Streams

Health Care, How To Do It Right

Friday, April 06, 2012

In his new PBS documentary, "U.S. Health Care: The Good News," T.R. Reid, veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, explores the places that manage to balance fiscal and physical health.

Guests:

T.R. Reid

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Comments [21]

guycatelli from America

another great segment, Brian.

Apr. 07 2012 01:32 AM

@meatwnyc:

I missed a few really interesting aspects of you assertions:

1. Are you claiming that it's only "socialism" if the state takes title to
the machinery, and that it is "fascism" if the state takes title to the
people, as a means for central planning of the "social good"?
Are you in favor of either? Which do you think has been successful in
the past? Where?

2. In plain language: how does a "public option that isn't paid for with a
dime of taxes." work? Where does the money to pay services providers
come from? Or is it one of those "Obama-mandates-it-be-done-at-no-cost
-to-recipients" swindles?

Peace & Love

Apr. 06 2012 10:44 PM

No one doubts that groups of people are groups of people. But here in America corporations, legal entities created to run a business for profit, are considered people too. They are not, . . . "
1. Why do you think you can dehumanize some groups of people but not
others? Why should individuals who form a group to run a business "for
profit" forfeit the rights they have as individuals or as a group that
forms for "non-profit"?
Do you make a distinction as to legal rights between a group
engaged in "Saving the Whales" and a group dedicated to "Canning the
Whales"? (I don't and I haven't heard a principled reason to do so.)
" . . . it's good to see from your "stop wasting carbon" comment that at
least you are concerned about pollution and the human affect on the global
climate!"

2. My main concern is that we not run out of carbon; based upon the
arguments I've seen, I don't expect that there's much more to be
concerned about at the present
[http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9082151]
Of course you are entitled to your opinion, not my agreement.

Which "thugs" in the Corporate/Government tyranny are you so upset about anyway?
3. They were the members of Government, the republicans and the democrats, who urged and voted for the Federal Treasury bailouts of the business and personal fortunes of the various malefactors of the financial crisis that seems to have begun in 2007-2008. I don't pretend to be nonpartisan, I just don't have much respect for self described republicans or democrats - put the former in jail for consecutive life sentences and the latter for a single life sentence, no parole for either.

Apr. 06 2012 06:14 PM

@geTaylor:

Um, it's hardly a quibbling distinction. It's actually a completely different definition. Guess it's more convenient for your rant though...

Which "thugs" in the Corporate/Government tyranny are you so upset about anyway? The financial sector creating bubbles and sucking out the wealth of nations before the bubble pops, or the insurance and weapons industry perhaps, desperate for that government teat to provide them with endless profits from the taxpayer.

Here's a simple solution for the health care issue though. If you're so confident that the government can't get health care right, allow them to start a public option that isn't paid for with a dime of taxes. Allow them to run non-profit a system that anyone can pay into you'll get health care at the cost for the government. Tons of people would choose that option and my bet is lots of businesses would jump in too. That's an option that millions of people want, but that isn't being offered because of the tyranny of corporations lobbying against loosing their golden teat.

Apr. 06 2012 01:49 PM

@geTaylor:

No one doubts that groups of people are groups of people. But here in America corporations, legal entities created to run a business for profit, are considered people too. They are not, so stop being so daft.

BTW, it's good to see from your "stop wasting carbon" comment that at least you are concerned about pollution and the human affect on the global climate!

Apr. 06 2012 01:30 PM

@meatwnyc:

BTW: I find your "Hey, corporations are people too!" to be uninterestingly vacuous. Of course groups of persons are persons. Who would think that they were anything else? And what else would they be? Stop wasting carbon please.

Apr. 06 2012 12:32 PM

@meatwnyc:

BTW: I find your "Hey, corporations are people too!" to be uninterestingly vacuous. Of course groups of persons are persons. Who would think that they were anything else? And what else would they be? Stop wasting carbon please.

Apr. 06 2012 12:31 PM

@meatwnyc:

"Actually, it's only Socialism when the government owns and controls the means of production."

A quibbling distinction that does not make a difference.

What collectivist tyranny (and what other kind is there?), be it nominally fascist or socialist, does not rely on its forcible control over individuals rather than over inanimate technology.

Of course there is a degree of difference between a government program that organizes voluntarily contributed revenues for a purpose agreed to by the participants. But now, for those that have the "do-my-good-or-else" mentality, it is just a short step to mandating that everyone contribute to the "ends that justify the means".

As expenses grow, service providers are required to restrict their fees to those determined by the government. To say nothing of the service restrictions inflicted upon the "needy" clients.
(And whether the "government" is seen as a limited membership "death" panel or one made up of the Congress of the United States or even the general electorate - by what principle do you claim to set the price for the productive labor of another?)

Finally, the rules must change to not only "price control" producers who choose to take advantage of government provided compensation but to require all producers to participate in these programs and cease providing services outside of the government's program. Client's are also mandated to purchase needed services from cost-controlled providers.

In the end the only means of wealth production is the human mind in an environment of liberty. Of course thugs are capable of seizing all such wealth as is created until the wealth is no longer created or the people recall the good life that can be supported for all by liberty and overthrow their thuggish oppressors.

'Nuff said.

Apr. 06 2012 12:14 PM
rich at the shores from palm beach county fl

again, why doesn't anyone bring up physicians for a national health program (pnhp) when discussing this topic?? these are serious people, including several who are faculty members of major medical schools like harvard.

they were treated with contempt by sen. max baucus (d-mt). when he ran the hearings on the affordable care act, he had the pnhp representatives escorted out by security. he chose to run with a plan drafted by liz fowler, a former vice president of wellpoint, one of the major players in the health insurance industry.

when is our media going to get the message that a lot of people want a single payer plan and would at least like it to be brought up for discussion???

Apr. 06 2012 11:51 AM
Dr. Miguel Cima from ny

We have 3000 health care plans for profit in American. If we change to Universal Health Care we would immediately save 400 Billion dollars to cover the uninsured.
Private insurance companies keep up to 40 cents of premium where Medicare spends only 2 cents of a dollar.
Why these items remain so unconspicuously absent from the health care debate

Apr. 06 2012 11:28 AM

The GOP keeps saying we need to cut Medicare, and the Ryan budget they passed would do just that, but then they just went and extended the Medicare SGR again in late 2011. If they're really serious about this view why not take the easy low hanging fruit and let the 27% reimbursement cut go through which would save tons of money. Guess talk is just that.

Apr. 06 2012 11:25 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Local solutions are best. It's odd that the president referred to the health care bill as 'passed by a large majority' - it squeaked through at the 11th hour with arm twisting as I recall.

The Supreme Court is indirectly elected - elected officials appoint them.

What a beautiful system.

Apr. 06 2012 11:18 AM

re geTaylor:

Actually, it's only Socialism when the government owns and controls the means of production.

What we're getting is unfortunately probably going to be something worse: government mandated Capitalism. Another step forward in our great Corporatocracy! Of the profits, by the profits, for the profits! Hey, corporations are people too!

Apr. 06 2012 11:17 AM
Ann from Westchester

Outrageous that you do not even discuss the BIG business of ambulance chasing that drives doctors to dot i's and cross t's. If the doctor does not order that test and the person has something, then whether it's due to "mal' result or malpractice, the doctor stands to be sued. Outrageous that the implication is that most doctors (except for those few that are good people) are just kicking back, meandering through their day in order to buy their next Lexus. Outrageous you do not discuss the unbelievable amount of time that doctors and staff must devote to paperwork and in order to do paperwork. This has increased over the years (whether or not on actual paper or in an electronic format). Outrageous that you do not discuss that fact that reimbursement to doctors has gone down and not up over the last few decades. Guess what? Costs have gone up. What I took away from your piece: some doctors are really concerned people, even though we think of most as uncaring crooks. How simplistic. Usually, you do a great job of presenting a multi-dimensional picture. Not this time.

Apr. 06 2012 11:13 AM
Carl from New Jersey

A BIG cause of the high costs that is NOT talked about is the "free market" effect of the companies that push products and drugs on the seniors. Republicans like to say that the market will drive down costs, but I believ it will drive them UP.
Besides all the drug ads, you see ads for the 'scooter' every day on TV -- where they say "if we don't get medicare to pay for it, you get it for free". Pleople who don't really need them are pushed into spending the money, because it is not theirs -- but the company makes a nice profit off the rest of us.
Another example is what my elderly, disabled father renetly went through. He uses an electric wheelchair with several special features due to a spinal cord injury. When we went to get it fixed last year, we were told that we should just get a new one (approx cost = $20,000), rather than fix it -- becasue medicare will pay for a new one every 5 years.

Apr. 06 2012 11:02 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

OOPS...Major Statistical ERROR...
I just checked the regional cost of living adjuster (RCOLA) for Grand Junction CO vs. New York, NY...

AND, $6,000 in Grand Junction, CO trandnslates to 20,876 in NYC.
So, perhaps the MD's in NY are doing OK.

So, what is the 'typical' Medicare expenditure in NYC?
Verify this "documentary."

http://www.cityrating.com/costofliving.asp

Apr. 06 2012 11:00 AM
Philip from South Carolina

Brian, do feel it necessary to refer to "The Affordable Care Act" as Obamacare? If so, why?

Apr. 06 2012 10:59 AM

Hey Brian:

It's only "socialism" when the government uses its monopoly to legitimate organized force to require a private individual's action or inaction when the transaction is solely between or among private individuals.

Apr. 06 2012 10:59 AM
marcella from NYC

Why isn't there a discussion about malpractice and tort reform. Here in NYC Dr's will order more tests in order to have ensure that they will not be sued by a patient.

Apr. 06 2012 10:58 AM
Mary from Upper West Side

What about patients who are quick to sue doctors for malpractice for not ordering all the tests?

Apr. 06 2012 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Very few medical conditions require appt's. every 2 weeks for monitoring on an ongoing basis. Maybe for the 1st monthe or 2, & then if the patient's doing well s/he can start coming in every month, then less often, down to every 6 months or 1 year.

Apr. 06 2012 10:57 AM

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