Tag Archives: health care

The future of healthcare

The same folks who want $40 Million in taxes on something worth $0 will soon be the administrators of your healthcare.


We Should All Be Exempt

Fantastic OP/ED from John Cochrane in the WSJ on the red herring that is the birth control mandate.

When the government can force an employer to provide a particular type of drug coverage, the y can force them to not provide drug coverage.  Won’t be long before they can mandate which drug you take.

I don’t think anyone would consider that ‘choice’ or ’empowerment’, but apparently some do.

The problem here isn’t that the government is forcing coverage for a particular drug, it is that we let the government can do that in the first place.


This may shock you

But Democrats in Congress and in The Obama Administration lied to you about the costs and supposed deficit reduction of the glorious health care reform plan.

Even as leading Democrats offered assurances to the contrary, government experts repeatedly warned that a new long-term care insurance plan could go belly up, saddling taxpayers with another underfunded benefit program, according to emails disclosed by congressional investigators.

Part of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the program is in limbo as a congressional debt panel searches for budget savings and behind the scenes, administration officials scramble to find a viable financing formula.

A longstanding priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, or CLASS, was spliced into the health care law despite nagging budget worries. Administration emails and documents reveal that alarms were sounded earlier and more widely than previously thought. Congressional Republicans seeking repeal of the program provided the materials to The Associated Press.

Who would have thunk The Greatest President Of All Time would lie?

A Simple Question

When it comes to health care, do you want politicized rationing or private decision making?

Last year the president and Democratic Congress demonstrated that they believed “smart professionals,” or successful politicians, at least, should decide how much health care all the “morons called U.S. citizens” should receive.  And that is always how Medicare has operated.  Recipients get one set of benefits.  Government sets the payment rates.  If a retiree doesn’t like it, tough!

Instead, people should be able to choose the health insurance plan which best meets their and their family’s needs.  Obviously, purchasing medical care isn’t as simple as buying a car.  Most of us are going to want to rely on advice from “smart professionals.”  But ultimately, only individuals and families can decide the best coverage and the right trade-offs.  Instead of voting to nationalize medical decisions, Congress should have encouraged more personal decision-making in the purchase of health insurance.

Legislators also should apply this principle to Medicare.  Help those who need help, but let them choose the benefits best for them.

Last year, in the midst of fevered debate over ObamaCare, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams flew to Miami for heart surgery.  It seems Canada’s vaunted socialized system limited his treatment options.  Williams responded to criticism:  “This is my heart, it’s my choice and it’s my health.”

So it is for all of us.

Those who advocate government control of health care decision-making contend that “rationing” is inevitable.  If the government’s doesn’t do it, someone else will do it.

But there is a dramatic difference between individuals deciding how to spend limited resources while choosing among competing goods and services and government telling individuals how to spend their money or spending it for them.  Even in today’s highly regulated and restricted health care system some choices remain.  Ever greater government control ultimately means no exit for anyone—except the wealthy, who can afford to go anywhere for any treatment.

I’ll take the latter.  We’re gonna get the former.

(I actually disagree with some of the premise even in the article.  It is not the role of the federal government to help people afford health care.  At all.  But I’m crazy like that.  I’m willing to take small steps in that direction.)

(Oh, and as I’ve suggested since ObamaCare was even a suggestion – if you want the best health care, you better start saving now.  If you rely on the government to take care of you, expect to be disappointed.)


Where do people go for the best health care?

You already know the answer, of course.  But this story of a Canadian mother of two with a rare bone cancer highlights a number of fun little things, both mentioned and not by ABC news.

First, there’s the misdiagnosis by the Canadian Department of Awesome Medical Care (or whatever it’s called).

The first warning sign for Ollson was severe back pain that came on during her first pregnancy that made it impossible for her to work by the end of her pregnancy. The pain lessened after her daughter was born but started up again years later when she became pregnant with her son.

Doctors found nothing wrong with her and although she was desperate for relief, there was nothing more that could be done, or so she was told.

“I went back home feeling very alone and misunderstood,” she told the Winnipeg Free Press. “I didn’t think people believed me. I knew it was a whole lot worse than anyone thought.”

In February 2007, after months of suffering with no relief, Ollson had had enough. She had her husband, Daryl, take her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with pregnancy sciatica, a form of back pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Now, the ABC story doesn’t go in to detail about how many years she went without a diagnosis, but it looks like it took months to get the MRI.  Maybe had the cancer been diagnosed earlier, she wouldn’t have needed to come to the United States for treatment.

The article does go on to insinuate this cancer is very hard to diagnose, but then the Doc they interview lays this out there:

Rapp did not treat Ollson, but notes that of the patients he has seen with chondrosarcoma, none has had such a large area affected by the cancer.

Again, making me wonder if Canadian free health care is all that great.  So of course, she had experimental surgery in the hotbed of medical innovation… wait.  Did the Mayo Clinic move?

It’s really about getting other people to buy you stuff

Carpe Diem points out the cost of insurance for a young person in Michigan.

It points out what’s been clear to thinking people all along:  Passing health care reform was always about using force to make one group of people buy something for another group of people.

If you choose between health insurance and a cell phone (much less an iPhone), that’s your doing.  Not mine.  I should not have to subsidize your cell phone, or your vacation… which is what these folks really want.

But no one would ever pass a law making me pay for cell phones or vacations.  Health care, on the other hand, well not paying for that is just mean.

The first of many “unintended” consequences

From the “I told you so” files… big health insurers are no longer writing child only policies because of the new health care regulations.

Why?  Well, because they have no idea how much it will cost them to remain in that market, and they have contractual obligations to their existing customers.  Health insurers can’t meet those obligations if they don’t make a profit.

A little tidbit our Congress and President don’t understand.

I think, though, this is actually an intended consequence of the legislation.  It was intentionally written to destroy the private health insurance market so it appears the only solution is single payer government run healthcare.  And, since no one who voted on it read it, these things are now making sure less people who need to be able to buy insurance can.

This is just the beginning, unless it’s struck down as unconstitutional (which is is, but that doesn’t always matter) or it’s repealed (likely in the House, possible in the Senate, but no way He signs a repeal, and there won’t be enough support to override his veto.

The future of healthcare, I have seen it

On Friday morning, while walking my dog, I tripped.  I landed on my hands and on my chin.  I was relatively unscathed, but my left hand hurt a bit, was sensitive to touch, and became bruised and swollen.

I told myself that if I didn’t feel I could hit the gym with it today, I would go see a doctor to make sure I hadn’t broken it.  So I went to an ‘Urgent Care Center’, run by a company called Concentra.  I found them via my insurer’s website.

Normally, I would just have made an appointment with my normal doc, where he would tell me my hand is probably fine, but he’d send me to get an x-ray, just to be sure.  That would have taken a minimum of 4 hours.  (I’ve done it before).  The doctor appointment is an hour, then I have to drive to Essex and wait to get an x-ray.  Then, they send the pics to my doc, who could call me tomorrow with an answer.  I have no idea what this would cost (it would cost me a $10 copay), but I’m sure several hundred dollars.

Who knows what an emergency room would have cost, but I know it would have taken all day.

Instead, I gave ‘Urgent Care’ a try.  Now, my insurance plan this year has changed, and I have a high deductible plan, so know I’m paying for this little trip today, either now or later.  What’s neat about Concentra:  their prices are posted.  I knew walking in that a doctor visit with an x-ray would cost about $200.

I walked into their office a bit after 1:30.  I walked out at 3:30 with a shiny new ace bandage, a prescription for a painkiller, and a diagnosis of a sprain, and had paid $110.

Given the high value of my time, I’m thrilled with the experience, and would recommend Concentra any time you need speedy medical care that doesn’t require an emergency room.  I also think this should be the future of medical care; posted prices, fast service, and leave the complicated stuff to specialists.

Not a bit of that would require 2000 pages of legislation.

Update:  75 minutes after I left their office, they called my home and cell phones, just to make sure my experience met my expectations.

Sound argument

I have yet to see or hear an argument for any health care bill that couldn’t be refuted by an approach that used less government intervention. The only thing that’s come close is how to cover people who can not afford care, which everyone pretty much admits Congress isn’t doing.

Here’s another good argument against the Senate bill, though.

An example of just how screwed up this all is

ABC Headline:  Senate Health Care Debate Stalls as Republicans Invoke Delay Tactics

What were these “delay tactics”?

On Capitol Hill, Democrats faced further delays today as Republicans demanded that an amendment in the health care bill that would introduce a single-payer system be read on the Senate floor — all 766 pages.

Such delays by GOP lawmakers could force senators to stay in session through Christmas or force Democrats to wait until next year to vote on their health care overhaul bill.

The amendment offered by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would throw out Democrats’ health care plan and replace it with a single-payer system. It was doomed for failure from the start, but liberal Democrats wanted the opportunity to vote to show that it did not have the votes to pass.

Normally, senators allow their amendments to be entered into the record without actually making the clerk read them. But Republican Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma doctor who opposes Democrats’ health care overhaul efforts, objected when Democrats tried to enter an amendment into the record today, saying the amendment must be offered 72 hours in advance and with a full cost assessment. He then invoked his right to require that the amendment be read out loud.

Yes, reading the amendment is a delay tactic.  No bias here, please move along.

Even more awesome is the Democrats’ reaction.

Senators resumed debate in the afternoon after Sanders withdrew his amendment, saying the Republican delaying tactic was an “outrage.” The Vermont senator, whose vote Democrats will need to pass the health care bill, said today he has not yet signed on to the latest push by Democratic leaders.

Here’s what these folks think about reading and understanding the legislation.

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