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The Truth About Health Costs
IBD ^ | January 10, 2008

Posted on 01/10/2008 5:37:40 PM PST by Kaslin

Health Care Reform: Democrats claim high medical costs are a "failure of the free market," and they demand a government takeover. But a new study says government's to blame.

Public health programs account for almost half of the $2 trillion spent on U.S. health care, a Hoover Institution report says. An astonishing 80% or more of all medical-care pricing is based on government reimbursement rates set by Medicare.

As for private costs, they would be lower if government didn't interfere in the market. Regulations imposed on the industry cost more than $330 billion a year, Hoover says.

Perverse tax policies have created a third-party payer system. Patients no longer have first-dollar responsibility for medical bills thanks to employer insurance.

Someone else is paying, so inflation goes unchecked and unabated.

"Patients have no idea what their doctor visits, surgeries, diagnostic studies or other medical services — whether urgent or elective — will cost until the bill comes weeks later," said Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a senior Hoover fellow and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School.

Even then, they seldom flyspeck the bill. Why bother, when they're responsible for just 10% to 20% of it?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


1 posted on 01/10/2008 5:37:41 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

“As for private costs, they would be lower if government didn’t interfere in the market. Regulations imposed on the industry cost more than $330 billion a year, Hoover says. “

Absolutely correct. I have been in the clinical lab business for 20+ years; Medicare has always paid *more* than the average doctor, defensible to the government due to the restrictions, red tape and processing.

If Medicare went pure capitalism, as the largest verndor it could reduce fees overnight and the market would achieve equilibrium quickly.

2 posted on 01/10/2008 5:43:02 PM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: Kaslin


3 posted on 01/10/2008 5:59:00 PM PST by tentmaker
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To: Kaslin
Completely outlawing health insurance and requiring everyone to pay every cent of their health care would obviously lower health costs.

However, people are still afraid of the chance that they might get cancer or some other very very expensive disease, so it is impossible to argue against the availability of catastrophic health care coverage.

And in addition, if the only thing that was covered under your plan was catastrophic coverage, then fewer people would go in for routine checkups and basic maintenance such as teeth cleanings. So this would tend to lead to increased health costs due to people waiting until things get so bad that the cure becomes much more expensive.

Then you also have the issue of the government requiring everyone to be treated who can get to an emergency room.

Since health care can be a life or death issue, it is hard to see how we can get rid of health insurance, and thus we will always be paying only a fraction of the cost of health care.

Can anyone else see a way out?

4 posted on 01/10/2008 7:05:46 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Kaslin

Of course the government creates the problems. Ever heard of problem-reaction-solution? I put ALL the blame on the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All three of these tax shelters fund CSPI who helped get trans fats in the food supply. And the stupid liberals are too stupid to realize that it’s ALL CSPI’S FAULT trans fats got in the food supply in the first place.

5 posted on 01/10/2008 7:06:41 PM PST by bigdcaldavis ("Screw Kahlifornia. Gimme Kolinahr." - Me)
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To: long hard slogger; FormerACLUmember; Harrius Magnus; Lynne; hocndoc; parousia; Hydroshock; ...
Socialized Medicine aka Universal Health Care PING LIST

FReepmail me if you want to be added to or removed from this ping list.

6 posted on 01/10/2008 7:29:15 PM PST by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: Kaslin

Exactly true. Government intervention in the free market ALWAYS has unintended consequences.

7 posted on 01/10/2008 7:30:35 PM PST by Kay Ludlow (Free market, but cautious about what I support with my dollars)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

Your thoughts and view are largely my own. Thank you for expressing them.

Health care is one of the few things that we pay for in advance (through health insurance) rather than on an as-needed basis. Yes, there will be those who cannot pay the full sum up front, but they can be set up on a monthly payment plan for the hospitalization/treatment that they have received. We handle everything else this way, why not health care? What else do you pay for in advance with an exorbitant monthly fee, and then when you get it you pay a percentage “co-pay”?

There are many people do not have health insurance and when they need hospitalization or treatment they can’t pay for up front, they personally work out a payment plan with the hospital/doctor rather than working through the red tape of insurance.

If everyone did this health care would drop considerably. For one, think of all the people that are hired by hospitals/doctors only to deal with insurance as a full time job.

When I was a child (I’m in my 40s), I went to a doctor who had no receptionist, no other staff except his wife who helped out when things got busy. You sat in the waiting room and waited your turn (no advance appointments). My parents paid in cash. He was a good doctor and we got good care. His fees were reasonable and he made a decent living.

I realize in many ways health care is much more complicated these days, but it wouldn’t have to be as complicated as it is.

8 posted on 01/11/2008 4:34:24 AM PST by TruthSetsUFree
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