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Forget Medicare, THIS Is The Chart That Shows Why America Is Doomed
TBI ^ | 3-6-2011 | Joe Weisenthal

Posted on 03/06/2011 8:53:44 AM PST by blam

Forget Medicare, THIS Is The Chart That Shows Why America Is Doomed

Joe Weisenthal
Mar. 6, 2011, 8:16 AM

If you look at the US fiscal situation, it's easy to see that Medicare is a looming black hole ready to swallow the entire economy. Reforming the entitlement seems necessary to prevent fiscal ruin.

But actually that's too narrow a way of looking at things. After all, the costs borne by Medicare are no more sustainable if they're shifted to private individuals. It's just the path is different.

The REAL problem is how expensive our healthcare system is compared to its benefits, at least relative to other countries.

This chart is from SocGen's Albert Edwards. As you can see, the US has the same life-expectancy of Chile at 7 times the cost.

Now, the root causes of this can be debated ad nauseum. We need to reform what we pay for. We need to lose weight. We need to end the doctor cartel, on and on you can go. But if you're looking for a problem THIS is it.

Solve it, and the Medicare crisis goes away.

Image: SocGen

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: costs; economy; health; medicare
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1 posted on 03/06/2011 8:53:46 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

Thank the lawyers.


2 posted on 03/06/2011 8:54:56 AM PST by America_Right (The best thing about the Obama Presidency: McCain isn't the President!)
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To: blam

Bummer to see those socialized-medicine countries ahead of U.S.


3 posted on 03/06/2011 8:58:50 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: blam

In some spirit of fairness I’d like to know if Chile counts infant mortality the way we do.


4 posted on 03/06/2011 8:59:36 AM PST by null and void (We are now in day 775 of our national holiday from reality. - tic. tic. tic. It's almost 3 AM)
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To: blam
Doctor cartel, eh? What a putz!

Guess what, Weisenthal...that problem will be solved soon enough. You'll be hard pressed to find a doctor who specializes in clueless putz' soon enough with the shortages that are coming.

Import them from Chile.

Putz

5 posted on 03/06/2011 9:01:02 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: blam

Are we comparing apples to apples?


6 posted on 03/06/2011 9:01:21 AM PST by kabar
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To: blam

I’ve never been a big fan of using life expectancy as a measure against the cost of health care. Life expectancy is a single outcome composed of a whole slew of contributing variables.


7 posted on 03/06/2011 9:01:27 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (You CAN get blood from a stone, if you throw it hard enough.)
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To: blam

So, where is Africa on the chart?


8 posted on 03/06/2011 9:01:27 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: America_Right

Ditto!!!!!


9 posted on 03/06/2011 9:01:42 AM PST by ldish (Looking forward to Independence Day)
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To: blam

Life expectancy is probably more related to genes and lifestyle.

We have millions of obese sedentary individuals who do not watch their salt, fat and sugar intake even though they are genetically likely to develop diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. We have young inner city youths dragging down life expectancy with guns.

The best health care system in the world isn’t going to cure stupidity.


10 posted on 03/06/2011 9:02:07 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: blam
Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Unemployment Is Down, The Stock Market Is Up And The Economy Is Going To Be Just Fine

Haven't you heard? The coming economic collapse has officially been canceled. The U.S. economy is in full recovery mode. It has just been announced that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in February. That was the third monthly decline in a row. 192,000 new jobs were created in the U.S. during February.
That was the fifth month in a row in which the U.S. economy has gained jobs. Corporate profits are way up. For the most recent month that numbers are available, sales of GM vehicles were up 49%, sales of Chrysler vehicles were up 13%, and sales of Ford vehicles were up 10%.

11 posted on 03/06/2011 9:04:50 AM PST by blam
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To: ladyjane

Nope, and neither is the most expensive education system.


12 posted on 03/06/2011 9:05:12 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'd get it myself but I don't have any thumbs.)
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To: blam

Just a few years ago, I could see a neighborhood doctor in his office for about $35. He look at me, talk to me, take care of what I needed, and be concerned about me.

Now the same doctor works for a regional health care system. He sees me for about 5 minutes, orders all kinds of expensive tests I don’t need, and seems to be more interested in giving me whatever the system wants him to sell today and what he can bill the insurance company for, rather than what I need.

I tried 3 other doctors, and it’s the same thing. The regional has bought out all the private practices, and blocked the start of a local out-patient clinic.

There no “free market” because the big boys shut out any competion, and regulation is designed to prevent new practices from opening up, rather than improve care.

American medicine has grown into a great dis-economy of scale and the politicians don’t have the guts to take on the health care industry.


13 posted on 03/06/2011 9:07:12 AM PST by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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Thank the banksters for running up the price of tuitions and facilities. Thank the drug companies for sticking research costs to America. Thank the government for making bureaucrats out of health care providers.


14 posted on 03/06/2011 9:07:25 AM PST by Milhous (Lev 19:18 Love your neighbor as yourself.)
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To: blam

I always have doubts about this international comparisons. None of them measure the degree to which lives are saved because care is available immediately when it is needed. Plus we are stuck with huge populations of people who come from backward countries or who live in a state of social anarchy, thanks to insane immigration and social welfare policies.


15 posted on 03/06/2011 9:07:46 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: muawiyah
Where is Africa? Down around here I am guessing. And I am not just trying to be flippant. African Medicine is one of life's greatest oxymorons.

Photobucket
16 posted on 03/06/2011 9:10:29 AM PST by NWFLConservative
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To: blam

So does this cute little chart include back of pocket costs? The actual tax bill that makes medical care look cheap in socialized countries. Probably not. Meanwhile 78 is a long time.


17 posted on 03/06/2011 9:11:51 AM PST by discostu (this is definitely not my confused face)
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To: America_Right
"Thank the lawyers."

I would also add the insurance companies to that list. Ask any obstetrician who has to leave practice because they can no longer afford outrageous malpractice insurance. The US has become litigation happy. One need only look at all the ambulance chaser's commercials. They would sue their own parents if they thought they could get money out of them. The only way it will get any better is if Judges start throwing out all these frivolous lawsuits.
18 posted on 03/06/2011 9:14:51 AM PST by NWFLConservative
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To: blam

My daughter is going to have ear tubes placed on Monday. The operation takes 30 minutes and she will stay in the hospital for 2 hours. The facility fee is $12,000. That doesn’t include the doctor or the anesthesiologist.

Just because Obamacare is not the solution does not mean that there is not a problem.


19 posted on 03/06/2011 9:16:38 AM PST by douginthearmy
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To: blam
If someone comes into the ER with complaint of headache they get a CT brain. If someone comes in with gas pain they get a CT abdomen. If someone comes in with shortness of breath they get a CT chest. Why? Because it could be a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it could be a visceral perforation, and it could be a pulmonary embolus; however unlikely. (And in the vast majority of patients it is very unlikely.)

If the doc fails to order the exams and fails to diagnose one of these potentially lethal conditions, and the patient has an adverse outcome the doc (and his family) will suffer for it in many ways, for many years.

Understandible to me; order the tests and spread the cost around rather than takes society's (legal) responsibility solely on your own (and your family's) back.

Note: There are A LOT of headache, belly pain and shortness of breath visits. Also, all of the above also applies to other types of testing including laboratory.

The other big contributor is self-referral for above-described diagnostics.

20 posted on 03/06/2011 9:19:25 AM PST by The Good Doctor (Democracy is the only system where you can vote for a tax that you can avoid the obligation to pay.)
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To: America_Right

Thank the lawyers.

****************

And their lottery sweepstakes minded juries.


21 posted on 03/06/2011 9:30:26 AM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Cyber Liberty

eliminate black homicide rates and watch the stats change


23 posted on 03/06/2011 9:34:29 AM PST by captbarney
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To: The Good Doctor

After 5 five days of low grade pain, in my side, I decided it was time to go to the after hours clinic. After triage I was sent to the ER instead. The ensuing abdominal CT scan clearly showed the swollen/inflamed pancreas. Some meds and several days rest and things are all good again. While I am glad to feel better it is bittersweet to realize that this 2 hour visit to the hospital will most likely cover the annual family deductible for our insurance.


24 posted on 03/06/2011 9:37:39 AM PST by in the wind
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To: null and void
Almost certainly not. We have been down this road many times. We know up front that an article about healthcare is bogus when it uses life expectancy as a measure of effectiveness or efficiency. A whole host of important variables are left uncontrolled.

Ask the author, if he gets cancer, is he going to go to Houston for treatment, or Santiago.

25 posted on 03/06/2011 9:42:25 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: The Good Doctor

yep. I had a patient go to the ER last week. CT scan abdomen and full battery of lab tests for .........constipation. The patient should not have gone to the ER. Should have come to the office. I could have diagnosed the problem for less than 100.00. Do I blame the ER doc? No cause they do not know this patient and they are araid of being sued. That is the flat truth. Till something is done about defensive Medicine and lgov monopoly on health care nothing will change. Nothing.


26 posted on 03/06/2011 9:45:40 AM PST by therut
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To: Cyber Liberty
That's an excellent point. Homogenized populations also seem to grade out well in this regard.

Look how high Japan is on that graph, for example. I'd venture to guess that on a per-capita basis, Japanese culture has dramatically lower incidences of almost any social pathology compared to any other industrialized nation.

I don't know if this is still the case, but I remember reading some years ago that the phrase "crack baby" can't even be translated into Japanese.

27 posted on 03/06/2011 9:47:16 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: blam

I’m sure that many of the folks here, those who think that Bernanke is actually doing a good job(you know who they are - in 2007, they said there were no problems) will tell you that such charts are only created to cause panic. You are such a ‘doom and gloomer’.

Our economy will be fine. We’ll just “grow our way out” of this mess, since the mild recession has passed and we’re well on our way to recovery.............. (lol)


28 posted on 03/06/2011 9:53:31 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: blam

How much is the US average driven down by the metrics of infant mortality? In the US we count every live birth as a birth; in many countries an infant has to breathe on its own or even survive a full day or more to count as a live birth. Counting the births as we drives down the average age.


29 posted on 03/06/2011 9:57:59 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Obama. Chauncey Gardiner without the homburg.)
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To: douginthearmy

“The facility fee is $12,000”

And the insurance payment will be $800-1600 plus any deductible if applicable.


30 posted on 03/06/2011 10:02:05 AM PST by Cyman
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To: blam

how does living longer reduce the train on Medicare ?


31 posted on 03/06/2011 10:15:30 AM PST by stylin19a
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To: blam

Life expectancy isn’t a homogenous number. First, the U.S. Counts deaths that others don’t. Second, small segments of the U.S. Population make up a large portion of the early life deaths that have nothing to do with healthcare, but which bring the total number down significantly.

If you are a non-criminal, productive citizen, you have an extremely high probability of living to be 90+.

Finally, you always get better bargains in the poorer neighborhoods and what is true locally is true globally. Doctors are not a large portion of your bill (less than an auto shop per hour labor), but an MD is going to want more in NYC than Mexico City, just as everyone here demands more than their Mexican counter part.


32 posted on 03/06/2011 10:48:15 AM PST by SampleMan (If all of the people currently oppressed shared a common geography, bullets would already be flying.)
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To: blam

Not responding to comments blam? What’s up with that?


33 posted on 03/06/2011 10:59:58 AM PST by houeto (Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.)
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To: muir_redwoods
In the US we count every live birth as a birth

Good point on how many countries fudge their books, making our more honest stats look bad by naive comparison. However we don't count every live 'birth.' The temporary survivors of abortion rarely get counted.

34 posted on 03/06/2011 11:30:05 AM PST by JohnBovenmyer (Rat fleas carry plague.)
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To: Cyman
try 2500 + 500 deductible. And I pay over $500/mo for the insurance plan I have.

It's a combination of no tort reform and too much government manipulation (government medical plans negotiate with companies driving "normal" higher and higher.) If it were a matter of regular consumers negotiating for services the fees NEVER would have risen this high to begin with. Now that we are in this boat we need to figure some way to bail it out. It's not going to be a simple fix.

35 posted on 03/06/2011 11:45:04 AM PST by douginthearmy
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To: houeto
"Not responding to comments blam? What’s up with that?"

I posted that article and took myself and my dogs for a long walk in the woods. It's a beautiful, sunny day, 65 degrees, here...we had a ball

Now, I often post articles and never make a comment...some subjects I post on I know very little about and use 'posting' as a learning mechanism. There are some very smart people here (and, a few Smart Alec's).

I've posted here over ten years and started over 13,000 threads and have never heard that (got to make comments) as a posting requirement.

Did I read your post as accusatory..or something?

I'll ask you, what's up with that?

BTW, I qualify for VA health care and sometimes use it although I still have my own health care insurance.

36 posted on 03/06/2011 12:00:10 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Doomed??

I wonder, can we can still afford 320,000,000 doses of grape Kool-Ade and enough strychnine to put us out of our misery?

If not, I going to proceed on as though I will survive ... even if Washington DC doesn’t.


37 posted on 03/06/2011 12:28:25 PM PST by RobinOfKingston (An election is not a (national) suicide pact.)
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To: blam
Did I read your post as accusatory..or something? I'll ask you, what's up with that?

Yea, that's one of the very difficult things about posting on the internet, intent is almost impossible to convey. Glad you had a good walk with the dogs.

I've posted here over ten years and started over 13,000 threads and have never heard that (got to make comments) as a posting requirement.

I on the other hand hardly ever start threads. You can count them on less than one hand. I certainly agree with your comment about smart people here. I just thought it was strange that so many folks were commenting to you and were getting no replies. Have a blessed day FRiend.

I think I'll go walk my dogs now. Sounds fun.

38 posted on 03/06/2011 12:46:25 PM PST by houeto (Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.)
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To: blam

I go to a “poor peoples’” community health clinic and the costs are real low. Haven’t had anything but generics in 20 years or so (I understand that wouldn’t be possible with a cancer Dx or other show stoppers). Usually see PAs but not always. Quality of care has been fine.


39 posted on 03/06/2011 12:53:53 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: houeto
"I just thought it was strange that so many folks were commenting to you and were getting no replies. "

Most of the comments addressed to me are in fact posted to the article and not to me specifically. There is on-one else to address a comment to the article except me.

For example: If an article is titled "Sarah Palin Is Stupid", someone may post this reply to me: " You're Stupid Too You SOB", and not mean that about me. LOL.

Have a nice walk.

40 posted on 03/06/2011 12:56:50 PM PST by blam
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To: houeto
"I just thought it was strange that so many folks were commenting to you and were getting no replies. "

Most of the comments addressed to me are in fact posted to the article and not to me specifically. There is on-one else to address a comment to the article except me.

For example: If an article is titled "Sarah Palin Is Stupid", someone may post this reply to me: " You're Stupid Too You SOB", and not mean that about me. LOL.

Have a nice walk.

41 posted on 03/06/2011 12:58:17 PM PST by blam
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To: in the wind
My girl just ran up $700 in the ER for a sprained finger (really did nothing, just Xray, finger splint and ibuprofen). We really did have to take her in because the symptomology suggested there was a fracture (even made a “cracking” sound).

In 2.5 hours in December I ran up a $3500 bill mainly due to an upper GI endoscopy. ER physicians bill separately which always surprises the newcomers ($450; at most five minutes consultation).

42 posted on 03/06/2011 1:00:46 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: blam

A couple of things:

1) Does Chile’s healthcare system guarantee free healthcare to millions of illegals, the cost of which then gets passed down to those who actually pay?

2) Does Chile have all of the technical know-how and wizbangs to prolong life even after the poor patient should die? For example, does someone who goes into a coma in Chile die, or is he kept alive by the latest in medical technology? Do people in Chile who have advanced cancers get treated, or do they die, whereas in the US some live due to expensive medical treatment? The point here is that some of the most expensive treatments help a relatively small number of people to live. If the US eliminated those treatments, the life expectancy would not be much affected, but the overall healthcare costs would.


43 posted on 03/06/2011 1:26:53 PM PST by fr_freak
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To: blam
Solve it, and the Medicare crisis goes away.

Eliminate the Welfare* component of Medicare and the problem also goes away.

* Recipient of benefits who never contributed more than $1.75

44 posted on 03/06/2011 5:34:50 PM PST by Publius6961 (There has Never been a "Tax On The Rich" that has not reached the middle class)
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To: in the wind
While I am glad to feel better it is bittersweet to realize that this 2 hour visit to the hospital will most likely cover the annual family deductible for our insurance.

I went to the ER for the first time in my life in 2004.
I was there 12 hours, but actually being attended by doctors or nurses for a total of 1 hour, including filling out forms very slowly.

Total charge?

$6000+

I imagine it's gone up since.

45 posted on 03/06/2011 5:41:04 PM PST by Publius6961 (There has Never been a "Tax On The Rich" that has not reached the middle class)
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To: blam

Last time I went to a doctor, (except for the dentist), I had an ear infection.
I knew I had an ear infection, I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck! I needed antibiotics.

Now, I know how to get antibiotics without going to the doctor, so I got that covered.

Last time I went to a doctor was about 1995...

I tend to think 90% of Americans are about 2% away from being total hypochondriacs.


46 posted on 03/06/2011 5:41:29 PM PST by djf (Dems and liberals: Let's redefine "marriage". We already redefined "natural born citizen".)
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To: blam

Medical employees and insurance companies take too much.


47 posted on 03/06/2011 7:48:02 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote.)
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To: Publius6961

This was just last week so I haven’t seen any of the bills yet. I am not looking forward to sifting through the upcoming redtape between our insurer and the hospital.

The ER is never the place to be unless one has ‘life threatening’ issues. Had I know the hospital changed their triage procedures, the ER and after hours clinic are adjacent to each other, I may have suffered for another day and tried to squeeze in to see our family physician.


48 posted on 03/07/2011 12:58:23 PM PST by in the wind
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To: blam
I've posted here over ten years and started over 13,000 threads and have never heard that (got to make comments) as a posting requirement.

While you were in the woods with the dogs we passed a new rule.

49 posted on 03/07/2011 5:10:18 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Psalm 144
Thank the lawyers.

****************

And their lottery sweepstakes minded juries.

And the Men In Black robes who are typically failed lawyers with an overwhelming sense of "social justice" who think their mandate is to create equality of outcome via redistribution of income.

50 posted on 03/07/2011 5:23:26 PM PST by Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The truth can indeed be a finger-down-the-throat for those unprepared to hear it.)
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