[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]
Recently, I noted that doctors demonstrate a remarkable lack of intelligence and sense. But I also wonder why the public at large believes that health care reform included in the Spendulus is going to have a happy ending.
As we've repeatedly noted here at IB, unless we're able to contain health care costs, our likelihood of controlling health insurance costs is a pipe-dream. And we can look at real world examples to ascertain the truth of this.
One such example, often cited as a model of health care efficacy by those in favor of such systems, is Medicare. Unfortunately, it fails miserably on all counts:
"An ambitious effort to cut costs and keep aging, sick Medicare patients out of the hospital mostly didn't work, a government-contracted study found."
Got that? A "government-contracted study." Not an insurance company or doctor's association. For many seniors, chronic illness is a way of life; the challenge is to manage it cost-effectively. Unfortunately, this gummint-run system has demonstrated no such ability:
"Most of the patients had serious, but common, age-related illnesses...Programs were set up at 15 centers...Only two cut the number of times these patients were hospitalized...None saved Medicare any money." [emphasis added]
One of the primary problems (and again, one we've mentioned many times) is that many folks have behaviors that can be changed, but too often remain unchecked: weight, excercise, smoking, etc. Without more personal responsibility, there's very little hope of change, the power of the gummint notwithstanding:
"The only way you can really do it is by changing patients' behavior and by changing physicians' behavior, and both things are really hard to do," according to the study's author, Randall Brown.