Friday, June 12, 2009

This Sounds Like a Problem...

The wife of a senator playing a lead role on a national health care overhaul sits on the boards of four health care companies, one of several examples of lawmakers with ties to the medical industry. Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of Sen. Chris Dodd, serves on the boards of Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cardiome Pharma Corp., Brookdale Senior Living, and Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals, a financial disclosure report the senator released Friday shows.

Gee, I wonder if Dodd would ever support a single-payer health care option? Unlikely.

I think we ought to eliminate the health care program for all members of the House and Senate at the end of 2009. Then we'd see them work on a health care solution that would work. How about we just take the program in place for Congress and extend it?


Ceroill said...

I'm with ya there, CSM. If 'socialized' medicine is so bad, why does the Congress have it, why does the military have it? If it's so evil why doesn't Congress just vote to drop the medical plan they have? Oh wait, that would take principles.


Well it looks like doctors(the AMA to be exact)have finally seen the locomotive at the end of the tunnel. They have figured out Obama's public sector "option" is ultimately no more than the same price(wage) controls the government uses in Medicare and Medicaid.

When are people going to realize health insurance isn't the same thing as healthcare. Once doctors figure out the amount the government plan pays can't keep them in business as they'd like, they will stop accepting the government plan, unless of course, we end up with a government single payor plan. Which in that case we will see less Americans becoming doctors. That is okay though, we will just suck them from the rest of the Third World like we have been doing already.

When people use their own money(whether from an insurance plan they buy themselves or through a health savings account or from their own pocket)they will shop around to find the best values like any other transaction people engage in. This will lower the cost of healthcare. A perfect example is plastic surgery. Doctors compete, consumers shop and insurance and the government are out of the equation, but prices are coming down and have been for awhile.


Listening to our illustrious leader this morning on the new regulation regime REALLY pissed me off this morning. Chiding us for our short memories, he gets it wrong. The problem isn't the deficit of regulation, it is the fact our current regulators get too chummy with the regulation targets. Examples: the FAA getting in bed with Southwest Airlines over the objections of a whistle blower, the SEC closing it's eyes to Bernie Madoff after many in the business had warned of the impossibility of his astronomical returns for YEARS, the federal agency(I forget which at this time, Dept. of Energy, I think)in charge of oil extraction in Colorado literally getting into bed with the regulatees(Exxon, I think), Timothy Geithner, as head of the New York Fed, looks the other way as CitiBank wallows in all kinds of toxic assets and then he gets the plum job of Dept of Treasury, et al.

The idea we need more regulation is utter bullshit. We need to find a way to make the current regulation regime beholden to the citizenry instead of the regulatory targets.

csm said...

I can understand your position Bawdy, but I respectfully disagree. More regulation is needed in many places... and we also need better methods of policing and enforcing existing (and new) regulations. Without the ability to police the regulations, compliance will be spotty to non-existent (as it is in many organizations and corporations today).


So in essence you are saying we need more watchdogs to watch the first watchdogs? That is alotta of dogs. :)

csm said...

Well, a lotta dogs, I dunno. But we need a capable policing efforts behind all of our laws and regulations. Many of the regs don't have any, let alone, effective policing.

leaf said...

Dodd's from CT, home to dozens of insurance companies large and small and thousands of insurance executives from the CT and NY area. I'd wager he would never support single-payer regardless what his wife does.

Congress has socialized medicine? Could be, I guess. When I worked there staff had access to the feds health care system where you basically had dozens of options - the Blues, Aetna, United, etc. and other HMO's and PPO's.

Too bad. I blew out an achilles while employed there and could have used some cradle-to-grave socialized medicine; or at least some sidewalk-to-emergency room socialized medicine. My co-pay was sky-high and I wasn't making much money.

csm said...

76 percent of Americans want the public option for healthcare


And 76% of the people have no fucking idea what is gonna happen after they get it, but hey, once it sets in and things don't happen as they think it will, it will be too late to turn back and I will be there to say "I told you so.".

csm said...

Maybe. Maybe not. We'll have to see. It is not even a sure thing that a public option will be available.

Lou said...

They want reform, not a government takeover. Gotta watch those polling questions. Much like Obama claims we want status-quo IF we don't accept their plan. How about this reform.
Use the existing system and let the government regulate cost. Sounds a lot cheaper than the $20 trillion dollar plan Obama wants. (those are real dollars, always cost 10 times more than they claim)


Part of the problem is having the government regulate the costs. Price controls never work. I have posted before what I think will work and maybe with more time I can reiterate later.

csm said...

Price controls never work, huh? Perhaps we differ on the definition of price control. Does OPEC control the price of oil? Has it worked? What about rent-controlled housing in NYC? I can agree, that the basic premise of supply/demand setting pricing is usually the best approach. And using economies of scale to set prices, such as other government controlled health care systems use, has lowered the cost of prescription drugs (and the US subsidizes the rest of the world with high prices).

In some cases though, price controls can work - albeit maybe only for a period of time.

Lou said...

Support has dropped below 50% for healthcare rationing. I'm glad to see America is waking up. It failed in Germany, Australia, Canada & our own Massachusetts. BHO has failed with Stimulus I, Omnibus, jobs, making foreign friends, most of his political promises & so far the economy. You think we would see the writing on the wall.

We have the best healthcare system in the world. Yes it has problems that need tweaking. What doesn't? Why would we compound it with more problems by letting Uncy Obama take it over?



OPEC controls the price of oil a little more than I do. With all the oil importers who are not part of OPEC(Norway, United Kingdom, Russia, the Central Asian states, Canada, Brazil and even the US)there is no way OPEC controls the price of oil to the degree you envision. If they did oil would still be 147.00 a barrel.

Rent control in NYC I am not that well versed in, but isn't it true that rents in NYC are exhorbinant and it is tough to find rent controlled housing?

All price controls do is lower the amount available for someone to purchase. When a producer can't get what they want for the goods and services they produce, they either produce something else, stop producing anything or sell it to someone else; none of which was the intended purpose for the price controls in the first place.

If you extrpolate this to health care, a doctor will go into something where they will have pricing power(plastic surgery, maybe), stop being a doctor or in the case of East Indians and other foreign born doctors, go home and practice medicine.

I just don't see how any of the plans Progressives are espousing will work. I can forsee everyone having health insurance and not getting the healthcare they think they deserve at the price(free)they think is their right. It doesn't happen now with Medicare, but most don't know it.

I work in a skilled nursing facility(nursing home) which accepts Medicare and I bill Medicare for our facility. When someone comes into our facility on a Medicare A type stay, the first 20 days are covered at 100%. After that, from day 21 through a potential day 100, Medicare deems 133.50 per day as coinsurance. Now if you have a very good(and expensive)supplemental plan, it will pick this up, but if you don't it is borne by the patient. I will do the math, if you are in the full 80 days past the first 20 and you don't have a good supplement that comes to $10680.00. Now for a relatively poor person, how are they going to pay this. And this co-insurance amount(133.50)has gone up every single fucking year since I have been billing Medicare(I believe it was $98.00 when I started). For Medicare B services like physical therapy, Medicare only pays 80% of the costs and just like Medicare A, if you don't have a supplement, the patient pays. Is this what the public is getting told; I haven't heard it. And I am exposed to the feeling of entitlement seniors have when it comes to Healthcare; do you think anyone else will be different?

The main problem I have in considering healthcare a right is that there is a counterbalancing party. The freedom of speech does not rely on someone else to supply it. The freedom of association does not rely on someone else to supply it. Healthcare does. It relies on doctors, nurses, hospitals, etal. Therefore, the rights of the patients trump the rights of the providers. I liken this to the rights of patrons(non-smoking)trumping the rights of establishment owners who would like to have a smoking establishment. To me this just isn't right.

csm said...

You make many good points, Bawdy. And you are almost assuredly 100% correct about human nature (gimme everything, gimme it free). But that will never happen. And if people don't know that then it is there own damn fault for not reading/learning about it. The information is out there (though I agree it is confusing).

There are several additional points that get missed by almost everyone, though. "Basic" health care is already treated as a right in most cases. Poor people without insurance file into the emergency room and they are treated. And the cost is borne by those who pay insurance.

And those who worry about a government bureaucracy between them and their doctor, well, I understand the concern. But today these same folks have a huge, insurance bureaucracy (with a profit motive) between them and their doctor.

Bottom line is this: even with today's system or with some form of national health care, if you want top of the line service you'll have to pay for at least some it, maybe all of it, out of your pocket.

csm said...

Regarding Louie's comments:

Here is an op-ed piece from the New York Times about "The World's Best Health Care" comment. (I know, Lou, you won't hear anything those commies at the NYT write, but others might...)

And here are some additional facts about the US ranking on health care in comparison to other countries.

To me, the most pertinent point from the previous linked page is this: "If America is to improve its health statistics, it must not only pass universal health care, but reduce poverty as well."

Finally, how about a research paper from the University of Maine?

Lou said...

Ha Ha, the WHO ranked us 37th? Uh, I'm surprised they ranked us that high. He who has the BEST healthcare is all opinion. I among many others think we have the best as so do the many foreigners who access it routinely.

Bottom line is this CSM. People in Canada die waiting to get government healthcare. In Germany, the elderly are not allowed to access certain types of care because of cost. Australia, of which I am quite familiar makes you wait for months at a time just to see a Family physician. I didn't see that in any of the data.

How would you like to rely on a MD in Sweden who wakes 25K? Wow!

Oh, also best healthcare doesn't include a population who is fat, lazy and doesn't take of their bodies. Sorry, you and the others cannot blame our system for that. Ours is expensive, yes and that needs work but so is gas.

Believe me CSM, Obama-care will not raise our numbers. We are also the #1 debtor country in the world thanks to Uncy Obama. That doesn't bode well for his grandiose plans.

csm said...

A response to some Lou-dicrous assertions:

Lou: "People in Canada die waiting to get government healthcare."

csm: And your assertion then is that no one dies in the USA waiting to get an insurance company to approve a surgery? Or because they don't have the money to pay for it?

Lou: "In Germany, the elderly are not allowed to access certain types of care because of cost."

csm: And your assertion then is that the elderly can get all the care they need under our system?

Lou: "Australia, of which I am quite familiar makes you wait for months at a time just to see a Family physician."

csm: And your assertion then is that no one ever has to wait for months for a doctor appointment in the USA?

Lou: "How would you like to rely on a MD in Sweden who wakes 25K? Wow!"

csm: And your assertion then is that doctors in the USA never make mistakes and that there are no malpractice suits ever filed because every doctor makes so much money that they never make a mistake?

Lou: "Oh, also best healthcare doesn't include a population who is fat, lazy and doesn't take of their bodies."

csm: I actually agree with you on that one. Prevention and better training on nutrition, taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food, and the removal of courn subsidies to remove high fructose corn syrup as the staple of the American diet are needed, too. As is an attack on poverty.

Lou said...

Hilarious, you have no clue what you are talking about so....we will just let the ridiculous assumptions slide on by.

How did you like OhBama last night? By far his weakest effort and assuredly will knock this plan (of which he is obviously unfamiliar)off the radar. To be fair, great speech to the NAACP. (really)

At this point hopefully, they will put some commons sense to the forefront and come up with a market driven plan that will not interfere with our top notch quality and choice. Not one rushed to his desk so it cannot be read and reviewed by the very people we put in office to do such.

Argh! these politicians will not even read what they agree to.

Less Government! More Legislation! Sounds like a beer commercial

Do I hear Abba in the background....waterloo....

Later CSM!

csm said...

Ridiculous? Yes, I agree, your "opinions" on the actual researched data are just that... ridiculous.

What did I think of Obama's health care talk? OK, I guess. I am probably not going to like whatever plan eventually gets cobbled together because, as I've said before, the Democrats are wimps. A single payer plan is the best way to reduce cost and provide better and more coverage. I am doubtful taht will happen.

And I think it is AC/DC, not Abba... dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap!

Ceroill said...

Personally I always liked Joan Jett's rendition of that song.

csm said...

Joan can do no wrong IMHO. Love her!