Sunday, February 24, 2013

High price of health care

Had to shamelessly steal Alex Pareene's Sunday Bobblehead Review from Atrios because something unexpected and not awful happened.
Somewhat wonderfully, the discussion of Steven Brill’s giant Time piece on healthcare costs turned into a fairly explicit endorsement of lowering the Medicare eligibility age — even dedicated “entitlement” foe Stephen Rattner unexpectedly endorsed this proposal! — which lead Stephanopoulos to point out that by the same logic we should just have single-payer healthcare. (Oddly, Brill’s actual article rejects price-controls and single-payer as solutions but when he was just talking about it extemporaneously everyone seemed to grok that those were the only coherent solutions to the problem.) Oh hey guys, you have all just discovered all the ancient arguments for single-payer that left-liberals have been making since forever, congrats. By tomorrow you will all return to demanding that the Medicare eligibility age be raised in the name of fiscal responsibility but for now, let’s enjoy this moment.
(Stops to savor...) Single payer is the obvious answer. For it to be said out loud in the Village receiving parlor is significant. Surely it will be immediately ignored but it's now on the internet. It will not be forgotten.

Brill's epic article in TIME explains in painful detail why we pay too much for medical care. The shorter: The business of medicine is based on entirely wrong payment incentives. Invitation to padding and kickbacks. Overly complicated paperwork provides easy cover for fraud. Corporate demand for profit creates pressure to cheat. All the things contribute to inflated pricing and diminished quality of care for the patients. It's a racket.

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Blogger The Moderate Nation said...

Health care is a biggie for me too. Like! -joseph

9:10:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Ja, me too, 'cause I'm getting old. I get tired of seeing lives ruined and families destroyed by illness and people having to choose between survival and feeding their families -- or just dying because they lost their jobs and their insurance.

Funny about the "family values" hypocrites. It's not easy to make corporate greed a family value, but they manage to make people believe they should just die and decrease the surplus population just like Jesus said.

9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I believe the day will come when it happens because the current business model isn't sustainable. Not so sure I'll live to see it.

11:36:00 AM  
Blogger merlallen said...

I spent a mere 3 years in the Navy 30 years ago and I get excellent affordable health care from the VA.

1:03:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's good news Merl.

1:35:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

And isn't that something we should be telling the people who insist that the government cannot provide health care anywhere near as well as the companies who thrive by screwing people out of it?

Sometimes the government is more efficient than private enterprise -- and more accountable.

8:07:00 AM  

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