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    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Other People's Money: The Hillary Spot has a great discussion on healthcare (i.e. health insurance). First, the problem with our system:

    Part of our problem may be the sense that when health care is “paid for” by someone else - your employer, the government, etc., there’s little incentive to eliminate unnecessary tests, procedures, etc. (Somebody once explained it that when you're buying something for yourself with your own money, your top priority is value. When you’re buying something for yourself with someone else's money, price matters much less, your top priority is quality. When you’re buying something for someone else with your money, you’re usually very concerned with price and are willing to compromise on quality; and when you're buying something for someone else with someone else's money, you're not too worried about value, quality, or price. P.J. O’Rourke noted that 99 percent of all government spending is in that last category.) Much of health care spending is using somebody else’s money to take care of yourself.

    Spot on Hillary Spot. In a later post, readers weigh in. One notes that the government already determines how much doctors and hospitals get paid - without considering the cost of business:

    Just a foretaste of central planning run amok. I liken it to having congress decide that NOAA had become so good at forecasting weather, that they could save heating and A/C costs by running every thermostat in the country from Washington according to their long-range forecasts. In order to make sure that they had good control, laws would be passed making it mandatory to nail shut your windows and outlawing fans. Such is the state of health care in this country, and it doesn’t look much better in the future unless we can somehow wrest back the thermostats.

    Another on the attitude that is fostered by free healthcare:

    Lastly, the idea that providing people with free care through the government or a national health insurance program would help control costs is ridiculous. The people who get the free care now are the ones who constantly abuse the system. In the course of my day my patient population consists of about 70% Medicaid "beneficiaries" and illegal immigrants. These patients pay nothing to access the health care system, yet approximately 90% of them are in the ER with a trivial or non emergent complaint. But Hey! It's free!

    Giving another 46 million people, only 55% of whom are U.S. citizens, free health care is a just a great idea all right.Move health care financing to a free market basis, do something about malpractice, reward charity care and make people responsible for their own health care decisions, only then will you solve the "health care crisis" in a moral fashion.

    That's been my experience, too. Whether it's healthcare or free samples of food, or little drug company do-dads, if it's free, people want more of it than they need.

    There's a lot more at the post - including suggestions for improving insurance coverage.


    posted by Sydney on 1/30/2007 07:27:00 PM 1 comments


    That's Econ 101 (or in my case, 813).

    There is an inverse relationship between the amount of commodity that a person will purchase and the sacrifice that must be made to obtain it

    By Anonymous danie, at 6:48 PM  

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