Monday, June 11, 2007

Blog vs. Blog

At Insureblog we have sometimes we have been known to joust with other bloggers.

OK, perhaps it happens more than just on occasion.

And maybe I am guilty of the offense more than others.

Emergiblog is kind enough to send me updates of new postings.

OK, I admit it. I signed up for the notification.

I like the style, layout & information. A very good site overall.

In todays offering I noted that Kim supports the single payor system promoted by the Physicians for National Health.

That's OK. Everyone has a right to their opinion. What I can't figure out is why providers want a single pay, government run system. Isn't Medicare & Medicaid bad enough for providers? Are they just gluttons for punishment? Do they really enjoy accepting reimbursement that is almost half of their usual rate?

It seems the physicians are using the standard argument. The U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates

Seems no one ever mentions the queue in other nations. No one says anything about how some citizens of these supposedly superior systems buy private insurance to supplement the nationalized system or they pay out of pocket or sometimes even come to the U. S. for care.

Wonder why that is never mentioned?

Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 46 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.

I guess one should define what is "adequate" coverage.

The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care

Ah yes, profits. The 4 letter word of American capitalism.

But medical providers are supposed to be not-for-profit?

Does anyone think docs make obscene incomes?

Of course not. It is only the insurance companies that are gouging the public and contributing to the excessive mark up on health insurance.


And of course there is the obligatory reference to the imaginary admin figure that further inflates the cost of health insurance.

Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Everyone says 31%. No one ever bothers to PROVE that figure.

Wonder why?

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money

OK, let's say for chuckles & grins the figure is 31%. Let's say the "government" can administer the same plan for 10%. That cut's 21% off the cost of care . . . for ONE YEAR.

Then what happens?

Medical inflation eats up that savings in about a year.

Unless of course the new, single payor, government run program does what they are doing now for Medicare. If the government arbitrarily decides it will cut reimbursement to providers by 21% then the savings can continue for perhaps 2 years.

And if the government decides they will no longer pay for certain meds, or some end of life care, or will limit the number of places you can go for care then the consumer gets hit too.

Just like on those other countries where there are queue's.

Yes, the single payor system is wonderful.

At least until you look at it without your rose colored glasses.

Peace, Kim!
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