Steppin Razor - a few things
You could argue that there should be limits on these things in terms of insurance coverage, but gl drawing a line.
Well there's the rub. Deny a 98yr old his 5th heart and you're a death panel. How do you tell a guy, 'sorry time for you to die now'? But then who in his/her right mind thinks it makes sense for that 98yr old to get a heart because he can afford it and is next on the list?
I don't have the answer, only that I don't want to live to decrepitude so I'll be passing on those things.
why would a drug company advertise a drug that they know docs won't prescribe? Docs know HPV exists, the ads are used to get YOU to suggest to your doc that you take it instead of another branded drug if you have HPV. How's that different from a Pepsi ad?
I know why they do it. I'm suggesting that health care should not be a parallel of the soda industry. That this might be the kind of thing we hold apart from the rest of the stuff that gets bought and sold.
There's a lot more to comment on but I'm too lazy to quote everyone.
I think Stueyskid's example of his kid situation is not a derail at all. I love real world examples (not to say I'm happy you got bills because I feel for you). It's hard to tell someone to their face 'tough shit' after you hear their story.
The only thing I'd add to it is, most people on Medicaid don't game it. Most of them are dirt poor. Furthermore, there are a lot of people who don't qualify for Medicaid because they make too much, yet are still poor by most people's definitions. Imagine if Stueyskid made $10-15K less than median. Too much for Medicaid, but makes those bills that much worse.
On tort reform: I read naw's article where they play games with the numbers. They don't tell you how much is actually awarded+spent on lawyers. No they give a number that includes 'cover your ass' tests. Who figured out which tests are CYA and which ones are real? Callin' BS on that one.
Ultimately, malpractice insurance is pretty high and can't help but be a factor in costs at the doctor's office. However, it seems to me that medical malpractice insurance is a rather lucrative business to be in. According to nawhead's article, 2-3% of physicians face a lawsuit. 100% of them pay for insurance every year. Malpractice awards would have to be astronomical to dent that cash cow.
As nawhead alluded to, how can you tell the difference between CYA tests and BS tests? For me, I realized when I went to the doctor for a sore shoulder and he ordered an MRI, and when I said 'is that really necessary?' he replied, 'I don't practice sloppy medicine. You don't want me to practice sloppy medicine, do you?'. You get a mixed bag with doctors. They aren't the noble, looking out for you above all saints most people believe them to be. So nawhead, you an I are 100% in agreement that
seriously, people need to stop thinking doctors are benevolent, all-knowing wizards cloaked in their +1 healing white wizard robes but simply over-educated body technicians. call them on their bs, and educate ourselves!
The inherent problem with government is as Stueyskid pointed out - bribery (to use his term) drives government action. The nonsense in government is built when one company or industry carves something out for themselves, then others do, then some contrary player tries to plug the dam, then tries to get their own hole in the dam, ad nauseum. If we had representatives who held the interests of the people above the interests of the moneyed, government would be barely noticeable, just sticking in a regulation or rule here and there to prevent problems down the line.
But just because government has problems doesn't mean we're better off getting screwed by companies directly.
Last thing is about 'free health care'. People who support a governmentally directed system (which can have private companies operate within it) realize it costs money. Nobody is saying it doesn't, and nobody is saying it shouldn't. We all spend money on health care. We should. Our money is not being spent well, it's not being spent fairly, for the good of many, or at good value. If government can assure that those things are more true with them than without them, then bring it. We're all spending money anyway it might as well be spent better than it is now. And if I spend into a system and am healthy but my tax money goes to defray Stueyskid's child's birth, good. I'm fine with that. If I can help, I'd be happy to. And a government system allows for that. Maybe when I'm sick, Stueyskid Jr or someone else's Jr can help with my tab. Cumbayah