Monday, November 30, 2009

Great moments in the history of statism Pt. VI

The United States has the best health care in the world — but because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees, and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.

Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes — such as the 118 new boards, commissions, and programs — is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony.

That from Charles Krauthammer.

So, what about some of those inefficiencies? Here’s an email we got from Pops last week.

Our neighbor lady has a severe bladder problem which requires 6 weeks of daily IVs which can easily be administered by a visiting nurse at a cost of about $100 per day.

Oops, MediCare does not cover visiting nurses. But no problem - the lady can go to the hospital daily, hop into a bed for an hour, be serviced lunch and have her IV treatment. Cost: $1300 per day. $1300 x 7 x 6 =$54,600. Don’t you love it?

$54,600 vs. $4,200 to be exact.

Obamacare is essentially an gargantuan expansion of Medicare so how is then, that costs will be controlled with greater involvement of the government into your healthcare?

Unless the government starts intervening into personal healthcare decisions which they are poised to do, costs in Obamacare cannot be controlled. As the example above amply illustrates, it’s really as simple as that.


Anonymous said...

"best health care in the world"

Best by what measure? Best life expectancy? Healthiest citizens?

Dean said...

Anon, I do not intend on doing a data/document dump for your benefit but the link below is a good starter for understanding how we kick everyone else's rear in cancer detection and treatment.

Anonymous said...

Ha, a dead guy is your proof that the health care here is the best?

This seems like the Michael Moore style of argument, cherry pick a few areas, find a good human story and make sweeping generalizations from there. It would seem like if we had the best health care, we might actually be healthier and live longer. The overall stats you do have are on cancer survival, which tends to be a disease of the aged, which means that mostly Medicare is doing a good job there.

Dean said...

Anon, Kennedy wasn't dead at the time. Don't allow yourself to be distracted. The point Krauthammer makes and we make is that we are in favor of health care reform, just not the Senate or House versions which do zero to address the accessibility of healthcare and the increasing costs of healthcare.

There is no tort reform which the CBO says would save $50 bil a year. There is no flexibility that would allow me to customize my health care plan which would result in lower premiums.

Read some of my more recent posts about how the Senate bill does precisely the opposite of lowering the deficit and containing costs.

The House and Senate bills are horrible pieces of legislation and which are nothing more than statist power grabs.

Anonymous said...

"the accessibility of healthcare"

I'm not sure what you mean by this quote. The majority of uninsured are going to gain access; maybe you are using it in some other sense.

I think Krauthammer makes two good points; there ought to be tort reform and health care benis ought to be taxed. On cost reform, unless there is a change in the way we compensate, we are essentially stuck with a system where more procedures means more money. His notion that cross state insurance companies are going to drive down prices doesn't hold much water. Blue Shied/cross are all over the place through various gimmicks.

Part of the reason neither tort reform nor taxing benefits can happen now is the Republicans hunkering down and saying no to everything. Once they opt out, there is basically no way to get the votes without appealing to the AMA/unions/trial lawyers.