Healthcare

What’s really misleading – just ask

Rep Jayapal writing in the Washington Post states in part:

Fifth, we simply cannot expect to bring down the costs of health care in the United States without taking on the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, which are raking in billions of dollars at the cost of American lives. Incremental steps such as a public option might sound appealing but would still leave more than 10 million people without coverage while keeping in place a costly private-insurance middleman that eats up 25 to 30 percent in administrative waste and profits. If we want to achieve true universal health care while containing costs, Medicare-for-all is the only answer.

You have heard it all before, it’s a common theme; blame insurance. The problem is, it’s not true. The existence of insurance is not the driver of costs, most Americans are not even covered by health insurance.

It is true there is a great deal of lack of coordination, there is duplication and inefficiency, but don’t blame it on insurance, blame it on our delivery system.

Medicare for all simply means trading the insurance middleman for the federal bureaucracy middleman. Let’s be generous and say the average person’s premium cost or taxes drops by 10% initially under M4A. All the savings have been captured, that’s it.

Now, how will government manage costs going forward? What will it do to guarantee the cost of care does not rise more than general inflation without affecting the access to or quality of care?

Just ask‼️

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4 replies »

  1. The R word in economics is recession. In health care it is rationing.

    A personal example I have in mind: One of our daughters has a disease which left unmanaged would be debilitating making her painfully ill and unemployable. As it turns out, she has excellent high end health coverage from a large and very prosperous company. One of the medications she is prescribed costs $4,000 a month for those without insurance. The drug is new, and it works when other drugs have failed.

    I believe that if Medicare for all were the only option, the Government will not include such expensive drugs in their formulary. As with other Government run health systems such as the Veterans Administration, before any decision is made the cautionary motto is, not just wait and see, it is wait, wait, wait and see. Concrete examples: Agent Orange in Viet Nam, burn pits in Iraq.

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    • You are correct. There is no way to manage M4A or any such system without managing care in several ways Every system does it and nobody asks questions.

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  2. Let’s say we get rid of the “for profit” insurance companies. What are they going to do about all the non-profit hospitals and the non-profit university research hospitals that keep spending money on new buildings and new equipment? Are the doctors going to pay off their student loans by doing charity work instead of working for a profit which everybody else in the world calls wages? What is the incentive for the government to work efficiently? Is it going to be through budget cuts which will result in cutting access and services? At some point once all the profit is removed and all the incentives are removed, costs will still naturally rise. It is the blank check of medicare and other government policies and mandates that causes medical cost to rise faster than inflation.

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