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American Healthcare: Why so expensive? Where do we go from here?

So then we must ask ourselves: “What is causing our system of medicine to be more expensive than it should be?” And of course that leads directly into the next question:  Where should we go from here?

Now, certainly I am not a medical professional and this is an outline of my own thoughts and considerations laid out for your review and comment.

One could argue, (and I myself do) that one such cause is the monstrous nature of the two most prominent healthcare institutions that are themselves run by the government; namely Medicare and Medicaid.  These two beasts have become a burden upon the nation’s people by sucking the resources of the nation on two sets of bureaucracies with their own sets of rules and regulations and guidelines and enforcement & auditing agencies and so forth and so-on.

I argue that these precious resources are squandered in some very half-hazard ways by chasing the endless string of rules and regulations that are largely political in nature because this system was designed and regulated by politicians, not doctors or healthcare professionals.  These rules are designed by people looking at polls and popular studies and are intended to create a positive public reaction to those who designed the system and it’s myriad of rules, regulations and guidelines in order to get re-elected.  Sure some of them engage Healthcare professionals to guide and inform them at times, but the overriding motivational force behind them has nothing whatsoever to do with effective medical care.

Now my personal experience having worked for several years within the inner workings of the Medicaid system here in Idaho has been that drastic changes in the execution of the Medicaid system are largely motivated by political power brokering.  Personal vendetta’s and blind adherence to policies that don’t make sense merely to spite one person, organization or other often get in the way of making sound decisions based upon the needs of the patients being cared for.  I’ve seen this in action myself within our own system here in Idaho, I’ve seen the entire core of the system uprooted for very little reason other than personal pettiness resulting in a massive waste of money that would have otherwise gone to caring for actual patients.

Now, there is also a net negative effect on the private sector as well, because Medicaid for one, has put into place a policy that force pharmaceutical companies to pay our state kickbacks, or what they call “drug rebates” on every medicine that Medicaid pays for patient care.  Unless these companies pay these “rebates,” their medicines are banned from the Medicaid system regardless of their effectiveness.  Now it struck me, when I found out that the State of Idaho received rebate checks from the pharmaceutical companies ranging in the Millions of dollars each year solely for the privilege of allowing Medicaid to cover the payment (which it reduces just like any insurance company, thereby doubling their reductions) of these medicines within the Medicaid system.  What effect does this kind of near larceny (my own opinion) have on the cost of drugs for everyone else not participating in this government-run healthcare system?  Why it raises the cost of course.  If one customer rakes your bottom line clean, any thinking person would then have to recoup those costs elsewhere and where else can those costs be recouped except on our shoulders?

Now my own experience has been limited to Medicaid, but any system run by the government is by its very nature vastly inferior to the very same efforts undertaken by the private sector and thus it would make far greater sense to reduce the amount of waste and cost for these two massively wasteful and ineffective systems is to combine them and to find a way to allow execution of it to be privatized much in the same way as we privatize the coverage of high risk drivers for insurance coverage.  The government sets the guidelines and boundaries, but the private sector runs the system, so instead of the state Medicaid system, you would have say, the Blue Cross Blue Shield (or insert insurer or plan manager here) Medicaid coverage plan which you would apply and qualify for in the same way as before and would be funded by the government, but run by the private sector; giving people a choice of where to go for quality and effectiveness of coverage.   You have mandated minimums, the states could add their own requirements and finally get out of the healthcare business which they suck at so very badly anyway.


Just my view from the cheep seats…

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3 thoughts on “American Healthcare: Why so expensive? Where do we go from here?

  1. And yes, the spending is indeed out of control, but it is getting worse rather than better. And all of you who make up the 47% who live with your hand held out to Uncle Sam and don't pay a cent in taxes, that's about to change January 1st, and Obama isn't budging an inch to do anything about it. He's hoping you'll all blame those mean Republicans for putting up budget after budget that keeps getting voted down in the Senate.

    Obama has spent us into the ground and it's gonna keep getting worse before it gets better, but none of it will ever be his fault even though he is making it happen through Obamacare. Did you know (I found this out yesterday) that the Fed has been buying up the majority of our national debt, artificially propping up the economy? Financial experts say that when this stops, because the fed does not have limitless funds, we will be in worse shape than ever before… Obama is so sweet, he's done so much to make our world a better place… For everyone else except Americans.

  2. Well, today it looks like things have progressed quite a bit since March when I first posted this article.

    I suppose an update is due now that it looks like this will continue on to full deployment: Lately, the business community has continued to display a visceral response to the new healthcare laws; healthcare costs are skyrocketing on pace with new regulations instead of going down, as we were promised with the advent of Obamacare. It is projected that less people will end up with healthcare coverage than before Obamacare was passed. This appears to be a result of healthcare being taken away from those who already have it due to the onerous nature of Obamacare.

    The Congressional budget office has also indicated that the overall cost of enacting Obamacare has increased dramatically beyond the original estimates. Food service industries continue to drop full time employees down to part time to avoid federal penalties; major corporations have indicated layoffs will result in 2014 when most of the new regulations take effect. Many states refuse to participate in the unfunded requirement that they create insurance coops. Medicare is going to be dramatically slashed by $700 Billion dollars to pay for Obamacare as well, taking those retirees, who depend upon that coverage down with it into oblivion.

    Ask the British how they appreciate Federal health review boards, similar to those mandated by Obamacare. England’s review board has refused to cover life-saving heart medications for anyone over the age of 80… Many other life saving procedures and medicines are banned from their government healthcare all in the name of saving money regardless of the lives that puts in danger. In our case, who controls what the national review board decides? Obama appoints each one of them and nobody has review or discretionary power over them except the president. The people will have no voice in the kind or extent of their medical coverage whatsoever, and life-saving procedures and medicines can be taken away from you at the whim of this board without any recourse available to the people it dooms to death. That is why it is called a death panel; because the results of its decisions to cut converges directly result in the deaths of Americans.
    Why do you think people from all over the world come to America to be treated? Because our system is broke? No! Because as horrible as we have been made to think it is, it’s better than any other medical coverage system in the world bar none. So of course we have to kill it in order to make us like everyone else in the world who die at twice the rate we do in the U.S.

    Now that’s worth looking forward to yes?

    As always; just my view from the cheap seats, watching the whole country circle the drain while I sip a soda on my porch hoping I don’t get pulled down with it before I’m old blind and senile.

  3. Well I think the government sholud pay up for this because they make us pay Medicare and Social Security taxes out of each paycheck. Why sholud we pay for something that won’t be available to us? In order to secure these programs, they have to stop all of this ridiculous spending, and actually use the money for what it’s for.Stop making us pay for prisoners with no chance of parole, to get a free education that they will never use.Stop funding places like Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics.Stop putting the funds that we pay for gas into foreign accounts, and instead utilize what we have here in the USA, and drill here!Stop trying to clear up our national debt, by making more! Bailouts, another stimulus plan you can’t pay Peter by robbing Paul.I could go on and on about different ways to free up money that could be used to help sustain the lifetime of these programs. Bottom line is to cut all of the frivolous spending!!!!!

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