Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to Hold Down Health Care Costs

I read an interesting article today about medical practices and technology. Increasingly, advanced diagnostic technology and other technology such as electronic medical records and electronic transmission of prescriptions to pharmacies are becoming commonplace in all sorts of medical practices, including your family physician's office.

Of course, these technologies cost money.

And there's the rub. We all want the best medical care that modern medicine, including modern medical technology, can offer. We don't want to compromise. If a new diagnostic tool comes out that can detect a heart problem or a vascular issue, or a metabolic problem or a cancer just a little bit sooner and a little bit more accurately, I want that new technology. It might save my life.

But we have to hold down health care costs. That's what Obama keeps telling us. They're going cut reimbursements to doctors and limit the costs of testing. That means that doctors won't be able to afford to keep up with new technologies. And if doctors can't afford to buy the new technologies, the companies that do research and development to produce these new technologies won't be able to sell them. Therefore, they won't be able to afford to develop and produce them.

And so the "trickle down" goes.

But we don't care about that, do we? We just want to be able to insure that extra 47 million people; many of whom have chosen not to have health care because they don't need it, many others who are already eligible for other types of health care benefits but haven't signed up, many others who are illegal aliens.

No, none of that matters. We have to lower the cost of health care. So let's roll back the technology to what it was years ago. Let's stop developing new treatments, new drugs, new diagnostic tools, new technologies. Because these are the things that drive up the cost of health care.

Of course, we'll all die sooner and we'll have a decreased quality of life as we develop diseases that rob us of our health. But we'll all be covered by universal, government-run, rationed health care.

And that's what really matters.


James' Muse September 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

I think we do need to bring down some costs, but the main problem we DO have, which can be fixed without ObamaCare, is health insurance fraud. I like some parts of the bill, such as the part that makes it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage for someone who has paid their premiums, and illegal to drop them.

This is one of the actual problems faced which I think needs to be fixed now. My parents have health insurance, but when my sister's doctor recommended an MRI, the insurance company refused to pay for it, saying it was "experimental." My parents went into debt to pay for it anyway, and my sister's life was saved by catching a severe inner ear infection that would have killed her had they not done the MRI.

Those parts of the bill I could agree with. In fact, I read that 80% of the bill is agreed upon by both sides, things like fixing medicare/medicaid, and the things I listed above. What I don't get is why don't they just make a new bill and sign that one that has the non-controversial stuff in it?

Miss T.C. Shore September 16, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

Newt Gingrich, in fact, recommends something similar. He suggests that instead of one, massive, hard-to understand bill, break it down into five or six bills. Each bill would be designed to address specific problems in the industry, such as insurance fraud, fixing Medicare, etc. Then each bill and how it helps "fix" health care could be debated on its own merits. Problems could be solved.

The democrats are too interested in passing massive, sweeping legislation than actually fixing problems, so likely either nothing will get done, or (more likely) a bunch of stuff will get done without really fixing the real problems while creating a whole new set of problems.

James' Muse September 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

Exactly. You just nailed it. That's why I'm not a fan of this legislation. It isn't "socialism", its because of your last sentence there.

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