Something Not to Forget on Rising Healthcare Costs

There are more problems with our healthcare system than this allows, but Thomas Sowell’s point is well worth remembering:

Just as medical care, houses, and cars were all cheaper when they lacked things that they have today, so medical care in other countries is cheaper when it lacks many things that are more readily available in the United States.
There are more than four times as many Magnetic Resonance Imaging units (MRIs) per capita in the United States as in Britain or Canada, where there are government-run medical systems. There are more than twice as many CT scanners per capita in the United States as in Canada and more than four times as many per capita as in Britain.
Is it surprising that such things cost money?
The cost of developing a new pharmaceutical is now about a billion dollars. Neither political rhetoric nor government bureaucracies will make those costs go away.
We can, of course, refuse to pay these and other medical costs, just as we can refuse to buy air-conditioned homes with built-in microwave ovens. But that just means we pay attention only to prices and not to the value of what we get for those prices.

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chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

There was also a case of a Canadian Mom pregnant with quads and in need of a neonate ICU. Here’s an article on it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6951330.stm
Our system is broken, but its broken in different ways than other systems.
If I were healthcare tsar, the following would be my edicts
1) no more pain and suffering/loss of consortium/ punitive damages awards. You’re born, you suffer, you die. Like its always been. Deal with it. Actual damages and life care as necessary. No more pretty boy Edwards types. We can’t afford that. The tort system is even more busted than healthcare system.
2) counterbalance – put some teeth in medical review boards – get rid of the malpractioners like the VA colonoscopy guys
3) push the decision making back to the docs. They won’t always get it right, but overall they’ll do a better job, cheaper, than if you have a three sets of clerks looking over their shoulders from the insurer, the state and the feds. And those clerks communicate with the docs clerks and the med facilities clerks. Tell me again how many clerks it takes to heal a patient? I think the number is zero. Add in the savings from not doing tort-avoidance testing.

Tom W
Tom W
11 years ago

>No more pretty boy Edwards types.
The trial lawyers won’t be touched under socialized Obamacare – they recycle tons of their ill-gotten gains to the Democrats, money well-spent for the Democrats won’t allow any form of tort reform.
BTW, one point no one to my knowledge has yet raised – under Obama “single payer” (socialized medicine), we taxpayers will be funding the trial lawyers lavish lifestyles? And since so much of that is recycled into Democrat political donations, won’t they encourage even more of this “taxpayer subsidy” to the trial lawyers?
Much as is currently the case with mandatory union dues taken out of workers’ paychecks?
BTW, ambulance chaser changed their organization’s name from the American Trial Lawyers Association to “The American Association for Justice.”
Don’t you just love how when a phrase becomes discredited in the eyes of the public (liberal, “trial lawyer”) the lefties change the name (progressive, “Association for Justice”).
Beware whenever you see the term “justice” – the lefties use it as a code word for their agenda.

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