Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wednesday Night Links

1. The NFL season hasn't even officially started, but the ads for the 2012 Superbowl are almost sold out already.  (HT: Mike LaFaive) 

2. Twenty high-profile economists have urged the British government to drop the top 50 percent income tax rate, which they say is doing "lasting damage" to the UK economy.

3. With the economy in the dumps for the last few years, it means less trash in the landfills in Florida. (HT: Steve Bartin)

4. NY Fed Report: Consumer Goods from China Are Getting More Expensive (and we can expect that trend to continue).

5. "Managers for the U.K.'g government-run National Health Service are making patients wait longer than necessary for operations, with one claiming that treating them quickly “raises expectations.”  In some areas, patients endured delays of 12 or 15 weeks after GPs decided they needed surgery, even though hospitals could have seen them sooner."

6. In contrast to the last item, read about Thomas Sowell's "same-day" medical service in the U.S.

21 Comments:

At 9/07/2011 11:06 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Sowell says: "In that vision, people can draw on the available resources only to the extent that the government considers appropriate, in the light of other claims on those resources."

In something so FUNDEMENTAL as heathcare....I, and hopefully others, say:

"In my vision, people can draw on the available resources to ALL that need them, in the light of other claims on those resources."

Sowell is just another "I'm ok jack" kinda guy.... probably covered by some gold plated, corporate, iron-clad health insurance that affords him care in a "country club" hospital. He's just worried he might have to wait in the future... beside "little people" in the waiting room, to get that hangnail taken cared of....

He's an "everybody out for himself" kinda guy....yeah that'll work...for Sowell

 
At 9/08/2011 6:16 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

yup.. health insurance as an untaxed employer-provided benefit for those lucky enough to get it and provides a secure perch from which to say "tough cookies" to those who don't have it and can't get it.

I note that in the UK as well as all other countries that provide universal health care - that if you don't like the wait times - you are not restricted to ONLY that health care.

That's the MINIMUM that everyone gets.

If you want more and better and are willing to pay for it - you certainly can avail yourself of it.

the wait times are for those who cannot afford more or better but that's far preferable to the wait times folks have in this country who have no insurance and no way to get it - indefinite.

of course making people actually put aside money for their health care is clearly unconstitutional (sic!)

Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/

 
At 9/08/2011 7:38 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


4. NY Fed Report: Consumer Goods from China Are Getting More Expensive (and we can expect that trend to continue).

At the same time, these goods become lower in quality, even faster. Then again, it should be no surprise when the US market is simply a dressed up product from the Third World - as opposed to a product made specifically for the US market that could be pared down for the Third World with no quality reduction. One only needs to see various products/brands after they got the Chinese kiss of death for proof.

Start playing hardball with these countries, or have ourselves wonder why we have tons of junk.

 
At 9/08/2011 8:30 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"If you want more and better and are willing to pay for it - you certainly can avail yourself of it."

this is true in the UK, but not in many countries (like canada).

also:

getting private insurance sure doesn't exempt you from paying for the insurance you don't want.

being "free" to double pay if you like doesn't sound like a terribly great deal to me.

 
At 9/08/2011 10:10 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

this is true in the UK, but not in many countries (like canada).

what's all these stories about Canadians coming to the US to get health care?

also:

getting private insurance sure doesn't exempt you from paying for the insurance you don't want.

being "free" to double pay if you like doesn't sound like a terribly great deal to me

it's double pay for double quality and quantity...

the universal is way less than gold-plated... no country that I know of says you can't go to another country to get the higher dollar care you want.

as bad as the wait times might be in the UK they are way shorter than those who do not have health care at all... in the US.

 
At 9/08/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"what's all these stories about Canadians coming to the US to get health care?"

are you arguing that so long as you can leave the country, the system is OK?

paying (heavily) for bad insurance and then needing to book a flight to see a specialist in another country (and pay cash) is not much of a system.

also:

if we all worked like that, there would be nowhere to go.

your argument really supports the US system and impugns the Canadian one.

"it's double pay for double quality and quantity..."

no, it's not.

it's overpaying for any given quality.

if i made you buy a pinto every time you wanted a car before you were allowed to pay full price for another one (and not get the pinto if you did) that would be an equivalent.

you are paying full price for the quality you get and then being made to pay another price for something you don't even want.

and this:

"as bad as the wait times might be in the UK they are way shorter than those who do not have health care at all... in the US"

is just BS. i didn't have health care insurance for years. i paid cash. i never waited for anything.

you don't need insurance to get care.

most docs will give you a huge price break if you pay cash.

i didn't get insurance because i didn't want it. it was a bad deal for me.

in canada or the UK, i would not have had that choice, been forced to pay, and then still needed to pay cash either at home or abroad.

you seem to be on both sides of this wealth argument.

on the one hand, you lament those in the us who are uninsured assuming they have no money (which is largely not true as the very poor are insured) then on the other, assume canadains have the extra cash after paying high health taxes to get on a plane, fly to the US, stay in a hotel, pay cash to a doc, then fly home.

so canadians have all this extra cash to do that, but (richer) americans can't do the same minus the airfare and hotel?

you position here seems wildly inconsistent.

 
At 9/08/2011 10:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" what's all these stories about Canadians coming to the US to get health care?"

are you arguing that so long as you can leave the country, the system is OK?

paying (heavily) for bad insurance and then needing to book a flight to see a specialist in another country (and pay cash) is not much of a system."

I'm arguing - that universal care in other countries is far cheaper and better than our health care and all of their folks are covered even if it is considered minimal with longer wait times - our folks have infinite wait times.

they pay 1/2 what we do for health care so if they feel that it's "too cheap" they always have the option to buy "up".

you don't have to take their care just like in the US - you don't have to take Medicare....

you have to sign up for Medicare (B) and it covers 80% and that does not include dental or eyes.

if you want "more" than that - you have to buy "up"

"advantage" plans... pay more - get more..

I don't think my position is "wildly" inconsistent because if you don't provide floor level health care then they do not get the screening they need to catch disease early - and then we fold up like cards by giving them MedicAid and EMTALA... which is costing us out the wazoo....

MedicAid alone is costing MORE per capita (for those covered) than what Europeans pay...

what I'm arguing is that it costs us MORE per capita to not have universal coverage and the outcomes are worse.

if we had a policy of not having universal health care and NOT providing EMTALA and MedicAID - THAT would be CONSISTENT (if odious) but what's truly wildly consistent is to not have universal care but then provide universal care - at the most expensive stage - after disease/injury.

 
At 9/08/2011 11:36 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"I'm arguing - that universal care in other countries is far cheaper and better than our health care and all of their folks are covered even if it is considered minimal with longer wait times - our folks have infinite wait times."

no, it's not. then why do canadians come here? why do brits buy private insurance?

it's a totally apples to oranges comparison.

we spend more, and we get more. we can do that because we are rich.

we get same day MRI, not 8 week waits.

the UK gets this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2034914/GPs-told-ration-cancer-scans-bureaucratic-directive.html

virtually every single payer system in a large country is failing. they are cutting service, upping waits, and upping taxes.

they may pay less, but they get far less too.

they have much lower cancer survival rates. their preemies almost always die. they leave them out of live births making their infant mortality and life expectancy look good, but that's just using statistics to lie.

also: we're fat. that's always going to jam up the costs of healthcare. it has zero to do with our health system. it's not like the canadians or the french are getting nutritional counseling.

also keep in mind, our healthcare spending gets inflated significantly by all the canadians, saudis, europeans, and asian that come here for care.

we do provide floor level.

what's medicaid? that's 48 million people. 50% of US children get it.

what's free ER care if you cannot pay?

they don't screen. read the UK piece.

you are just making stuff up.

i don't think you understand the inconsistency.

you argue that canadians are fine because they can fly to the US for care and pay care price + airfare + hotel in cash, but that americans are screwed because they have to pay cash.

somehow, miraculously, poorer canadians with half our disposable income have all this money, but we do not. that is your inconsistency.

"The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit frequently quoted by the media, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million. That is a much smaller figure than the media report and is also subject to “the 45% rule”, wherein that percentage will transition to new jobs within a four-month time-frame."

so, 3% of americans will be without coverage for any length of time and make under $50k. you are vastly overstating the size of the problem. if you make over 50k, you can have insurance if you want it.

thousands of procedures are no covered at all in canada. waits for specialists can be 6 months. if you have something unusual, you're in real toruble.

their "baseline" is a joke and getting worse.

that system is fiscally unsound.

they are in the red and spiraling downward fast, cutting care and looking to up taxes.

oooh, let's emulate that...

 
At 9/08/2011 11:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

no, it's not. then why do canadians come here? why do brits buy private insurance?

because they want more than basic healthcare...

but even with most of their populations unable or unwilling to buy more than basic health care and endure long wait times - they are still better off.

they pay 1/2 what we do and live longer...on average.

the people in this country who have health care have BETTER health care than those countries universal health care - basic health care - it's true.

but the people in this country that don't have it and can't get it are much, much worse off and they cannot buy "up" either.

they are trapped on a lower rung than their counterparts in countries with basic universal HC.

I keep asking for the top 3 countries that do not provide universal health care that you feel are "better"...

and the answers are not forthcoming..

there are no non-universal health care systems in the world that are superior by any criteria to ones that have UHC.

if you feel otherwise, name the top 3.

 
At 9/08/2011 11:44 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit frequently quoted by the media, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million. That is a much smaller figure than the media report and is also subject to “the 45% rule”, wherein that percentage will transition to new jobs within a four-month time-frame."

are you INCLUDING the costs from EMTALA, MedicAid, SCHIPS, and Medicare?

Many people who cannot get HC.. make it to 65 in really poor health and then get Medicare....

Many people who cannot get HC - go to ERs and utilize MedicAid which is half as big as DOD in costs...

 
At 9/08/2011 11:49 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

you are just making stuff up again.

"Many people who cannot get HC.. make it to 65 in really poor health and then get Medicare....

Many people who cannot get HC - go to ERs and utilize MedicAid which is half as big as DOD in costs..."

how do you know? got any data on these 65 year olds?

medicaid is a huge cost. no question. but it's coverage. aren't you the one arguing for the need to cover people?

you are on both sides of all these arguments. seems to me you have no idea what you are saying. it's a wildly internally inconsistent jumble.

you keep contradicting yourself.

people with a medicaid card do not have to go to an ER. they are 48 million people who ARE insured by a single payer government program like the ones you support.

now you want to lump them into the uninsured?

wouldn't that make all of canada uninsured?

your arguments don't seem to make any sense at all.

 
At 9/08/2011 12:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

you are just making stuff up again.


"Many people who cannot get HC.. make it to 65 in really poor health and then get Medicare....

Many people who cannot get HC - go to ERs and utilize MedicAid which is half as big as DOD in costs..."

how do you know? got any data on these 65 year olds?

I'd have to look but now days..people who lose their jobs at 50+... often go without health care at the very time they need to be dealing with it - like Type II diabetes and heart disease.

medicaid is a huge cost. no question. but it's coverage. aren't you the one arguing for the need to cover people?

I'm saying it's a huge cost that is caused in part by people who cannot get health care - put it off until something major and expensive happens and then they get MedicAid instead of catching the disease early.

"you are on both sides of all these arguments. seems to me you have no idea what you are saying. it's a wildly internally inconsistent jumble.

you keep contradicting yourself."

no... if you think about this - that people who do not have health care - will eventually get it in our system.

our system denies them health care when the problem is small but then steps in when the problem has gotten expensive - life threatening.

we justify heroic and expensive health care for people who are in serious trouble but deny it when they need screening to catch it early.

"people with a medicaid card do not have to go to an ER. they are 48 million people who ARE insured by a single payer government program like the ones you support."

a large number on MedicAid go to ERs because they cannot get timely appointments at GPs. that old "wait time" conundrum.

now you want to lump them into the uninsured?

because they are - MedicAid is care of the last and most expensive sort...it's not "insurance".

it's basically very expensive and very crappy universal health care for those who cannot afford private insurance.

MedicAid is inferior to other countries universal health care because it focuses on people once they have gotten sick rather than quality primary care - even with wait times.



wouldn't that make all of canada uninsured?

 
At 9/08/2011 12:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

wouldn't that make all of canada uninsured?

your arguments don't seem to make any sense at all.

no - primarily because they pay through mandated payroll deductions... no matter the job.. whether it provides benefits or not.

 
At 9/08/2011 12:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

fyi -

"States are focusing on Medicaid recipients in part because these patients use ERs three times as much as people with private insurance and twice as much as people with no health insurance, according to federal researchers.

Medicaid recipients visit ERs more often because they are generally sicker than people with private insurance or the uninsured, said Genevieve Kenney, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute. In many parts of the country, people on Medicaid use the ER because they have trouble finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid patients.

Medicaid recipients also can use ERs for free or nominal costs.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/August/23/ER-Diversions-Washington-Post.aspx

 
At 9/08/2011 1:03 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Just to shoot down yet another couple more HC myths....

"Medical tourism to the US increases the amount reported spent on US healthcare"

and

"US health care is the best in the world that's why everybody else in the world flies to the US for care"


A McKinsey and Co. report from 2008 found that a plurality of an estimated 60,000 to 85,000 medical tourists were traveling to the United States for the purpose of receiving in-patient medical care; the same McKinsey study estimated that 750,000 American medical tourists traveled from the United States to other countries in 2007 (up from 500,000 in 2006).

 
At 9/08/2011 1:23 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry, i agree about their ER usage, but not on the "sicker" claim.

got any data on that?

the problem is that they go to the ER with a sore throat because they don't care what it costs, not that they are really in need of so much emergency care.

my former girlfriend was an ER doc and complained incessantly about seeing medicare patients who should have been at a GP. they came to the ER with sore throats or the flu because it was faster than making an afternoon appointment at a doc and they could care less about the cost as they don't face it.

 
At 9/08/2011 1:25 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

truth-

us healthcare is the best in the world. almost all medical innovation is here and so are the best treatment centers.

it's not the cheapest.

most of those US tourists to other nations are going for nose and breast jobs.

sure, not all, but they are going on price, not on quality.

we are certainly not the cheapest, but that's for the same reason that porsches are not the cheapest cars.

 
At 9/08/2011 1:57 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

well....morgan...I guess your last name is not Gallup then;)

"most of those US tourists to other nations are going for nose and breast jobs." You really think so or is just ANOTHER myth???

copy and paste away....


http://www.gallup.com/poll/118423/americans-consider-crossing-borders-medical-care.aspx

 
At 9/08/2011 2:09 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

truth-

apparently your name is not reading comprehension.

that's "willingness". it's an opinion poll.

there is no actual data in it.

those sorts of opinion polls often bear little resemblance to reality.

we all say we want to lower the deficit, then most vote for more spending. that poll is meaningless, particularly as the cosmetic surgery sample group will be much smaller. if only 20% of americans would consider it at all, then 11% is a huge number willing to go abroad.

low budget cosmetic surgery has been going on in the ROW for ages.

it's only in the last few years that other serious surgeries have picked up.

and again, it's done on price, not quality. you want the best, you get it here. that said, there is a great deal more "adequate" in the ROW now. there is no doubt about it. you can get perfectly good hip or knee work done.

but an ankle? you need to do that here. you need to go to oakland. i know, we just did my mom's, and we looked at every option.

got an obscure cancer, US is the only bet.

the ROW will catch up to some extent, and that's good for everyone, but i see no evidence at all that the cutting edge is anywhere but here in any meaningful way.

 
At 9/08/2011 4:56 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" larry, i agree about their ER usage, but not on the "sicker" claim."

there's data..

it's at the root of why this country ranks low in life expectancy when compared to other countries.

here's one:
The major findings from the paper include:

The uninsured receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, and once diagnosed, tend to receive less therapeutic care (drugs and surgical interventions);

Having health insurance would reduce mortality rates for the uninsured by 10 15 percent; and

Better health would improve annual earnings by about 10 - 30 percent (depending on measures and specific health condition) and would increase educational attainment.

http://www.kff.org/uninsured/20020510-index.cfm

 
At 9/08/2011 7:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Having health insurance would reduce mortality rates for the uninsured by 10 15 percent"...

For everyone to have insurance that means money has to be stolen from the productive (one of those jobs of the federal government that can't be found in the Constitution) so the unproductive can get some sort of medical package UNLESS you Larry G are going to volunteer YOUR money to cover the costs...

Naw, that's a bit of a smart assed answer Larry G but I have to wonder, how's the tort situation in Canada for medical doctors?

What sort of mal-practice insurance premiums do doctors in Canada have to pay?

 

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