Monday, August 03, 2009

John Stossel's 20/20 Special on Health Care


35 Comments:

At 8/03/2009 8:56 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Say it aint so!

Does Stossel mean that Michael Moore is lying to us?!?!

 
At 8/03/2009 9:32 AM, Blogger KARMINA said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://ovarianpain.net

 
At 8/03/2009 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stossel has made the best case against "Obamunist Healthcare" I have seen! To see that pets are treated better than humans in Canada should put the nail in the coffin of government run healthcare. I thought central government planning died when the USSR imploded.

 
At 8/03/2009 12:14 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Obviously the government should confiscate the CT machines from the veterinary offices.

 
At 8/03/2009 12:31 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Obviously the government should confiscate the CT machines from the veterinary offices"...

Well if these CLOWNS get their way that'll be the next step...

 
At 8/03/2009 7:43 PM, Blogger QT said...

"Obviously the government should confiscate the CT machines from the veterinary offices."

Angela,

The CT scanners in question are designed for small animals not human beings. Additionally, these machines have been bought and paid for by private veterinary clinics.

By what principle does a government have the right to cease private property in a democracy? This is not Venezuela.

Karmina,

Nice to see a new face.

It gets a bit scrappy here at times. Another great blog is Greg Mankiw's (see Mark Perry's favorite blogs). He posts many different viewpoints on economic topics.

 
At 8/03/2009 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was the most propagandist piece of misinformation I've seen yet that wasn't a direct ad from the healthcare industry. Did they show any opposing view? No. Do they disclose how much the network takes from healthcare advertisers (or I would bet as a direct payoff to run this segment)? No. Is this journalism? No.

My god, if you can't see the holes in that thing, then you DO deserve the healthcare you get, and what it'll ultimately cost you.

 
At 8/03/2009 8:06 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Well, I'm glad the good "Sheik" got his treatment, but there are Tens of Millions of Americans that Can't Get That Treatment.

They are too poor to buy Insurance, or Too Sick to Get It.

What about Them?

 
At 8/03/2009 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want something approaching some level of objectivity go here

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2011230/2020_the_end_of_innovation_with_canadian.html?cat=5

 
At 8/03/2009 9:14 PM, Blogger QT said...

Anon.,

Rather than countering one piece of journalim with another, you could visit The Fraser Institute which tracks health care wait times and compares Canadian health care to the OECD countries.

 
At 8/03/2009 9:16 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"They are too poor to buy Insurance, or Too Sick to Get It.
What about Them?
"...

Well rufus old son, here's YOUR chance step up, reach deep into YOUR pocket and cover these people YOU purport to care about...

Not to worry though, its NOT fifty million or whatever number the MSM is spinning this week...

 
At 8/03/2009 9:29 PM, Blogger moneybagzz said...

No matter how one views the matter, and, more importantly, no matter who picks up the tab, healthcare is an EXPENSE.
In this nation, part of the cost is borne by the government, part of the cost is borne by the patients' insurance and the rest by the patients themselves.
The 3rd party payment structure is one of the drivers of general health care costs; that in turn drives health insurance premiums. That then feeds the 3rd-party-payment structure.

It is possible to characterize the arrangement not as insurance, but as cost-insulation. There is a notion that health care, since it is so vital 'ought to be free of both cost considerations and profit' but reality sets in because few people will work for free. And health care work is neither easy nor inexpensive. ... Read More

Furthermore, mandatory generosity (which means the income-transfer structure of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) is not generosity.

 
At 8/03/2009 9:38 PM, Blogger rufus said...

No, but I can pay more in taxes in order for a couple hundred million of the more "well off" to have "Tax Deductible" Health Insurance.

But, you're not "protesting" That, are you?

 
At 8/03/2009 9:55 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

Be careful not to fall for the debate in Washington about "not getting treatment" versus "healthcare is too expensive." Any uninsured person TODAY can walk into any hospital emergency room and receive medical treatment. That is why most ERs are tied up treating colds and coughs.. conditions that can and should be treated elsewhere. Our friends in Washington want us to believe we cannot receive medical treatment so they can pass their socialized medicine plan. And we have all seen the news segments where a young uninsured mom is concerned about getting her young child treated. What they don't tell you is that the local County Health Department will already give her child their immunization and some other treatments FOR FREE! With the advent of COBRA even persons who lose their job are allowed to continue their healthcare coverage. This is where the debate gets tricky and Washington wants you to believe this is too EXPENSIVE and we need to spend $1.6 TRILLION over the next 10 years! My proposal for those who insist we need socialized medicine: Give every man, woman, and child in this country $1 million dollars deposited in a Health Savings Account to be used for healthcare treamtents. At 300 million population we would spend ONLY $300 million and give everyone a way to pay for their own healthcare. If my math is correct, we will save about $1.599 TRILLION (!!!)over the Obama healthcare plan. This current healthcare debate is not really about healthcare at all. It is about who will control all the marbles.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:17 PM, Blogger rufus said...

At 300 million population we would spend ONLY $300 million and give everyone a way to pay for their own healthcare.

Huh? 300 Million people X $1,000,000.00 = $300 Trillion.

You don't understand "Emergency" Rooms, either. You Cannot go there for "Treatment."

If you have a chronic, debilitating illness, and are in pain you can "Go to the Emergency Room." They will do the appropriate tests, give you a prescription for a couple of days of mild painkillers, and tell you to contact your doctor.

If, and only If, it is a potentially life-threatening situation will you be admitted, and, to some extent, treated.

They call it an "Emergency" Room for a reason.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:32 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

To Rufus:
Before you take personal "jabs" at me about not knowing about what goes on in the ER, please realize I work in healthcare and see this everyday. The average person will spend nowhere near $1 million in healthcare expenses, even over their lifetime. If we factor in present values over a persons lifetime, the actual cost is not $300 TRILLION. Remember these expenses will not be paid immediately all at once. The Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) is already in place today and is a viable alternative. What is missing is a way to fund it-- certainly much less than the Obama healthcare plan.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:45 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Doc, you are the one that said, "put a $Million in everyone's HSA." Then you used the number 300 Million Americans.

According to "My" math, that comes out to $300 Trillion, deposited. An amount a little over 20 Times the Size of the U.S. economy.

And, if you work in healthcare you know that you can't get "treated" for ongoing illness at the "Emergency" Room.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:51 PM, Blogger rufus said...

I assume you meant, "Credited to," Not "deposited."

And, if so, I could definitely get on board. But, the Unions won't, so it's a moot point. Most other people with Tax-Deductible, Employer-paid, Cadillac plans won't be too crazy about the switch, either, I suppose.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:57 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

Rufus, the persons you are referring to with the "chronic, debilitating illnesses" are a small percentage of ER visits. When patients receive, in your words "appropriate tests," an antibiotic and/or "mild" painkiller (Percocet/Vicodin is prescribed regularly- certainly not a mild painkiller) you are in fact getting TREATMENT. What you seem to be looking for is a CURE to something that is, in your own words, chronic and debilitating. The answer you are looking for certainly is not found in socialized medicine. The patients to which you refer will most likely die first under a socialized system.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:00 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Look, however you slice it, it's going to cost some money. But, it doesn't have to cost as much as some people have been throwing around.

We need a "pool" for the uninsured, and participation has to be mandated.

The government will have to subsidize it to some extent, but with mandatory participation the young invincibles (who will, eventually have an accident, or get sick, in all probability, anyway) will help to finance those with pre-existing conditions.

Also, you will have the "subsidized" healthy poor whittling away at the "Adverse Selection."

It's Not Rocket Science, but it doesn't feed the Dem's agenda, so we'll probably end up with something a lot messier, and more expensive. Ah, well.

That's the price of Not doing something when WE had the power. Elections have Consequences.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:05 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

Yes, your math is more correct than mine.. (its late here-- It happens in Washington all the time!) My point is that many are not understanding the true debate is really about the future power-brokering of our healthcare system. The government wants IN-- even though they already control a significant portion through Medicare/Medicaid and the various "free programs" out there. Thanks for correcting me.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:08 PM, Blogger rufus said...

The patients to which you refer will most likely die first under a socialized system.

Well, they Certainly Die First under our "Present System."

But, in many times, only after we've run tens, if not hundreds of MRI's, X-Rays, Blood analysis, and expended thousands of work by our ER personnel.

Many of these people COULD be "Cured," or at least put into remission to the point that they could work, and pay taxes, if they could afford a reasonable amount of Diagnosis (by a specialist,) and the Proper Drugs.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:17 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

...there are Tens of Millions of Americans that Can't Get That Treatment.

They are too poor to buy Insurance, or Too Sick to Get It.

What about Them?


As of 1986, nobody in America can be denied treatment EVEN IF they are unable to pay. It's simply illegal.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:26 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

Actually many doctors and specialty practices don't mind taking cash payers who have no insurance.. they would rather take cash than go through the agony of submitting claims to an insurer. Need your knee replaced? (Chronic, debilitating problem now paid for under Medicare). Forget getting it done soon under a socialized system. Especially if you have heart trouble or another chronic debilitating problem. That MRI you need will take months under a socialized system versus a couple of weeks now. I guess that is what people meant when they voted for a CHANGE(??).

 
At 8/03/2009 11:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Any uninsured person TODAY can walk into any hospital emergency room and receive medical treatment. That is why most ERs are tied up treating colds and coughs.. conditions that can and should be treated elsewhere.

Ha! Not even the uninsured. There's such a shortage of primary care physicians (thanks to medicaid and medicare, in part), that people WITH insurance clog emergency rooms when they can't get an appointment with their physician. On any given day, there are more people with insurance in the emergency room than without.

But, don't worry all, ObamaCare is going to further decrease Physicians incomes and Nancy Pelosi is pretty sure that'll create more supply. A basic economics test should be mandatory for any congressman. Why should I have to have a billion certifications while the buffoons in congress aren't required to so much as be able to write their own names?

BTW, another emergency room stupidity: Years ago I sprained my ankle. I knew how to take care of it, but I needed crutches. I called around to find out where I could get some and discovered I had no choice but to go to the emergency room to get them. The medical supply store in NYC wouldn't sell them to me over the counter. There was no other way. So, I needlessly sucked some emergency room doctor's time to get a couple of sticks to lean on.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:40 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Methinks, They can't be denied "EMERGENCY" Treatment. Note the word - "Emergency."

We have Millions of Americans with Chronic Conditions that CANNOT get "treated" at the Emergency Room.

They can go to the ER if they're "in pain." A couple of tests will be run, a diagnosis will be made, a couple of days' painkillers will be prescribed, and they will be told to go see their "Primary" Care Physician.

In many cases, the whole ordeal will be repeated the next week. Perhaps twenty, or thirty times/yr.

It's Incredibly Expensive, and YOU are paying for it. Trust me; it would be cheaper to take them to the Doctor, and pay to get them "fixed."

 
At 8/03/2009 11:41 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Rufus,

Adverse selection is a problem that all other insurance companies deal with - life, fire, car, etc. I don't know why everyone has their knickers in a twist over adverse selection in health insurance.

Spiraling costs are largely a result of a lack of free markets in health care. Neither doctors nor mri centers nor insurance companies compete with each other for health care dollars. The only way to drive down costs is to open the health insurance market to national competition, allow and encourage HSAs for everyone and make providers of health care services compete for consumers' health care dollars.

The poor will always require some sort of subsidy, but basic (and I do mean BASIC) health care can be guaranteed at a lower cost. Singapore spends 4% of GDP, has no wait lists and government subsidized health care. The government forces everyone to contribute to their HSA's. It also will provide a subsidy for procedures. The subsidy will be large enough for very basic, no frills care. It'll pay for your cancer surgery, but not for fancy accommodations in hotel-like hosptals. If you want frills, you have to pay the additional cost fancier rooms and better grub out of pocket (usually your HSA). A private and largely unregulated market exists in insurance and in health care provision which competes for health care dollars and lowers cost while increasing choices.

Of course, nobody on capitol hill is looking at that system because it'll ACTUALLY cut costs.

 
At 8/03/2009 11:42 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Methinks, They can't be denied "EMERGENCY" Treatment. Note the word - "Emergency."

Sorry to disagree, Rufus, but if you have cancer, you cannot be denied treatment for your cancer. The law doesn't just cover emergencies.

 
At 8/04/2009 1:53 AM, Blogger rufus said...

I agree with you on "adverse selection," methinks; but, I believe the consequences of ignoring it can be more catastrophic to the bottom line in the Health bidness, than any of the others.

eg If you insure a bad "driver" you have a better than likely chance of paying a claim. You insure someone with Cancer, and it's an, almost, dead certainty that you're going to pay a very expensive claim.

Again, I think it's the Level of treatment that's required for a cancer patient that's at issue. The continuum can run from "a bed, and morphine" to very expensive drugs like Avastin.

No wonder this topic drives people "Crazy." It's Hard.

 
At 8/04/2009 6:56 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"No, but I can pay more in taxes in order for a couple hundred million of the more "well off" to have "Tax Deductible" Health Insurance"...

Hey rufus, what country do these alledged 'couple hundred million' live in?

BTW who said anything about any deductions?

Give these guys a call rufus and tell them YOU want to pay more so someone else can have healthcare or whatever...

 
At 8/04/2009 8:14 AM, Anonymous Rand said...

The essential problem is this:

Everyone wants health care but they also want someone else to pay for it.

 
At 8/04/2009 9:44 AM, Blogger Size said...

Rufus,

You insure someone with Cancer, and it's an, almost, dead certainty that you're going to pay a very expensive claim.

insuring someone with existing cancer is not analogous to insuring someone who is a bad driver. It's analogous to insuring an accident that has already happened.

Private insurance will insure a baby at birth. The person should be able to keep that insurance regardless of where he moves or works for the rest of his life. That way, there's no "pre-existing condition" problem as the premiums will be collected for possible illnesses from the beginning.

The level of treatment will be capped out by private and public insurance policies because they both have limited resources. The private insurer can't keep increasing premiums to pay for unlimited care of the few who get really sick and government insurance can't continue to raise tax rates to pay for unlimited care either. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that if government ran health care they're going to get all you can eat health care that someone else will pay for.

Unlimited wants and needs, meet scarcity and incentive effect.

 
At 8/04/2009 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to Rufus. He's "paying" so the "well off" can have "tax free" health insurance. It's amazing how many lies a person can squeeze into one sentence.

You are not "paying" anything for anyone else Rufus. They are paying for their own insurance either directly with cash or indirectly through employer benefits that they EARN.

Most of these people are not "well off", they are struggling day by day to make ends meet and the number one threat to their ability to save and thrive is GOVERNMENT.

Getting to buy insurance tax free is not robbing you. You leftists view all money as belonging to government BY DEFAULT and we have to fight to protect ourselves from redistributive taxation or dance to the government's tune. You have no entitlement to the money we earn.

 
At 8/04/2009 2:38 PM, Anonymous Dean said...

Does anyone know if a transcript is available for John Stossel's 20/20 Special on Health Care? Thanks.

 
At 8/04/2009 10:03 PM, Blogger QT said...

Rufus,

"We have Millions of Americans with Chronic Conditions that CANNOT get "treated" at the Emergency Room." In a recent post, you gave endometriosis and krohn's disease as 2 examples.

Chronic diseases by their very nature do not have silver bullet cures. Primary care is not going to solve the problem any better than ER. The only difference will be ongoing patient monitoring ie. for patients suffering from diabetes or taking warfarin. Would very much be interested in any information that you have regarding the differences in patient outcome in this area.

Why is it that most people can afford to rebuilt their transmission but $600 for an MRI or $30.00 for a physical are unattainable? Rather than fighting insurance companies for claims for nichel & dime treatments, wouldn't it make more sense to have insurance for major catastrophic illnesses ie. stroke, cancer, major car accident?

"You have no entitlement to the money we earn."

Amen, brother.

 

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