Skip to comments.50 Signs That the US Health Care System Is [About To Collapse]
Posted on 02/28/2013 7:43:14 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
The U.S. health care system is a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money as possible out of all of us before we die. In the United States today, the health care industry is completely dominated by government bureaucrats, health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations. The pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars to convince all of us to become dependent on their legal drugs, the health insurance companies make billions of dollars by providing as little health care as possible, and they both spend millions of dollars to make sure that our politicians in Washington D.C. keep the gravy train rolling. Meanwhile, large numbers of doctors are going broke and patients are not getting the care that they need. At this point, our health care system is a complete and total disaster. Health care costs continue to go up rapidly, the level of care that we are receiving continues to go down, and every move that our politicians make just seems to make all of our health care problems even worse. In America today, a single trip to the emergency room can easily cost you $100,000, and if you happen to get cancer you could end up with medical bills in excess of a million dollars. Even if you do have health insurance, there are usually limits on your coverage, and the truth is that just a single major illness is often enough to push most American families into bankruptcy. At the same time, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance company executives are absolutely swimming in huge mountains of cash. Unfortunately, this gigantic money making scam has become so large that it threatens to collapse both the U.S. health care system and the entire U.S. economy.
The following are 50 signs that the U.S. health care system is a massive money making scam that is about to collapse...
#2 This year the American people will spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that Americans will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.
#7 Approximately 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical bills.
#19 Close to 10 percent of all U.S. employers plan to drop health coverage completely when the major provisions of Obamacare go into effect in 2014.
LOL. Maybe Donna Brazille would like to add some insight here.
All hail ObamaCare, the cornerstone of the great Obama presidency! The legislation the corrupt MSM loved, supported, and desperately wanted to help Obama win.
Don’t misread DB’s tweet.
It was not “I don’t know why, under 0bamacare, my premiums went up”.
It was “Even with Obamacare, the greedy private insurance companies are trying to cheat us, so single government payer is the only way to go.”
I’m watching what doctors are doing to a number of people I know who are in their 70’s, and I wonder if there isn’t some sort of scam going on to take lots of money and then let them die.
What supports all this nonsense? The ability of the Gov’t to print money and have a central bank (the Federal Reserve) with their primary dealer constituents buy this debt
End the FED and you end 1000 evils that are enabled by it.
I’m distrustful of Time magazine in general, but some of the examples of overcharging they gave were pretty shocking. For some reason, I also got the impression that non-profit hospitals are a scam. Maybe some of the medical experts could weigh in.
Back in the 90s, a friend was in a bad accident. He left the hospital after three months, broke and jobless. He then received in the mail his hospital bill: $287,000, or, $427,092 in 2012 dollars.
Everything you are all posting indicates that the Progressives will eventually get their wish. A 51% majority for single payer.
Why is it so much longer? Hint: It is NOT from people quitting smoking, dieting and exercising, and not doing stupid dangerous things. It is because of a huge, unrelenting, almost all-American, century long, Space-age type acceleration in our science and technology related to medicine. It costs an incredible amount.
But the other reason it costs an incredible amount is that every single penny practically, spent on health care, has to be run through greedy insurance companies and all of their cubicled workers. Millions and millions of people are supported by this expense, though, it adds NOTHING to the medical products or services bought. Bring back a real market, and really informed consumers, and freedom to purchase whatever, wherever, and prices will tumble.
Then, health insurance will become what it used to be in a saner time: A means of amortizing a rare and unexpected expense for an individual.
Also, a reason it is so expensive to get medical care is because people have INFANTILE EXPECTATIONS about the chances of survival of very sick and very old people. Instead of just saying goodbye, as it was done in the old days, they let the doctors do all kinds of crazy aggressive things like liver transplantations, ECMO, chemotherapy, ridiculous operations on metastatic disease, etc. Very high tech, but usually not worth it.
Next, people sue doctors and hospitals for supposed errors if they believe not everything possible was done. Well, 'everything possible' is incredibly expensive, when it comes to medicine.
Last but not least, medical care is expensive is because only a fraction of people buy health insurance. Others are indigent, and just show up at the hospital injured or sick and then stiff the hospital for the bill. Millions and millions of people fit into this category. You can lump Medicare people in with them, because they pay about 5 cents for every dollar worth of medical care they consume.
So here is the bear through the barleycorn: Where does the hospital make up the difference so as to pay for all the freeloaders and medicare recipients?
They charge the paying (saps) customers, who had the integrity to obtain health insurance, many, many times more than their real bill, and they shunt the money over to pay for the bills of the deadbeats.
It's actually a great deal for the poor and irresponsible.
Bad deal though, for people who tend to pay their bills.
The politicians and insurance and health care and medicolegal lobbyists and suits of all kinds concocted the system.
Get back to the old days of doctor, patient, cash on the barrel, and you will have responsible, economical care again.
I’m no expert. But I’ve been working in hospitals since 1975.
I was a CFO for many years and have spent the last 10 years as a CEO of a hospital in a large not for profit system.
I don’t see the health care system collapsing, but it will deteriorate.
It already has deteriorated. We had the greatest healthcare delivery system in the history of the world. Now an incredible amount of what we used to reinvest in infrastructure, clinical equipment, education and basic patient care goes toward the heavy administrative costs necessitated by mandated
compliance with overwhelming state and federal regulations. Articles like those in Time and individual anecdotes whip the public into a frenzy and they buy into the need for this ridiculous over regulated situation.
Healthcare as we know it will never be the same, not because of the docs and those who are operating the hospitals but because of the government.
“Im distrustful of Time magazine in general, but some of the examples of overcharging they gave were pretty shocking. For some reason, I also got the impression that non-profit hospitals are a scam. Maybe some of the medical experts could weigh in.”
I’m not an expert, but I’m also distrustful of Time magazine :)
Remember back around 2006, the “real estate bubble”?
Remember how in places like California, the “market price” of real estate became ridiculously inflated (with run-down houses the size of a 2-car garage selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars)?
Remember how the “prices” of real estate surged to where they had no correlation to the _value_ of same?
I think we’re seeing the culmination of something similar in the healthcare “market”.
That is to say, the actual charges for procedures, rooms, etc. seem to have “separated from” any connection to the _actual cost_ of providing same.
This has been caused by the corrupting influence of 3rd-party medical insurance along with increasing government regulation, and exacerbated by the development of new technologies and introduction of new equipment.
I guess they call this “cost shifting”, but the “shift” is actually a full separation (from reality).
And the “medical cost bubble” keeps inflating.
Sometimes I think the only way this can be “fixed” is by outlawing the concept of “medical insurance” and banning any kind of medical payment other than “fee for service” — that is, the only payment the medical provider (doctor) can receive is directly from the patient (NOT from any insurance company or 3rd-party payer).
That is to say, if you need medical care, YOU pay. No pay, no care. Or, if there is care, the bills are sent to YOU, not to the insurance company.
This doesn’t mean the patient couldn’t buy insurance coverage to protect him/herself. But the insurance company should only be allowed to re-imburse the patient AFTER the patient has paid the healthcare provider.
People are going to reply, “if that were the case, few would be able to pay for their medical care and many would suffer and die”.
I would respond, “what if no one could pay for a hospital bed @ $3,000 a day?” Either the hospitals would have a lot of empty beds (and soon go out of business), or, they might consider dropping their prices to where the market would prevail (and people could again afford to pay).
Is that not “the free market” at work?
Not to mention the mountains of paper work the government wants Dr.’s to report. I imagine this will only increase under ZeroTaxCare!
“Im watching what doctors are doing to a number of people I know who are in their 70s, and I wonder if there isnt some sort of scam going on to take lots of money and then let them die.”
...seen it with my own eyes.
Can you confirm one thing for me? How much of what is billed goes to cover Liability insurance and legal expenses?
I believe that Legal costs are the main driver for high costs in Health Care.
Greedy “Victims and Lawyers” are the drivers of health care costs. Doctors practicing defensive medicine as a result of the potential lawsuit for the 1% of bad outcomes drives over use of tests, consumables and expensive equipment.
“Im watching what doctors are doing to a number of people I know who are in their 70s, and I wonder if there isnt some sort of scam going on to take lots of money and then let them die.”
No proof I can present, but yes, and I believe wherever you find a community with a high amount of retiree’s, a community that has evolved to become a retirement community you will find “Doctors” with that sort of cynical opportunistic perspective.
Example the town of Hemet known as a large retirement community in Southern California, and back in the ninteen eighties where Mrs. RQSR’s parents retired only to be milked for almost every nickel they had by the clique of “doctors” in business there.
Long story short after the passing of her husband, and her diagnosis of breast cancer, and after years of one doctor after another in that community she finally realized she was being played for their life’s earnings, the money they had saved for their retirement, and she said to “H” with it all. We miss her dearly.
we need more government regulation //sarc
” Incredible. Life expectancy in the US is now 80, it used to be 45 in 1900.”
I’ll bet life expectancy has improved primarily because of drugs and procedures that are now relatively cheap, so this statement of yours does not explain our high medical costs.
Your blaming of insurance companies doesn’t ring true either. My insurance company knocks off enormous chunks of the doctor’s “sticker” prices. Not that I think insurance companies are the good guys.
I’d say the enormous costs are caused by two things: so-called new drugs and equipment that are priced high because “the manufacturers need to get back their research money” or because the drugs and equipment are often applied to a patient for the rest of his life. His or her life or in some cases comfortable life is put on a very expensive life support.
The author of that Time article aimed our curiosity in the right direction: don’t ask who’s going to pay the bills, ask why the bills are so high.
The least you could do is give us insight into where the high pricing comes from, and also show us that you understand that we are spending more on our medical care than is healthy for our society, and that you might even have ideas for reducing it.
Also, please explain why (assuming it’s true) that most other countries have the same life expectancy as ours but spend far less on medical care.
I agree with some of your ideas.
But you say insurance should be “a means of amortizing a rare and unexpected expense for an individual”. But as people age the medical reasons for the expenses aren’t rare or unexpected, and those medical expenses often continue for the rest of their lives.
A drug that thousands of people must take for the rest of their lives simply can’t be priced at thousands of dollars per year.
The information I need is exactly what that Time author said: to understand where the money goes. For instance, if a doctor get $4000 to do a breast biopsy that take 20 minutes, what is it about that procedure that costs $4000.
If a person is in the emergency room for a few hours and get a $10,000 bill, where did the money go? That’s what we ordinary people would like to know: specifically where does the money go.
The real money being made on health isn't in the doctors office, it is in the pharma companies.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Many doctors and their many hypochondriac and mental patients are in on the scam too.
For a look into the future at what will be a wonderful medical system I’ve always appreciated Solzhenitsyn.
Especially the short story “The Right Hand”
“The Right Hand” features a homeless man who, possessing only a decades-old commendation for “counter-revolutionary service,” is neglected medical treatment.
The way in which he is blown off is heartbreaking.
His major work dealing with socialized healthcare is
Here’s a quick summary I found online:
The story takes place in the men’s cancer ward of a hospital in a city in Soviet Central Asia. The patients in Ward 13 all suffer from cancer, but differ in age, personality, nationality, and social class (as if such a thing could be possible in the Soviet “classless” society!). We are first introduced to Pavel Rusanov, a Communist Party functionary, who enters the hospital because of a rapidly-growing neck tumor.
We soon learn, however, that the book’s central character is Oleg Kostoglotov, a young man who has recently been discharged from a penal camp and is now “eternally” exiled to this particular province. Only two weeks earlier, he was admitted to the ward in grave condition from an unspecified tumor, but he has responded rapidly to radiation therapy. Among the doctors are Zoya, a medical student; Vera Gangart, a young radiologist; and Lyudmila Dontsova, the chief of radiation therapy.
Rusanov and Kostoglotov respond to therapy and are eventually discharged; other patients remain in the ward, get worse, or are sent home to die. In the end Kostoglotov boards a train to the site of his “eternal” exile: “The long awaited happy life had come, it had come! But Oleg somehow did not recognize it.”
Solzhenitzyn himself was released from a labor camp in early 1953, just before Stalin’s death, and was exiled to a village in Kazakhstan. While incarcerated, he had been operated on for a tumor, but was not told the diagnosis. He subsequently developed a recurrence, received radiotherapy in Tashkent, and recovered.
In The Cancer Ward Solzhenitzyn transforms these experiences into a multifaceted tale about Soviet society during the period of hope and liberalization after Stalin’s death. Cancer, of course, is an obvious metaphor for the totalitarian state. The novel also provides an interesting look at mid-century Soviet medicine and medical ethics. Of course, the paternalism evident here (e.g. lack of truth-telling and informed consent) was also characteristic of American medicine in the 1950’s and remains an important concern in professional ethics.
The novel also explores the personal qualities and motivation of physicians, and the issue of intimate relationships between doctors and patients. Probably the book’s strongest points are its insight into human nature and the believability of its characters.
The Government must force Doctors to comply by threatening their license to practice, eventually.
This is a mess that will never work in the USA. Period.
For those of us who can't wait in line behind fifty bums waiting to scam the system
for pain killers, we'll have home visits and those Doctors who do house calls will
be able to survive. In order to pay for it all, the Gov must continue with Death Panels and
lower payments to health care providers and create and never win situation.
It's in the bill.
“The drugs are priced that high because you pay that much. It is a captive market.”
Or maybe because many of us have insurance and consider the sticker prices crazy but don’t pay them, so the upward price spiral chugs along. But now insurance rates are getting out of hand. Surprise, huh?
You’re correct, it is a captive market. I’m not sure what to do about that.
Everyone wants the very best care possible. In an advanced technological culture, that is VERY expensive. If it can be done, and someone can pay for it, everyone will want it - and insist on getting it for “free”.
Surgeries (and gory details) aside, I had a $55,000 hospital stay once. Three weeks. That works out to about $100/hr. In an age where sweeping floors or flipping burgers gets you over $7/hr, and a robust salary is $50/hr, is $100/hr for teams of trained medical staff equipped with advanced technology hovering over you 24/7 really so bad?
Another time a doctor was paid $8000 for his work on me. I’d say that’s quite fair, considering he was repairing my heart.
Sure there are absurd expenses charged. Go after them. Be aware that demanding premium services with technically advanced equipment and difficult chemistries is very, very expensive.
Excellent article —
Beyond the captive market, there is the world wide cost shifting. Countries with socialized health care systems “negotiate” the prices they are willing to pay for medications. They are effectively offering a token amount as an alternative to otherwise violating manufacturer patents and making a generic version themselves. In effect, American prescription users are financing all the research and testing for the entire world. If the costs of research and failed drugs were dispersed among several billion folks instead of a hundred million, our prices would be lower.
You are correct, we are subsidizing most of the R&D, but that isn't the whole reason for the price.
The other side is a wide gap between actual price, and perceived price. I had to take some acid controls for a stomach condition. I payed $3, my insurance paid $80.
The SAME drug is in Prilosac OTC, and costs $30 for the same dosage.
That is a $50 mark up in actual price, but I only perceive the $3 cost.
All the surgical advances kept a kid with pyloric stenosis alive. All the cardiac surgery advances kept a kid with Tetralogy alive. All the neonatology, critical care, neurosurgery, nutrition, etc., kept premature kids alive.
No way was it just sulfa drugs and penicillin.
In fact, the first antibiotics, penicillin and sulfa drugs, were not available until WW2... the elongation in life expectancy started well before 1939.
It was a worldwide army of people working their behinds off, caring for the sick, and doing research on millions of different things.
Not just antibiotics.