Americans pay, on average, about four times as much for a hip replacement as patients in Switzerland or France and more than three times as much for a Caesarean section as those in New Zealand or Britain. […] The costs of hospital stays here are about triple those in other developed countries, even though they last no longer, according to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that studies health policy.
[…]
Colonoscopies offer a compelling case study. They are the most expensive screening test that healthy Americans routinely undergo — and often cost more than childbirth or an appendectomy in most other developed countries. […] The high price paid for colonoscopies mostly results not from top-notch patient care, according to interviews with health care experts and economists, but from business plans seeking to maximize revenue; haggling between hospitals and insurers that have no relation to the actual costs of performing the procedure; and lobbying, marketing and turf battles among specialists that increase patient fees.



  1. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Yep. Its the evils of capitalism on full display: Docs getting into medicine not to heal people but rather to make lots of money.

    1. Docs have a legal monopoly and thereby prevent other qualified health providers from providing the same service at 1/10th the cost: Nurses, Pharmacists, Aides, Paramedics. You see this with all licensing scams too.

    2. Docs get paid whether their services are competent or not: “No guarantee of outcome.”

    3. Docs ge paid per procedure rather than on avoiding procedures.

    4. etc.

    You could not design a system to be more poor than what we have in the USA. Fools will confuse the most expensive with being the best. And if you pay the very most, yes you can get good medicine here in the USA===but practically anywhere else as well.

    Is Healthcare for the purpose of making Docs rich?==>or for helping the peoples/children get/stay healthy?

    We have decided the former. Tick/Tock until the system breaks of its own weight and we usher in rational SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Just the way most services of import should be provided.

    Silly Hoomans.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Yeah, what he said. (Bobbo and I agree sometimes. [Often I suspect.])

      By going to a single payer system, you can’t end up paying $X at one place and $Y down the street for the b>exact same thing.

      We put up with that crap for years, and still put up with it for used cars.

      Think of socialist health-insurance policies as MSRP for your body.

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        Single payer is only a start for all the other ills of our system are still present, still being covered up.

        Fact is, you can pay $x for a service, and pay $2x (thats twice as much) for an INFERIOR service. Its all private enterprise–the doc and the patient bargaining for what gets transacted.

        The FREE MARKET doesn’t work in medicine because it fails definitionally in not having qualified buyers and sellers willing and able to secure the product/service elsewhere. Healthcare doesn’t work that way.

        Lots of different approaches to how to structure the provision of BETTER MEDICINE for the public. Would the docs “like it?” Some would, some wouldn’t. Who cares? Healthcare is FOR THE PATIENTS/PUBLIC==not the Docs. We need to keep our eyes on the ball.

        Another severable slice of the pie: immunity from lawsuits if the doc has correctly identified the underlying disease and treats it according to an approved protocol. This would reduce costs while improving care. Docs don’t “like it” as it cuts down on their individual creativity. Again===who cares what they want/think/chisel?

        Yeah SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Its like, the reverse of co2 in the air.

        Know what I mean?

      • msbpodcast says:

        Your doctor is probably competent, to a degree, but he doesn’t take the time to do the job right, because he just doesn’t have it, since he’s trying to keep up with the Joneses.

        Then again, your doctor may be a complete quack who buries his mistakes.

        I have suffered under both. (I have MS, a rare and easily misdiagnosed disease. [The stories I could tell you, but don’t have enough evidence for a malpractice suit, would get my ass sued right off.])

        Now I use a fuckin’ barge pole to touch the medical profession.

        The next time I let a doctor touch me is when I get a bad case of rigor mortis.

        • bobbo, in Repose says:

          Yeah MPod, the hints and peeks you have posted about your history happen all too often. Hard to discuss without sounding over involved or a whiner. Same as with anyone not saying USA IS NO1 and wrapping them in a flag. Interesting dynamic overall.

          Healthcare, and how to provide it for what desired outcomes, is an interest subject to spend some time with. There are enough objective facts to separate the shit from the shinola.

          As always: do you form your opinions based on facts or on dogma? Opinions based on facts, change with changed facts presented. Dogma never changes…. it just howls. Usually some version of: USA, WE’RE NO 1!!

          Foolish humans.

      • MikeN says:

        My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less,

    • dusanmal says:

      So, why the net flow of patients in need of serious healthcare is NOT to France, UK, New Zealand, … or any other place with socialized and Government controlled medicine but to USA? Also, why is the net flow of good doctors to USA from places with socialized medicine vs. net flow of doctors from third world with minimal qualifications to the places with socialized medicine?

      Capitalism provides natural evolutionary force through the market (as long as market is free) that makes everything be done both better for customer and more profitably for provider.
      “Rational” Socialized Medicine lacks the crucial factor on all levels – who and why strives to do things better and more efficient? No one. Same as downfall of marketless Communism any socialized medicine without competition goes mediocre at first, than corrupt, than collapses. Lived in such system. Have had root canals done with topical anesthetic and (bureaucrat approved) straps on dental chairs…

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        Why? Simply stated: you lie.

        Nuff said.

      • msbpodcast says:

        Capitalism provides natural evolutionary force through the market (as long as market is free) that makes everything be done both better for customer and more profitably for provider.

        Spoken like a true accountant; a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Nothing lasts longer than 30 years to an accountant. Not even this country.)

        Medicine for profit is an oxymoron, and you’re a moron for suggesting that getting fisted by the invisible hand of Adams Smith is in any way better that believing that Snake Oil can heal cancer.

        By your reasoning, we should open the military up to competitive bidding. What if Best Korea underbids everybody? What do you do then, asshole.

        There are times when the biding process is appropriate, when I have time to be rational about a decision.

        When I’m in pain or when I’m pissing blood from a vein is not that time.

        Put aside a percentage of the GDP for medical expenses and then open it for competitive bidding. I bet you that the expenses would stop climbing PDQ. (Either that or it would make for one hell of a show trial. :-))

        • LibertyLover says:

          Medicine for profit is an oxymoron

          You are making the assumption that medicine is something you can pick off of a tree.

          It is not. It is something that is provided by someone’s mind.

          How do you recommend we get the best treatment possible without paying for it?

          Are you suggesting we enslave all doctors and force them to work for a wage set by someone who thinks they know what is best for us?

          • bobbo, in Repose says:

            Hey LL==when you make $$ the calling card, you get people who want $$.

            Imagine a system that “honors” care givers for their caring and expertise? Some good docs will go do something else because THEY WANT MONEY. But other good docs will be even more rewarded in a system aiming at that reality.

            Another simple rule: since as a doc you have a monopoly to practice medicine==you can’t be a doc and do anything else. No joint ventures in owning diagnostic equipment for instance. I WANT DOCS dreaming about what could be wrong with their patients, NOT what the tax advantages on an unneeded MRI might be.

            Humans–they aren’t all money grubbing dipshits. You may have missed that in the journey you call “success.”

        • Sea Lawyer says:

          Usually, anybody who complains about Smith’s “Invisible Hand” is a person who hasn’t read his “Theory of Moral Sentiments”

          • bobbo, in Repose says:

            What a high faluting, but fatally vague, reference/technique you employ there SL.

            May I buy a clue and ask just what in the Theory of Moral Sentiments would modify anything that Mpod said?

            Seems to me Adam Smith approved of morality in the marketplace. Same as Mpod and I recognize and argue for.

            Its been awhile. Did Smith outline the requirements necessary and sufficient for the free market to operate, or was that detailed in later authors to be finally overtaken by the greed, corruption, and misanthropy of the Chicago School?===or was it the Austrian School? I get all those foreigners mixed up.

            Ha, ha.

    • Derek says:

      What allows doctors to maintain this monopoly? Yep, you guessed it. Government regulation. 90% of what most doctors do could be done by a nurse practitioner, but government regulation forces you to see a doctor.

      But you know what we need? Government to take it over completely. Is that how everything must be? Government make something unsustainable, then take it over because it’s unsustainable? Of course, if they do take it over, do you think they will pass it before they read it, like the nearly completely useless Obamacare was?

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        “Government to take it over completely. Is that how everything must be?” /// No, its how healthcare should be if you want better outcomes at a cheaper cost.

        Try to keep up.

      • msbpodcast says:

        90% of what most doctors do could be done by a nurse practitioner

        Its not the government who makes those rules, its the AMA.

        • bobbo, in Repose says:

          thats very true mpod at 1/% of the cost while providing the TIME and bedside manner that is so beneficial for so many people.

          Even under our current system, so much $$ could be saved and access to healthcare improved.

          Those healthcare extenders would only need to understand their screening role and not keep cases they should refer on.

          Yep–some kind of regulatory oversight and enforcement. The bottom x% of any group should be culled out on a regular basis. Something else the FREE MARKET cannot do.

          Life is like that.

    • MikeN says:

      In short, what the living wage is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality. Its advocates are basically opposed to the idea that wages are a market price — determined by supply and demand, the same as the price of apples or coal. And it is for that reason, rather than the practical details, that the broader political movement of which the demand for a living wage is the leading edge is ultimately doomed to failure: For the amorality of the market economy is part of its essence, and cannot be legislated away.

      Paul Krugman.

    • Guyver says:

      Yep. Its the evils of capitalism on full display: Docs getting into medicine not to heal people but rather to make lots of money.

      You’ve got something you’re citing as the “evils of capitalism” when it’s not the case at all.

      Elements of the Affordable Healthcare Act had heavy lobbying by corporate hospitals to compel doctors out of private practice which would have helped to keep prices lower with more options for patients. You’re apparently okay with that.

  2. Mextli says:

    “Tick/Tock until the system breaks of its own weight and we usher in rational SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Just the way most services of import should be provided.”

    What other services do you have in mind blowbo?

    The government sure has a great record running things. Lets put doctors in a public sector union too so they will be sure to earn minimum wage.

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Fair question given your strongly implied surrender on the issue of healthcare.

      Certainly education.

      Certainly retirement income security.

      Criminal Justice.

      Aviation.

      Food Safety.

      Environmental Safety and Health.

      The full safety net of minimal (SURE to be abused, but meant to be minimal: food, shelter).

      Full service eugenics program on a voluntary basis.

      ………so many more.

      The KEY is to integrate enough regulation to provide a fair, level, playing field. THEN allow the greed of the private market to work its magic.

      Simple.

  3. Dallas says:

    No surprise . The term ‘healthcare’ is an oxymoron in this country. Our system is about maximizing profits on ‘sick care’. That’s where the money is.
    When you’re sick or dying, you don’t do much shopping. The sheeple are trained to believe this is the best solution for society.

  4. Mextli says:

    So I guess a most part of the problem is doctors, etc. making a large amount of money. So what! Are you jealous? Hell I would like to be rich. We can make a lot of improvements to healthcare without channeling Hugo Chávez.

    Quit trying to turn this country into France. You probably cried when the USSR fell apart.

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Nextli–close. I don’t care how much money docs make UNTIL it affects the care they (don’t) provide.

      Notice they money to docs flows from the monopoly they hold.

      Try to keep up.

      • Guyver says:

        Nextli–close. I don’t care how much money docs make UNTIL it affects the care they (don’t) provide.

        Notice they money to docs flows from the monopoly they hold.

        And malpractice insurance as well as unnecessarily high barriers to become a medical doctor foster this.

        Break up the doctors unions and get big pharma’s influence out of the medical schools and journals would be on the path to better bang for the buck care IMHO.

    • Dallas says:

      Bahhh.. Bahhhh. American healthcare is just fine, American healthcare is just fine. Bahhh , Bahhh

  5. Egon Ruuda says:

    High costs of healthcare represents an enormous amount of the GDP.

  6. Mr Diesel says:

    You think it is expensive now wait until it is free.

  7. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Pedro–who ever said “Let’s adopt the Healthcare System EXACTLY LIKE THE ONE THEY USE ON……the Canary Islands.”

    No one.

    The first “real” job I ever had was cleaning up chicken shit under a poultry house for 8 hours on Sat and Sun. Life went downhill from there and now I find myself responding to you.

    Silly Hoomans. Can think worth shit……. and I know what I’m shoveling.

    Yea, verily.

  8. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Hmm…I can see I read your earlier post too fast.

    ““In the US, private health’s paradise, personal & familiar health expenses to care for grave illnesses is the number cause of poverty” (and here I was thinking it was getting in debt to get the latest plastic and “i” toys and getting the credit cards to the max, silly me) “due to the need to sell their properties and get into debt until bankruptcy to pay for their assistance”

    Huge BS in that statement aside, is it better then not to care for the patients so the families can enjoy the defunct’s “riches” as if it was a lottery?

    ///////////// Its hard to tell what you really think Pedro, or why, such are your communication skills. Tripping on the ironic, or a translation or idiosyncratic error I can’t tell.

    Correct me if I’m wrong: you think Healthcare System in the USA is just fine and the complaints of 40 Million people not having any coverage at all (ER doesn’t count) and the main cause of personal bankruptcy being health expenses are either not true or are what makes our system so wonderful.

    Yes or No?—Quibble? But in all cases, please stop the BS of your personal experiences as lived by your close friends.

  9. Somebody says:

    I was going to suggest “separation of medicine and state” but I know you guys aren’t ready for that and won’t be until you’ve suffered enough.

    Maybe next year.

    So how about: “Those who pay choose”?

  10. MikeN says:

    Weaken the doctors’ monopoly. Since liberals will not allow such a thing as allowing unlicensed practice of medicine, and would probably vomit at the thought of a clinic at every Walmart, let’s try a different tactic. Allow Canadian doctors to practice in the US without doing a residency again.

  11. MikeN says:

    This story is a setup for a larger campaign to have the government set the prices, and ration the care, declaring certain screenings as unnecessary. They’ve already done this with mammograms and prostrate screenings.

    Having more catastrophic health care plans would help, as then insurance would operate as just that, insurance, not the payer for every health care expense. If insurance companies had to pay for gas fillups, gas would be $20 a gallon.

    Instead, ObamaCare is raising the premiums on those plans and making the best ones go away.

  12. deowll says:

    The thing whoever wrote this missed is that dogs can often get the same procedures done much faster and cheaper than humans. In fact at many locations dogs can get more advanced care in much less time for much less money. In many locations the waiting time before you get treated is a common cause of death. Your cancer may become untreatable in six months to a year. It is a simple fact that many of the treatments offered are antiqued and the medical equipment is a generation or more out of date.

    You may be denied treatment for odd reasons such as they expect you do die at some point anyone so no hip surgery for you even though this will result in your being bed fast or limited to a wheelchair and of course you will die sooner because of that or you drove to far thus creating CO2 but the 18 yr old does get a boob job to enhance her self worth. In Britain if you are a senior and the Dr. decides you will die in three days they admit you but don’t provide services and that includes basics like food and water. If you are still alive in three days they re evaluate you by which time you certainly will die in three days with no food and water.

    Of course it is true that a lot of Brits are happy with their “free” medical care but its also true that the ones who are the happiest are the ones that make the least use of it.

    • MikeN says:

      Yes, frequently vision and dental are not covered by insurance, allowing for a whole new tooth for just $1000 or less. If dental visits were more handled by insurance, the charges would be much higher and Lasik would be 100k or nonexistent


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