In response to:

Health Care and Infant Mortality: The Real Story

schnookumz Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 12:26 AM
I don't think the whole point of health care reform was about infant mortality rates. The QUALITY of US healthcare is very good but the whole system needs reform because costs have spiraled out of control. The US government currently (i.e. pre-Obamacare) spends more per capita on the health system than Canada and Australia do - despite those two countries providing universal healthcare! Treatments/hospital visits that cost $10,000+ in the USA often cost less than $1,000 in Australia and quality of care is pretty much the same. There's something rotten about the healthcare market in America and it needs fixing. I'm not saying Obamacare is the solution (actually I truly believe it isn't) but we definitely need something.
Navy-baby Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 2:26 PM
schnookumz - I don't know about Australia, but I do have family in New Zealand. They have recently signed onto their American-based company insurance plan, and are thrilled with the difference in hospitalization. The "public hospital" they previously used has large wards with beds separated by only curtains--when accessing their new "insurance-paid hospital," the standard was private rooms and gourmet meals.

In your comparison ($10,000 US vs. $1,000 Australia) you also forgot to mention the HIGHER taxation rates which pays for their healthcare BEFORE they are seen at their "FREE" doctor, clinic, or hospital.
wayne566 Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 8:57 PM
Don't waste your time answering. Schnookumz is not asking for an answer; She's asking a rhetorical question that's somehow supposed to show us how foolish we are and make us reevaluate our beliefs and then thank her for showing us the error of our ways.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 1:09 AM
Three things drive up the overall costs of healthcare in the US. The first is government intervention that has so distorted the marketplace. The second is simple demand (including for people who come to the US for superior care - it must be noted that these individuals are included in the the overall cost figure. And the third is simple demand (albeit AMA restrictions that limit supply are a factor as well) with more elective procedures and end-of-life care paid for either privately or as a result of insurance contracts. The US has the finest healthcare in the world. If the market were permitted to work it would be the most efficient as well.
schnookumz Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 2:13 AM
What is the government intervention that has "distorted the marketplace"? Can you provide examples? I'm just finding the argument that it is TOO MUCH government meddling which drives up prices a bit hard accept. As I said, other western nations with comparable demographics, culture and lifestyles manage to provide health care at a much lower cost than the (apparently) free market in the US while still providing comparable care (And they have competitive and healthy private health insurance industries as well for those who want top-tier care). Even if the US's care is objectively better - is it worth the ridiculous disparity in cost? We're not talking 10/20/50% more - it's closer to 5, 10, 20 times as much which is crazy.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 8:14 AM
Medicare (with price controls), medicaid (ditto), the effective outlawing of pro bono medical care, barriers to competition between the states, mandatory coverages, effectively mandating employer coverage (since WWII wage and price controls made it happen), huge regulatory reporting burdens that drive up costs and AMA-related licensure requirements that limit supply (to name a few).

And care is NOT comparable. If you get diagnosed with a serious illness (even if you are poor) you'd better PRAY you live in the US. Rationing under socialized medicine kills more than any lack of insurance here.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 8:15 AM
And your figures of multiple times the cost are flat wrong.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 9:07 AM
Specifically, despite the fact that the total expenditure figures include all those who come to the US for expensive surgeries (because they can't get comparable care - or perhaps any at all - in their home countries) and the costs of people coming to the US for pharmaceuticals (not being produced under socialized medicine) and the FAR higher incidence of voluntary elective surgeries in the US (that people CHOOSE to spend their money on), the US spends 49% more than Norway, 80% more than Canada (without killing people on waiting lists), twice as much as France (ditto), and 2.5 times as much as Italy. There is NO first world country that the US spends 3 times as much, let alone 5, 10 or 20.
Daddio7 Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 11:43 AM
There are two types of market models, Google's and Apple's. Google, extreme competition,huge supply, razor thin profits. Apple, extreme demand, continuous introduction of newer products, high cost and profits. Throw in government mandated doctor shortages and regulations, and insurance company profits, it's enough to make NASA jealous.

If there was a Google Android medical system people could obtain medical care from any one who wished to provide it as long as it meet a reasonable standard. Imagine if the only cell phone available was an Apple iPhone with an AT&T two year contract. That is our medical system.
restoreliberty Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 12:46 PM
50% of ALL health care services are paid for by the government through Medicare and Medicaid - which is exactly the kind of intervention that drives up cost with no concomitant increase in quality or access of care - for instance a University of Virginia study found that Medicaid patients fare more poorly than the uninsured in as far as actual health outcomes are concerned. But keep your ignorance, you wear it so well.
rwright Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 10:34 PM
This is the myth promulgated by those inside the system. The reality is the opposite.
pascagoulapappy Wrote: Dec 30, 2012 10:43 PM
By the way, many single-payer countries do NOT provide universal health care. They kill people on waiting lists.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 31, 2012 6:30 AM

Editor's Note: Steve Chapman is on vacation. The following column was originally published in August 2009.

The American medical system has the latest technology, the greatest variety of new drugs and unparalleled resources. But anyone who thinks we're getting something great for our dollars inevitably encounters a two-word rebuke: infant mortality.

The United States is the richest nation on Earth, but it comes in 29th in the world in survival rates among babies. This mediocre ranking is supposed to make an irrefutable case for health care reform. If we cared enough to insure everyone, we are told, we would soon rise to...