Sunday, April 23, 2006

Free Market Bureaucracy

What Kevin Drum says:
One of the reasons America spends so much more than any other country on healthcare is because upwards of 30% of our expenditures are for paper shuffling
by insurance companies doing their best to deny treatment whenever possible. By
contrast, administrative costs in countries where there's only one paper shuffler — and it's not trying to make a profit from its shuffling — are closer to 10%.

Battling cancer is bad enough. Why should cancer patients have to battle private insurance companies as well?
This is a point that is very hard to get through to Americans who have been brainwashed to believe anything that isn’t 100% free-market based has to –just HAS TO – be less efficient and more expensive. That, of course, is nonsense but it’s really hard to get past that reflexive reaction when you start talking about a single-payer system of healthcare. Sadly, even getting beyond this misconception leaves one with a whole list of other myths, half-truths and outright lies to overcome.


Jeff Trigg said...

$1.7 billion. That's the amount Madigan, Jones, and Blago are behind in paying long overdue bills to our healthcare providers in Illinois. That drives up the cost and availability of healthcare more than anything else.

Sure, they have no problem spending money on TV shows, soccer fields for private colleges, dance theaters, vineyards, baseball stadiums ($700 million for Soldier Field), baseball fields in Marion for major campaign contributors, $40 million for off track betting subsidies, horse shows for Madigan's old college buddy, and I'll stop there.

I don't want government telling me what healthcare I can and can't have and then expecting them to be efficient paying the bills. They can't even do it now. Trusting Illinois politicians with life or death healthcare decisions is suicide. And would you trust George Bush with those decisions?

Seriously, please think about that for a minute. Freedom and free markets are hardly perfect by any means, but at least you have input on your own healthcare choices. There are no choices with government monopolies. I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

The last comment kind of proves the point of the original post. Any time you talk about a federal health insurance system you get the same kind of anti-government knee-jerk response that right wing radio brainwashes people with. No one in the United States has ever introduced a plan that would take away the right of the American public to choose what kind of health care they have or where they get their health care.

By contrast, the private sector HMO's have done just that when they tell people what doctors they can see and what procedures they can get. Private companies are taking those decisions away from doctors and patients. The private sector is taking away our choice and freedom regarding health care, not the government. Of course, if you don't have the money for health insurance then you effectively have no choice or freedom regarding health care at all. Our current system only offers freedom for those who have the ability to pay.

In other words, a government single payer plan that runs the health insurance system (not the health care delivery system) would be MORE efficient and offer MORE freedom to the average person than the current private sector system that forces us to pay for insruance company executive salaries when we go to see the doctor.
No one has even suggested the government should take over hospitals and doctors offices, except for the straw men in the ultra-right wing anti-government cult fantasy land.

Jeff Trigg said...

"No one in the United States has ever introduced a plan that would take away the right of the American public to choose what kind of health care they have or where they get their health care."

Almost every proposal ever made would take away the rights of the American public to be free concerning healthcare. That's largely why the AARP exists and is as powerful as it if. For example right now, I couldn't buy a health insurance policy from a provider in Indiana or Wisconsin, even though they would offer better services and better costs.

I don't listen to right wing radio and your typical knee jerk name-calling and avoidance of reality in favor of socialism proves why a government monopoly on healthcare would be a disaster. Liberals like you have absolutely no problem looking the other way, changing the subject, and then blaming others with name-calling when your policies fail.

Bernie Sanders has suggested the government take over hospitals and doctors offices, so it looks like you may be the one living in a cult fantasy land. He'll likely be a Senator next term.

You are laregly right about the HMOs, but you completely skip over the fact that they have both Republicans and Democrats bought and paid for to protect their profits and executive salaries. More so Republicans, but plenty of Democrats have voted for bills that protect their interests, especially in Illinois where Dems are in complete control.

Maybe you would like to take another stab at the fact the Illinois Democrats are $1.7 billion behind in payments right now but have enough money to throw at special interests and their voters. Then maybe you can explain why a government monopoly would be soo much cheaper when considering how the state currently handles the mentally ill. And if Democrats and Republicans would stop taxing poor people, a lot more of us could afford healthcare. At least until Social Security fails.