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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Health Care in Crisis: How We Got into This Mess

Business Week has released two parts of a 5 part series by Ed Wallace on Health Care. His article doesn't go through the motions of simply objecting Government run health care. Instead it focuses on why health care in the US has gotten so expensive.

Part one outlines some of the history of health care in the US. Part two starts digging into why our health care cost so much.

I think this is a good read and I plan to follow it throughout the week. You can read it here:

PART ONE A little history about sickness, disease, and Henry Ford.

PART TWO Needless Costs, Needless Deaths.

PART THREE Over-medicating America

PART FOUR Patients are Pushovers

PART FIVE Better Ways to Beat Cancer.

EPILOGUE: The Cure For Health Care.

I will update this with links to the next three parts as they are released..

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Last edited by Sgt Beavis; 08-01-2009 at 01:05 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:36 AM
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I definatley agree with the over medication with pills. Shit even Obama, "Just pop a pill, it is just as good."

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, just look at home much these Big Pharma companies spend on advertising alone. It's huge. I was surprised to hear that the US is the only country that allows advertising.

But the unneeded open heart surgeries really get to me. I wonder how many of those three bypass surgeries my Grandmother really needed. I've got to find that book that Ed cited. Heart disease is pretty common on my Mom's side of the family. I'm hoping I've got my Dad's genes on that matter because heart disease is almost unheard of on his side of the family. My Great Grandparents both lived up until their late 90s. My Great Grandpa could have lived longer but he essentially gave up when his wife died.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 12:25 PM
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My great grandmother passed away a few weeks ago/or a month or so.

She was 97.

The family pushed for them to amputate a foot that was lost to diabetes...

She was 97, was on pain meds 24 hours a day, no quality of life, in and out of being cognizant of what was going on, and was never going to come home.

I objected to the surgery saying what quality of life were we trying to preserve but they pushed for it anyways.

It's hard for the families to let go at the end of the life of a loved one so they push for VERY EXPENSIVE SURGERIES so they may have a few more months/years with them.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:39 PM
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My great grandmother passed away a few weeks ago/or a month or so.

She was 97.

The family pushed for them to amputate a foot that was lost to diabetes...

She was 97, was on pain meds 24 hours a day, no quality of life, in and out of being cognizant of what was going on, and was never going to come home.

I objected to the surgery saying what quality of life were we trying to preserve but they pushed for it anyways.

It's hard for the families to let go at the end of the life of a loved one so they push for VERY EXPENSIVE SURGERIES so they may have a few more months/years with them.
I noticed it long ago

Great Uncle - Diabetic, overweight. Went in to get his toe operated on and got an infection. Dead.

Grandfather - Had emphysema for years and continued to smoke. He got dizzy one day, they did heart surgery and his BP would never come back up. Dead.

Wife's grandmother - had some pains, went in and she had cancer. They insisted on operating. She was dead within a week.

I'll never go in and have an operation for a terminal illness that is advanced. I'll die on my feet. Don't get me wrong, I'll take treatment for it but they'll never cut me open once I am past about 60 years old.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:44 PM
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I quit reading after this: "In the first of a series, Ed Wallace explains why the U.S. doesn't have the world's best health care but does have the most expensive"

I'm tired of that bullshit liberal argument.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:58 PM
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I quit reading after this: "In the first of a series, Ed Wallace explains why the U.S. doesn't have the world's best health care but does have the most expensive"

I'm tired of that bullshit liberal argument.
I don't take it as much of a slam. A lot of the doctors that practice in places like India are coming here to get educated and then going back home. When they get there they are operating in a society that is free of a lot of the bullshit they have to put up with here in the States. Essentially, they have the same talent as we do here.

Also, the lifespan thing is more of an effect of the ginormous fat asses we have roaming around. One of them goes belly up at 43 years old and ruins the average for ten other people. I think average lifespan is a poor benchmark to judge quality of healthcare.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 04:34 PM
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I understand that medical stuff costs a lot, but how does that mean we have to pay for other peoples insurance? We should just throw money into research to make billing more stream line. When you go in for a surgery you have to pay Three different people.

How much would an oil change be at a lube shop if you had to pay each company individually: Valvoline for their oil, Honda for their filter, and us for doing the work?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:17 PM
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I don't take it as much of a slam. A lot of the doctors that practice in places like India are coming here to get educated and then going back home. When they get there they are operating in a society that is free of a lot of the bullshit they have to put up with here in the States. Essentially, they have the same talent as we do here.

Also, the lifespan thing is more of an effect of the ginormous fat asses we have roaming around. One of them goes belly up at 43 years old and ruins the average for ten other people. I think average lifespan is a poor benchmark to judge quality of healthcare.
ditto that, our health cost per capita is higher and life span short than comparable countries, but we are the fattest. Obesity rate is like 30% in america compared to 14% in canada, I wonder which population is healthier and cheaper

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Geor! View Post
I quit reading after this: "In the first of a series, Ed Wallace explains why the U.S. doesn't have the world's best health care but does have the most expensive"

I'm tired of that bullshit liberal argument.
Just because a bunch of pansy ass liberals like to throw it around (without backing it up) doesn't make it a liberal argument by default. Ed Wallace is hardly known as a liberal. He'll talk smack about Obama and Clinton as quickly as he did about GW.

Can you deny that we don't pay the most for health care? We most certainly do. In terms of lifespan, our health is the worse. However I do agree with Al's argument that lifestyle plays a big role in that. Also, from a purely technological and research point, the US is definitely in the lead.

However if you go on to read the article you'll see that Wallace is hardly making any liberal points. In fact he takes a jab at universal health care fairly quickly stating that it will just throw more money at the problem without solving the problem.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:37 PM
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We here in the US do pay more to help subsidize other countries for drugs. For example, canada has a lid on the price of drugs which is why US citizens are flocking there for them. The drug companies argue that "someone" has to help make up the profit for the drugs sold cheaply elsewhere, and the US healthcare insurance provider gets it in the ass. This makes up the profit margin for what the drug companies are not making in other countries. Nice, eh?

Another example - we personally needed some drugs for a few months. Insurance didn't cover them, and the US cost was about $3k a month.

We ordered from the netherlands/antilles and got it the exact same drugs for about $1500/month.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:45 PM
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We here in the US do pay more to help subsidize other countries for drugs. For example, canada has a lid on the price of drugs which is why US citizens are flocking there for them. The drug companies argue that "someone" has to help make up the profit for the drugs sold cheaply elsewhere, and the US healthcare insurance provider gets it in the ass. This makes up the profit margin for what the drug companies are not making in other countries. Nice, eh?

Another example - we personally needed some drugs for a few months. Insurance didn't cover them, and the US cost was about $3k a month.

We ordered from the netherlands/antilles and got it the exact same drugs for about $1500/month.
Don't worry Obama's government is really good at controlling the private sector, those profits will be long gone Just another step towards socialism

Even though its not popular, the drug companies have to be allowed to make a profit. Drug research is a long and expensive project, and the few success that come out of R&D have to cover all those costs before the patent runs. Take away the profit motive and you kill R&D...

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
We here in the US do pay more to help subsidize other countries for drugs. For example, canada has a lid on the price of drugs which is why US citizens are flocking there for them. The drug companies argue that "someone" has to help make up the profit for the drugs sold cheaply elsewhere, and the US healthcare insurance provider gets it in the ass. This makes up the profit margin for what the drug companies are not making in other countries. Nice, eh?

Another example - we personally needed some drugs for a few months. Insurance didn't cover them, and the US cost was about $3k a month.

We ordered from the netherlands/antilles and got it the exact same drugs for about $1500/month.

I wish we could see the breakdown of costs for big Pharma companies. I keep hearing that they have huge advertising costs in the US. If that is the case, it could explain part of the price difference. The US is the only country that allows pharmasutical companies to advertise.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see that the cost of lesser known drugs subsidize the cost of advertising for more popular meds like Viagra.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
We here in the US do pay more to help subsidize other countries for drugs. For example, canada has a lid on the price of drugs which is why US citizens are flocking there for them. The drug companies argue that "someone" has to help make up the profit for the drugs sold cheaply elsewhere, and the US healthcare insurance provider gets it in the ass. This makes up the profit margin for what the drug companies are not making in other countries. Nice, eh?

Another example - we personally needed some drugs for a few months. Insurance didn't cover them, and the US cost was about $3k a month.

We ordered from the netherlands/antilles and got it the exact same drugs for about $1500/month.
My mom is in Mexico (8 years now), and medications are super cheap. A lot of them are treated like over-the-counter items, too. They remind me of the little M&M dispensers you see that take a quarter, then you turn the dial.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Part Five is up.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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EPILOGUE: The Cure For Health Care.

Ed Wallace doesn't propose a solution but instead a road map for figuring out a solution.

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