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The Case for Calm Over Rising Health Costs
The New York Times ^ | 10/6/2012 | Amy Wallace

Posted on 10/08/2012 9:53:28 AM PDT by pgyanke

IN 1946, a British newspaper shocked its readers by running an article with this ominous-sounding headline: “Nearly Half of U.K. Student Grades Are Below Average.” Read that back to yourself slowly, and you’ll realize, of course, that the law of averages would have it no other way. But man, does it sound bad.

In his new book, “The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t” (Yale University Press) William J. Baumol uses that headline to help us understand his central idea about the diverging paths of certain costs in our economy.

Mr. Baumol and a Princeton colleague coined the term “cost disease” in the early 1960s. Put simply, it refers to the concept that the costs of health care, education, the live performing arts and several other “personal services” depend largely on human evaluative skills — a “handicraft element” that is not easily replaced by machines. These costs consistently rise at a rate much greater than that of inflation because the quantity of labor required to produce these services is hard to reduce, while costs in other areas of the economy can be brought down via technology or other factors .

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: costs; healthcare
I have major problems with this article. Wanted to get FReeper input...
1 posted on 10/08/2012 9:53:32 AM PDT by pgyanke
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To: pgyanke

I read the first page. The first problem I sensed was a complete disregard for distinctions between cost, price, and value, and the application of this so-called phenomenon of “cost disease” to areas currently subsidized, or entirely paid for, by government.

I can’t tell whether the article or the book it’s about is more ridiculous.

2 posted on 10/08/2012 10:25:47 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: pgyanke

The article is all over the place. Notice how the author tried to inject guns into the argument?

That said, have you been to the hospital lately? People all over the place. I was visited by three different anesthesiologists prior to my surgery.

3 posted on 10/08/2012 10:50:55 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Mr. Bird

No need to find a distinction of which is worse [book or article] since it’s all leftist liberal newspeak. Societys’ ultra-sophisticated intellectuals have spoken from on high and it is what it is b/c they say so yadda yadda yadda...

Unfortunately what it will take to break this addictive cycle is the coming financial meltdown. We currently have a catch 22 of borrowing on future earnings. Common sense gets lost in the shuffle. Eventually we’ll return to survival of the fittest or those willing to think critically and apply common sense for all their maladies and remedies.

The day when we need more powerful governments, schools, sports, entertainment, medicines, invasive surgeries etc. is almost over - gone by pricing itself out of the market - business will either adapt to the diminishing power of our money or go the way of the Dodo bird.

For my health care give me chiropractic, otc nutritional supplements and a health club membership all for under $100/month rather than the current status quo. When I die I die, but I’ll live as well as possible until that inevitable day...

Well all be kicking ourselves for all the wasted time and money spent seeking and listening to these worldly acclaimed self-important gurus who love only money power and fame.

4 posted on 10/08/2012 10:59:36 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: raybbr
It's good to be visited by different anesthesiologists before surgery. When one of these guys fails to observe critical conditions you end up dead, or worse. Two of them might well fail to elicit or observe some critical condition, and by the time you get to three, she's probably going to listen to you.

So, what might be a problem ~ how about VERSED.

The second you have a problem with an anesthesia while in surgery, or just after, the workhours that will be expended dealing with you will be many times greater than the workhours spent by those antesthesiologists.

Figuring out the best and most efficient use of physicians' time is a different sort of task than doing work time analysis for a machinists' job.

5 posted on 10/08/2012 12:26:55 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

What are some of the critical conditions the different anesthesiologists are looking for?

6 posted on 10/09/2012 4:40:42 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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