Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Flip Flop

Twenty years ago the primary health related concern was how to treat AIDS.

68 percent of the respondents said AIDS was the nation's biggest health woe while 1 percent cited the cost.

Today the worry is about the overall cost of health care.

Concerns about the access and cost of health care far outweigh the worrisome challenges posed by obesity, cancer, heart disease, AIDS and diabetes,

55 percent - said the availability and financial challenges of the entire system

One positive about this survey . . . those polled indicated a worry about the cost of health care, vs. the cost of health insurance.

The two are related, as the cost of health care drives the cost of health insurance.

But this observation caught my eye.

"Health care has never saved a single life. That's more of a theological question. What health care is supposed to do is delay death, overcome disability and pain, and provide medical security

I'm not sure I buy that initial statement . . . health care has never saved a life.

I suppose you can argue the back part of the statement supports the first part. If you save a life it does not mean the individual will never die, so it is true that health care just delays death.

Still, it is a convoluted statement.

In 2007, total national health care expenditures topped $2.3 trillion, or 16 percent of the gross domestic product

But don't overlook this.

providers also suffer; some $60 billion a year in medical bills goes unpaid,

That figure is understated.

The unpaid bills don't include cost shifting. Most bills that are not paid by the patient or a third party are simply added on to the bills of those who DO pay for their care. The rest result in a loss to the provider.
blog comments powered by Disqus