Bang on – this is what’s wrong with our healthcare system. You can’t have everything:

Americans want more health care for less money, and when they don’t get it, they indict drug companies, insurers, trial lawyers and bureaucrats. Although these familiar scapegoats may not be blameless, the real problem is us. We demand the impossible.

The changes we truly need are political. We need to reconnect people with the public consequences of their private acts. We should curb the subsidization of private insurance. Medicare recipients should pay more of their bills.

But these changes won’t happen because people don’t want to see the costs. We don’t have the health-care system we need, but we do have the one we deserve.

(via Medpundit)

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  • The Medical Blog Network

    Too bad the politicians lack courage to acknowledge the unpleasant facts.

    Now there is a possible explanation why: Study: Political Bias Shuts Down the Brain

  • Bob Vineyard, CLU

    Your insurance ID card is a blank check for $5M or so. The article hits the nail on the head. As long as the insured isn’t paying for services they will order anything and everything on the menu.

    We have xs demand and a limited supply of services. It will only get worse, and services even more rationed, if we have a universal, taxpayer funded system.

  • Anonymous

    1% of people consume 70% of the healthcare dollar. 10% consume 90% of the healthcare dollar.

    Much of the healthcare dollar is spent in the last 6 months of a persons life.

    Ponder that. Ponder that. If you don’t fathom the consequences of those facts, ponder it again.

    A small percentage of people are “healthcare rich” in the sense that government or private insurance is paying their outrageous bills.

    This could be the dialysis patient that has an MI or amputation or other complication every couple of months. This could be the nursing home patient with chronic G-tube, foley, that the family wants to torture a little bit longer and intubate when she has a pneumonia. Or the thalassemia patient who is on his 2000th blood transfusion.

    Who has the guts to say NO to these such patients that are healthcare rich, so that basic affordable care can be available for all? Family wont allow it. Lawyers would see the answer “NO” as a way to get rich themselves. Politicians don’t have the guts. At some point we need to say NO. It will require tough decisions but the ongoing insanity has too stop.

  • mchebert

    I hate to be the fly in the ointment, friends, but I do not think making patients pay more for insurance is going to improve the health care system.

    Patients who have good insurance are paying for it. It comes out of their salaries.

    Also, I find it inconsistent that physicans claim to be against big government in healthcare, and yet the AMA constantly lobbies Congress to increase payments to physicians.

    I spell out my viewpoint in detail at my own blog, should anyone care to read about it.

    P.S. I know I am asking for trouble. I just hope people will appreciate an alternate point of view.

  • Dr Dork

    The US spends vast amounts on healthcare. Much is lost in the pockets of lawyers directly and indirectly (eg maplractice premiums indirectly passed on to patient costs), and to profits and administrative overheads of the insurance giants.

    It is another aspect of the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer.

    The free market system has failed when it comes to healthcare.

  • Anonymous

    Real reforms need to start with Medicaid, not Medicare (most people receiving benefits have worked during their life)! Medicare recipients do have to pay for Part B and for Secondary insurance coverage, so I do not see where they are receiving free coverage!
    The next reform should be with Pharmaceutical companies (talk about the rich getting richer)! I realize it takes years of research for medicine, but to charge outrageous prices for a pill that cost about 9 cent to make, this is a little more than I care to pay for!
    Then the good ‘ole docs, not many of them around anymore! I had a rare and potentially fatal disease when I was born and my lovely docs could not figure it out until I was 16, but no I did not sue, even though I was told I had every right to…I was and still am happy to be alive!
    Lastly, Health Insurance Cost, a rip-off! We pay big money for Health Insurance coverage and most people will never use what they pay to the insurance companies over a lifetime….

  • Anonymous

    mchebert,

    do your research. Doctors and the AMA were strongly OPPOSED to the Medicare Act in the 1960s and vehemently fought against it. Doctors have always been against increased govt influence in healthcare.

    However, despite doctors/AMA lobbying, Medicare was passed anyways. Doctors didnt want govt influence, but now that its here anyways we gotta work it to our advantage.

    Quit pretending that Medicare and govt influence in healthcare was doctors idea, it certainly was NOT.

    I suppose now you expect us to just get screwed by the government because we argue against increased govt influence? What kind of reasoning is that? We didnt build this system, it was forced upon us by the AARP and the federal government, and now we have to deal with it. We arent going to stick our heads in the sand and just say “oh well we have to take whatever the govt spoon feeds us with no opposition”

  • Anonymous

    “Doctors have always been against increased govt influence in healthcare.”

    Except in the case of tort reform. Then they are all for more government power and less individual power!

    The more correct statement is that “Doctors have always been against anything that would cause them to make less money from healthcare.” And there is nothing at all wrong with that. That’s they job of your lobbying organizations.

  • mchebert

    I know doctors were opposed to Medicare in 1960. What does that have to do with now? Nothing. In1960 most doctor’s offices were cash operations. Nowadays most physicans would have to close if they went to a cash-only business. There are simply not enough patients who can afford medical care.

    I have no problem with the AMA “playing the game” and lobbying Congress for increased reimbursement. I just think docs who argue that big government medicine is bad and at the same time complain about Medicare reimbursement are like the prisoners in the old joke who complain that the food is terrible and there isn’t enough of it.

    Doctors need to be a little more thankful for a system that has been good to them. We all make a very comfortable living, and I for one am not going to complain. I work hard, I get paid decently.

    The reason Medicare reform passed against physicians objections is because IT WAS NOT ABOUT US, IT WAS ABOUT THE PATIENTS. Patients and taxpayers pay the bill, in the end, and they call the shots. Just as in medicine itself. The doctor can advise, but the decision is up to the patient. We can offer our opinions about the pluses and minuses of public health care, but the choice remains with the public. If we don’t like it the Want Ads section has plenty of new career opportunities.