Monday, November 25, 2013

Thought Provoking Essay On The Health Care Debacle

I found this post on another site and it is reproduced here with permission of the author.  I found it interesting, and although I disagree with the premise of the essay, (which I "think" is single payer) most of the individual ideas contained are sound.  My preference is to rein in the COST of health care, not figure out who/how to continue to pay exhorbitant rates for health insurance and treatment.  The author of the following essay touches on this.

For me, I would start with banning the "luxury" (quote from a previous post) of sedation which is designed to add frivolous charges to any medical encounter, and actually harms the recipient in far too many cases. "Informed" consent with fines and penalties for non-compliance, and "good faith estimates" or transparency in pricing are also sound "reform".  Reforming "Standard of Care" to reflect cost effective treatment should also be on the list of reforms.  No more allowing medical treatment centers free rein to decide what attitudes constitute "Standard of Care".  The hospital "chargemaster" would also be on the chopping block.  See what the author of this post has to say about "health care", as *I* am much more simplistic.

Does everyone have an altruistic “right” to health care, and, if so, why?
Does a society have a pragmatic economic rationale to provide health care for all its citizens?
PROBLEM: Escalating health care costs, and the insecurities of the populace regarding health care.
PROVENANCE: Greed, inefficiencies, ignorance, etceteras
1) Greed includes fraud on the part of providers and patients: controls and severe penalties should be legislated to mitigate.
2) Inefficiencies include, but are not limited to, inefficient utilization of personnel, equipment and facilities, administrative overhead, and profit motive on steroids.
3) Ignorance on the part of providers and patients can be mitigated by a massive computerization of information, i.e., the “mind” of the computer is vastly superior to providers and should be made available to patients and providers.
4) Etceteras to include, but not be limited to, better
nutrition, responsibilities and behavior of recipients of health care, and
preventative care.
RESOLUTION: To be determined, subsequent to analyzing the
I believe that the Obama
Administration is correct in recognizing that the accelerating cumulative costs
of health care in our nation must be addressed.
Since we know where we are
regarding this problem, most energies should be devoted to determining where we
should be.
We must analyze the
logistics and economics for the purpose of determining the most efficient and
effective method of delivering health care, cost effectively.
First, a decision must be
made as to who will bear the burden of the costs of health care.
The possibilities include
businesses, the recipients of health care services, or the government.
If it were determined that
all costs should be borne by businesses, the good would be that employees would
receive health care at no cost, whereas the bad would be that the costs of
providing health care would be included in the costs of goods and services
produced, which would necessitate higher selling prices for those goods and
services than if there were no health care costs.
For those businesses that
compete against similar businesses in other nations, their ability to compete
would be adversely affected versus if they did not have the burden of those
health care costs.
Within a competitive world
economy, the United States of America should be considered as U.S.A., Inc. and
would be competing against Japan, Inc., China, Inc., et cetera, thus it would
make pragmatic economic sense to mitigate costs of goods produced.
If it were determined that
all costs should be borne by the recipients of health care services, economic
pressures would be placed upon businesses to increase employees’ remuneration
to enable them to pay for their health care, thus whether the costs are paid by
businesses or employees, the cost to produce goods will include the cost of
health care.
If it were determined that
all health care costs should be borne by the government, the good would be that
all employees would have health care, and businesses would have their costs to
produce goods and services devoid of any health care costs, while the bad would
be that the government would inherit the obligation to fund these massive
health care costs. An incredibly
important benefit would be the sense of security of the populace, which would
affect all other aspects of their lives.
The transitioning from where
we are to where we should be would cause serious upheavals and dislocations,
e.g., employment reconfigurations, but subsequently we will have sophisticated
and fine-tuned our current disparate montage of health care to an efficient and
cost-effective system for the delivery of health care.
Our leaders are involved in
the process of searching for the correct paradigm regarding the delivery of
health care for our nation.
Unfortunately, they appear to be in a triage quagmire effort rather than
resolving to discover the appropriate paradigm. They are attempting to reconfigure a condemned edifice, rather
than tearing down the walls and allowing the light of day to expose truth.
Economics, rather than
politics, religion, et cetera must be the leading factor directing our leaders
to the correct paradigm, i.e., where we should be.
1) Should we have a comprehensive economic environmental
impact study done regarding any potential solution?
2) Should health insurance benefits be taxed, e.g., is
it equitable to have two “theoretically” identical employees working for two
different companies doing the same work, making the same remuneration, being
charged with the same taxable income, when one has $14,000 of health insurance
and the other does not?

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