Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2006

WB: Unhealthy Returns


There was a time when I would have discounted the likelihood of repealing or "reinterpreting" such laws. I would have argued that Satan himself couldn't dream up a PR campaign that makes letting uninsured patients die in parking lots look fair and reasonable. But these days I'm not so sure. It might be that all the propaganda wizards would have to do is point out who ultimately picks up the tab for all those freeloading sickheads -- God fearing, premium-paying, middle-class Americans like you!

I'll be looking for a "grass roots" organization (Consumers For Affordable Health Care) to ramp up a lobbying blitz any day now.

Unhealthy Returns

Posted by b on July 13, 2006 at 5:16 UTC | Permalink


The wonders of the "free market". Health care is treated as another commodity, to be delivered with maximum returns for the investor. A simple matter of supply and demand.

Some la-la-liberal idealists would insist that public health, like public education, is a resource that must be tended to. Market forces can play a role in its delivery, but should not not become the overriding economic factor.

The image of socialized medicine presented to the American public is that of patients dying in the parking lot waiting to be admitted to the overcrowded and over-regulated state-run clinics. Instead, we have patients dying in parking lots waiting to be admitted to the over-regulated private clinics.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 13 2006 5:48 utc | 1

Billmon had a post a while back about the burden of health care on the automotive industry. Does anyone know the title of the post or where I can find it?

Posted by: charmicarmicat | Jul 13 2006 6:45 utc | 2

ralphieboy,"Health care is treated as another commodity"

And worse yet, Corporate Insurance companies determine patient care, and effects even self-payers like myself.

Posted by: | Jul 13 2006 15:21 utc | 3

Forget to sign last post.
I have a thing about unknown posters.

Posted by: Rick_Happ | Jul 13 2006 15:24 utc | 4

At the risk of seeming too punctilious, the Institute of Medicine is not part of the NIH. To quote them:

"The nation turns to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies for science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine, and health. A nonprofit organization specifically created for this purpose as well as an honorific membership organization, the IOM was chartered in 1970 as a component of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Institute provides a vital service by working outside the framework of government to ensure scientifically informed analysis and independent guidance. The IOM's mission is to serve as adviser to the nation to improve health. The Institute provides unbiased, evidence-based, and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science policy to policy-makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large."

For more info:

Posted by: Fannie Farmer (Mrs.) | Jul 13 2006 19:43 utc | 5

Back in the late 70's, the insurance companies were running their own candidates for office who decried 'doctors ripping off the public!'.

We got managed Care to control the medical costs but the profits just transferred hands: Today, 'Managed Care' subsidiaries of insurance companies are ripping off the doctors... and the hospitals... and the patients...and the employers... and the taxpayers.

Meanwhile the same insurance companies charge doctors and hospitals exhorbitant malpractice insurance fees, settle rather than bother to smack down 'frivolous' lawsuits in court, deny service authorizations to sick patients, set up multiple obstacles and delays in the bill paying process, and reduce 'reasonable and customary' fees to miniscule amounts that don't even pay the doctor's office overhead costs.

Yet the insurance companies are making record profits. [Where do insurance companies rank in comparison to non-insurance-owned health care providers, Billmon?]

Worse, the insurance companies have convinced doctors to support so-called tort reform, [ie reducing patients' legal rights to sue for non-frivolous medical malpractice, not to mention corporate negligence against consumers in general] by misleading the public and the doctors into thinking that there is a causal link between a patients' legal rights and the malpractice fees they charge the doctors.

If and when tort reform passes, [given the dissarray of the opposition party it very well may] the doctors will naively expect the corresponding drop in malpractice insurance rates, a promise which of course is not put in writing in any of the legislative bills promoted by the insurance companies. You would think that all the trouble that insurance companies give doctors in getting services authorized, bills paid, and malpractice insurance covered would give them a hint of the bamboozle that is tort reform.

After tort reform delivers only token reductions in insurance rates from companies that continue to deny authorized care and delay paying medical bills, perhaps then we will come full circle: only then the doctors will wake up and start running their own political candidates who will decry "insurance companies ripping off the public!'

Posted by: gylangirl | Jul 14 2006 23:30 utc | 6

I suspect cost might be a topic of discussion in this trial.

Paying for evacuation and paying for the care at another facility or doing the old yellow routine.

Posted by: Britguy | Jul 18 2006 19:27 utc | 7

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