Saturday, June 01, 2013

The US Health Care System is a Mess

Not only because fewer people have access to it because of the lack of health insurance, but because of private health insurance, costs are through the roof.

The simple fact of the matter is the medical profession is going to have realize the gravy train they have ridden on for decades is just about done. There is no doubt someday there will be some kind of national health care plan, and that is going to cut on their profits. Well, that is too bad. They will soon not be able to make the extravagant salaries for which they have become accustomed.

Of course many doctors now are not making the big bucks, but fewer still won't be making them.

Ditto for the insurers. Ditto for the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Ditto for for-profit hospitals.

This insanity of overcharging for basic services has GOT to stop.

Whether directly from their wallets or through insurance policies, Americans pay more for almost every interaction with the medical system. They are typically prescribed more expensive procedures and tests than people in other countries, no matter if those nations operate a private or national health system. A list of drug, scan and procedure prices compiled by the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurers, found that the United States came out the most costly in all 21 categories — and often by a huge margin.

Americans pay, on average, about four times as much for a hip replacement as patients in Switzerland or France and more than three times as much for a Caesarean section as those in New Zealand or Britain. The average price for Nasonex, a common nasal spray for allergies, is $108 in the United States compared with $21 in Spain. The costs of hospital stays here are about triple those in other developed countries, even though they last no longer, according to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that studies health policy.

That's because health care became a for-profit enterprise, not something that is a public good.

It needs to be seen as a public good, like police protection and education, and the profit motive needs to be scrapped.

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