Can you trust the government with your medical future?
The answer for a huge majority of America is, NO.
Intellectually, we know that we probably spend way too much money prolonging life when all hope is gone.
But the key question is who gets to decide at exactly what point all hope leaves the building?
And allowing any government entity to make those decisions is simply not acceptable to most people.
If you need any real evidence on that point, look at the pronouncement last week from a government sponsored panel which said that mammograms really weren’t necessary for women in their 40s. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is one of those government entities whose recommendations carry a lot of weight—particularly with insurers—and it’s fair to point out that this group was appointed during the Bush administration.
And, intellectually, what they said is correct. Because what they really said was not that women in their 40s don’t need mammograms but rather that such mammograms only saved a relatively few women from breast cancer.
That certainly makes financial sense—unless the woman in question happens to be your wife.
You see, it’s easy for a task force to look at cost-benefit relationships.
If there are two percent more women who die of late-diagnosed breast cancer, well, that’s life. Right? After all, look at all the money we’d save.
The problem is that women (and men) who wear pink ribbons and participate in the Susan G. Komen events are worried about saving every life possible. And the task force is worried about saving money. Apples and Lugnuts.
Unfortunately, if the government takes control of our healthcare system—more than it already has—such task forces will set those protocols and there will be little or nothing which can be done. It’s how government works.
You were expecting maybe Marcus Welby MD would make those decisions? Or Dr. Huxtable?
The problem with the hard left’s promise to reform our health care system is they have no idea how to lower the costs.
The first question nobody has ever asked is why some of this stuff costs what it does?
We seem to have an inverse of the law of supply and demand.
If you put 15 CAT scanners in one town both the number of CAT scans AND the price seems to increase.
That’s an indication that a) there is no free market in CAT scans because b) there is no incentive to lower the price. Why? Because the government has set an acceptable price it will reimburse and that sets a floor under all pricing.
What would happen if insurers put out such commodity procedures such as MRIs and CAT scans for bids and the low bidder got all the business?
The answer is that in mere days, billions would be saved.
This happens because the vast majority of Americans never even look at their medical bills. Just like they never get first count on their taxes due to with-holding.
If every American first had to write a check and then was reimbursed by their insurer, my guess is that the cost of most medical procedures would be reduced overnight. If every American actually had to write a check to the government on April 15, the same thing would happen to government.
If you want to reform our healthcare system, start with the source of the ever increasing costs. You’ll get a lot farther than by merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic which is a pretty good description of Harry Reid’s bill in the Senate.