Before Voting on a 1,000-Page Bill, Shouldn’t We Understand the Problem We’re Trying to Fix?

In his defense of a Canadian-style single payer system for health insurance appearing in today’s Projo, Dr. Michael M. Rachlis either makes a case that President Barack Obama is badly misguided in his belief that government has to get more heavily involved with medical decision-making as a part of healthcare reform, or else he calls his own basic assumptions into question…

On costs, Canada spends 10 percent of its economy on health care; the U.S. spends 16 percent. The extra 6 percent of GDP amounts to more than $800 billion per year. The spending gap between the two nations is almost entirely because of higher overhead. Canadians don’t need thousands of actuaries to set premiums or thousands of lawyers to deny care. Even the U.S. Medicare program has 80 percent to 90 percent lower administrative costs than private Medicare Advantage policies. And providers and suppliers can’t charge as much when they have to deal with a single payer….
Because most of the difference in spending is for nonpatient care, Canadians actually get more of most services. We see the doctor more often and take more drugs.…
If the problem of runaway costs is driven mostly by administration and overhead — as Dr. Rachlis plainly asserts — then by what rationale have government-commissioned effectiveness panels that will “bend the cost curve” by determining treatments to be denied (i.e., we’ve decided we’ll pay for the red pill, but not for the blue pill) become so central to the President’s discussion of healthcare reform?

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Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“(i.e., we’ve decided we’ll pay for the red pill, but not for the blue pill”
Wait, this insurance won’t cover the little blue pill? There goes my Viagra stock!

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“On costs, Canada spends 10 percent of its economy on health care; the U.S. spends 16 percent.”
Does that include:
1.) all of the advances in medicine that have come out of the US system?
2.) all of the seven and eight figure malpractice awards that have arisen of a reluctance to implement tort reform?
[Patrick, if you don’t start taking this more seriously, I’m going to report you to the White House Snitch Line.]

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

I seriously question the authenticity and accuracy of Dr. Rachlis’s factual claims.

Herm
Herm
11 years ago

My Canadian friends and relatives are
happy with their health-care system.
My parents were both Canadians

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Carroll,
What kind of cheap trick are you trying to pull here? The quote from Dr. Rachlis says one thing and you present a bogus straw man- red pill vs. blue pill- argument completely unrelated, except by paranoid fantasy as an argument. You threw in the red pill vs blue pill argument and then cited it as a reason to kill or delay the health care program.
I try not to let paranoia drive my decisions and I certainly do not wish to see my government ruled by paranoids.
OldTimeLefty

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Monique,
The point is that whatever the U.S. government spends on medical care it misses 48,000,000 people. this is of no apparent concern to you and yours.
OldTimeLefty

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

Herm:
Thanks for pitching in. But the President does not favor either a Canadian or a British health care system.
The current talking point is to vilify insurance companies. Feel free to circulate among like-mindeds.
Rahm E

Herm
Herm
11 years ago

“Feel free to circulate among like-mindeds”
Thanx Monique
(sorry i forgot that AR is for
right-wing “like-mindeds” only)
Herm

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Sr. Morse,
You are driven by paranoia. You have nothing to sell but paranoia itself.
OTL

Proxy Guy
Proxy Guy
11 years ago

Monique
If you Removed the chubby guys ad at
the top of the page,and posted this in
EXTRA LARGE PRINT
\”Feel free to circulate among like-mindeds\” Monique
only right-wingnuts would comment here!

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

By all means, Proxy Guy, feel free to circulate Anchor Rising among “un”like-mindeds.
That’s kind of the point, actually …

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