as much as a MRI, six times as much as a CAT scan and twenty times as much as taking an X-ray.

Third, everybody tries to do everything. A sensible system would have all hospitals set up to stabilize whoever came in the door and then a regional system for specialty cases. If you needed a hip replacement, you'd go to one place, brain surgery, another and so on. By concentrating cases, the doctors who work on those would have enough to do to be thoroughly proficient; a mechanic who rebuilds transmissions every day is likely to be far better at it than one who does it every six months and the same is true for doctors. The current system rewards inefficiency.

But the biggest obstacle to fixing the health insurance mess is the health insurance industry, as any serious reform would threaten their rice bowls. Our current systems costs too much for what it delivers. The current system saddles employers with huge costs that increasingly make them non-competitive. But since the health insurance companies are able to get the best Senators that money can buy, don't look for anything to change anytime soon.

It looks like the Massachusetts system is set to go nationwide (with even bigger profits for the insurance industry!). Visit his site and read his prose here. It's hard but ya gotta love those lobbyist protectors (mafia?). I guess in a major downturn someone has to look out for the big guys too.

Joe Conason tells us how (and the Leninist scare caused by use of a fake quote by the AMA when President Truman proposed a national health plan in 1948). Susan ______________

No comments: