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d-dave

Opportunity Cost: Healthcare

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Ok party people, while it's a blast playing internet one-ups-manship about candidates and stuff; I wanted to share a fantastic perspective on Medicare for All and opportunity cost.  First off, I LOVE Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  I some of you dislike him for various reasons, but you have to admit that his bits are very well researched.  This week was about Medicare for All in the context of the Democratic Primary as well as some comparisons of our system and Canada or the UK.  Here's the main segment from Youtube:

So here's where I get into the idea of opportunity cost:  how much value is there in a human life?  There are some fantastic examples throughout the piece:  getting paid $500 to buy your prescriptions in Mexico, using GoFundMe to pay your child's medical bills, and picking your organ to fail (I mean, Americans LOVE choice, right?).  How much is the cost/value of having to go through those situation not only for the individual, but also for the company, the community, family, etc.  Anyone or anything that receives some kind of input from the sick person.

Let's take the sick child example.  As a parent, there isn't much we won't do for our kids.  How much does it cost you as a parent in energy, productivity, engagement at work because you are having to go above and beyond for your sick child?  Lots of people do it, sometimes for their child's entire life.  What if that energy could be put back into something more productive than fighting with your insurance company or trying to raise outside funds to pay for your child's life saving medical care or medicine?  To me, that's part of the "invisible" cost of our current health care system is.  It falls into what some of you would call "your problem, not mine."  If people didn't have to worry about making a CHOICE between saving their child's life or working three jobs and burning themselves out to save their child's life?

There are several other terrific examples Oliver and his staff give for the merits of Medicare for All.  I'm not going to dig too much into those because I'm interested to see the responses here.

Something that is often forgotten when talking about the COSTS of healthcare in the US is the GIANT bureaucracy that goes along with it: marketing, sales, legal assistants, useless executives.  What really sucks is when you go to the doctor or pharmacy, have to pay hundreds of dollars for a pill that costs pennies to make in order to make someone else richer.  Sure, that's straight up capitalism, but is that good for everyone?  I hate to think that how much is spent giving bonuses to exes so they can buy boats while many people can't afford life saving medicine.

Americans do have a choice coming up.  Do we look at carefully developing and deploying a thoughtful and smart transition to Medicare for All?  Or do we say "Forget socialism!  I'm going to drive across town for my in-network doctor, pay my $90 copay, then pay my deductible for my medicine for this one aliment I have and ignore the others because I can't pay for them now!  I love choice!  Choice of which part to save!" 

The reality is that many conservatives shout from the roof tops about a lack of choice and extended wait times, yet they ignore that those are simply illusions.  Healthcare should not be traded like a commodity anymore.  It's bad business for someone, in this case, it's really bad for the insured (us).

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preventing people from dying in droves for the benefit of insurance execs and defense contractors is the single driving moral imperative of this election 

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Don't forget that insurance companies are literally incentivized to allow service providers and drug companies to gouge them (which is really us).  They are capped in how much money they are allowed to make on a percentage basis.  So what do they make more money on...a 20% cut on a $2 Tylenol or a 20% cut on a $200 Tylenol?  How about an $800 MRI vs an $8,000 one?  Driving up the cost of healthcare allows them to charge more, and make more money.  It's an absolute sick and twisted system the way it currently stands.

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"Under my plan, everyone will have healthcare" - there's only one candidate that can say this.

By comparison, Trump doesn't even have a healthcare plan (I just checked his website today).

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For you folks that hate corporations, Obamacare has exploded the profits of healthcare companies

they love Obamacare and are making billions of of it....at our expense

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11 minutes ago, bull123 said:

For you folks that hate corporations, Obamacare has exploded the profits of healthcare companies

they love Obamacare and are making billions of of it....at our expense

That's because big chunks of the legislation was literally written by people associated with the health insurance industry.  One of the big scams that we experience here in America is that a bunch of "staff" write the legislation, and then the elected congress people just play front man/woman for it.  And those "staffers" are sometimes are right from the main beneficiaries of the legislation, or quickly jump ship to take their reward with them.  That's part of what happened with Obamacare.

8 hours ago, R0CKnR0LLA said:

"Under my plan, everyone will have healthcare" - there's only one candidate that can say this.

By comparison, Trump doesn't even have a healthcare plan (I just checked his website today).

I think the only real policy position he ever had was to eliminate state monopolies on health insurance and allow them to compete nationwide.  Everything else was just "fake it till you make it."  He almost got away with it, if it wasn't for that meddling McCain!

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12 minutes ago, bull123 said:

For you folks that hate corporations, Obamacare has exploded the profits of healthcare companies

they love Obamacare and are making billions of of it....at our expense

Obamacare was a tiny bandage.  To get the bought and paid for democrats like Corey Booker, the big pharma was given some super sweetheart deals.  But it got more people on insurance.

But that's not what this is about.  My post is about Medicare for All.  I'm much more curious to see how "an independent thinker" like yourself feels about choosing between heart treatment versus liver treatment?  Or having to use go fund me to try to raise enough money for your child's life saving surgery that your insurance company denied coverage from?  Or making sure that JR VP or marketing can get the bonus they need for that new boat?

That is way more interesting than a tired anti-Obamacare crack, considering Trump has done nothing. 

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5 minutes ago, d-dave said:

Obamacare was a tiny bandage.  To get the bought and paid for democrats like Corey Booker, the big pharma was given some super sweetheart deals.  But it got more people on insurance.

But that's not what this is about.  My post is about Medicare for All.  I'm much more curious to see how "an independent thinker" like yourself feels about choosing between heart treatment versus liver treatment?  Or having to use go fund me to try to raise enough money for your child's life saving surgery that your insurance company denied coverage from?  Or making sure that JR VP or marketing can get the bonus they need for that new boat?

That is way more interesting than a tired anti-Obamacare crack, considering Trump has done nothing. 

Gov run healthcare is not the solution 

got to get the providers competing against each other and costs for consumers will go lower

but hospital and the healthcare companies want no part of that

and I do agree that a Trump does not have a solution either

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14 minutes ago, d-dave said:

Or having to use go fund me to try to raise enough money for your child's life saving surgery that your insurance company denied coverage from? 

I hope you don't really think that government provided healthcare means that you don't get denied coverage for stuff.

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8 minutes ago, bull123 said:

Gov run healthcare is not the solution 

got to get the providers competing against each other and costs for consumers will go lower

but hospital and the healthcare companies want no part of that

and I do agree that a Trump does not have a solution either

Do you have any solid proof or examples of where a socialized healthcare plan is not working?  Like system wide.  Everyone has a problems with their doctors from time to time, and it often seems that limited examples are the "proof" that it's not working.

We are moving towards healthcare monopolies.  Hospitals and doctors offices are being bought out and "brought in" to ever expanding healthcare "groups."  I vote we go ahead and skip the part where private corporation monopolies raise costs to costumers and remove coverage for even the most basic things.  While there are lots of reason to not trust the government, I'd rather trust someone I elect as opposed to some CEO trying to cut costs before they go golfing that afternoon.

1 minute ago, Wes21 said:

I hope you don't really think that government provided healthcare means that you don't get denied coverage for stuff.

Look at Bernie Sanders' plan.  He wants to cover everything for free.  No exclusions.  It would be the most generous healthcare plan in the world.  It would include free vision and dental care as well.  

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1 minute ago, d-dave said:

Do you have any solid proof or examples of where a socialized healthcare plan is not working?  Like system wide.  Everyone has a problems with their doctors from time to time, and it often seems that limited examples are the "proof" that it's not working.

We are moving towards healthcare monopolies.  Hospitals and doctors offices are being bought out and "brought in" to ever expanding healthcare "groups."  I vote we go ahead and skip the part where private corporation monopolies raise costs to costumers and remove coverage for even the most basic things.  While there are lots of reason to not trust the government, I'd rather trust someone I elect as opposed to some CEO trying to cut costs before they go golfing that afternoon.

Look at Bernie Sanders' plan.  He wants to cover everything for free.  No exclusions.  It would be the most generous healthcare plan in the world.  It would include free vision and dental care as well.  

This would bankrupt the US...and taxes would be well over 50% for us all...not a solution

competition is needed to drive costs down...Obamacare eliminated this 

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13 minutes ago, d-dave said:

Look at Bernie Sanders' plan.  He wants to cover everything for free.  No exclusions.  It would be the most generous healthcare plan in the world.  It would include free vision and dental care as well.  

So basically you are telling me Bernie is just using healthcare as a gimmick to get elected President and he's not really serious about it.  Got it.

Edited by Wes21

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18 minutes ago, Wes21 said:

So basically you are telling me Bernie is just using healthcare as a gimmick to get elected President and he's not really serious about it.  Got it.

No, he's planning to go get the funds from currently untapped resources like billionaires and corporations who receive tax credits and multi-millionaires that have hidden generational wealth for decades. It will take more than one term to do it though. 

Edit: Let's not forget trimming the fat off of our bloated defense budget, and putting more of that money in the hands of actual troops/families vs. Raytheon and General Dynamics execs. 

Edited by Panther'sBigD
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15 minutes ago, bull123 said:

This would bankrupt the US...and taxes would be well over 50% for us all...not a solution

competition is needed to drive costs down...Obamacare eliminated this 

Taxes would go up, but imagine if you never had to pay another premium, deductible or copay again?  Plus, there wouldn't be any cost overhead for advertising, marketing, big budget officers, etc.

There is no incentive for anyone to introduce competing insurance programs.  It happened long before Obamacare.  What they saw was that Obamacare would be the tip of the iceberg for a Medicare for all program.  They are circling the wagons so to speak.  If the free market worked so well, why is it utterly broken right now? 

The fact is that the free market, when left unrestrained, will coil around and strangle itself.  We see that time and time again, there need to be strong controls to make those free markets productive.

19 minutes ago, Wes21 said:

So basically you are telling me Bernie is just using healthcare as a gimmick to get elected President and he's not really serious about it.  Got it.

Bernie doens't have near enough in his plan on his website, that's for sure.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/

Elizabeth Warren has an over abundance of information on her site including how it would be paid for.

https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/paying-for-m4a

Taxes will be paid, especially by the uber wealthy, but by transitioning away from a making healthcare for profit to healthcare as a public service is in the best interest of everyone.

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13 minutes ago, d-dave said:

Taxes would go up, but imagine if you never had to pay another premium, deductible or copay again?  Plus, there wouldn't be any cost overhead for advertising, marketing, big budget officers, etc.

There is no incentive for anyone to introduce competing insurance programs.  It happened long before Obamacare.  What they saw was that Obamacare would be the tip of the iceberg for a Medicare for all program.  They are circling the wagons so to speak.  If the free market worked so well, why is it utterly broken right now? 

The fact is that the free market, when left unrestrained, will coil around and strangle itself.  We see that time and time again, there need to be strong controls to make those free markets productive.

Bernie doens't have near enough in his plan on his website, that's for sure.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/

Elizabeth Warren has an over abundance of information on her site including how it would be paid for.

https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/paying-for-m4a

Taxes will be paid, especially by the uber wealthy, but by transitioning away from a making healthcare for profit to healthcare as a public service is in the best interest of everyone.

So let me guess, saying "we will cover everybody for everything" is just another extreme negotiating position?  The entire concept is silly and doesn't even warrant a serious response.

No thanks Jeff.

Edited by Wes21

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