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In a healthcare debate: specifically how did it get so expensive?

I'm in a debate with someone on healthcare. They are defending socialized medicine.

Can you lay out specifically how it became so expensive?

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I'll try...

...to explain the small slice of the pie that I know of:
My wife's ex is an anethesiologist...back in the day, he was bringing home around $700k per year...and almost 400 of that had to be put back to pay for his malpractice insurance!! So, you're asking why things are expensive? LAWYERS + GOVERNMENT
Look also at the systems in Canada, France and Italy. Italy is a nearly-communistic society, France and Canada are more socialistic. Hitlery seems to be a strong proponent of that direction.
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Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

3rd party pay system

It was the 3rd party payor system which began the real big run-up in healthcare costs.

The best method is to allow the patients and their doctors deal directly with each other.

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, there was no "healthcare crisis". Medical care was affordable to nearly anyone, and the doctor even came out to your house. If there was anything such as health insurance back then, my family didn't seem to need it.

As soon as gov't and insurance companies started in, the costs started going up and up, and now it's ridiculous.

It started with allopathic vs homeopathic

Home remedies and all non-pharmaceutical treatments were marginalized as quaint at best, backwards and "stupid hillbilly medicine" more commonly, in spite of the actualy value people got from these therapies. Rockefeller got involved in the industry, healthcare insurance was invented and it only applied (still pretty much true) to allopathic healthcare. Get a money grubbing banker in charge of your healthcare system, it will drain you of all of your money. Socializing it will change nothing - the insurance and pharma industries will profit, our health will not. Even doctors are no longer getting rich in regular healthcare. If they want to really rake in the money, they get into cosmetic surgery.

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

some history on the subject

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check out Paul's health insurance bill

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and something cool from his website

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Fortune Favors the Bold

Supply vs. Demand

Many of the points already made are valid. There is another point that often gets overlooked.

Free medical care like Medicare and Medicaid's effects upon medical supply vs. demand.

When a commodity is reduced below its natural level like in the case of various free health care "solutions" provided by the government, the demand for that commodity increases. When demand increases, the cost for the commodity for others not on the government dole increases. It has to. There are a finite number of doctors in the short term, a finite number of companies and factories producing drugs, etc. The pressure on those entities from the demand created by making their products "free" for a certain segment of the population causes the prices to rise.

you need to watch this video. if you wanna skip intro

just forward to 01:00

"let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our freedoms & wealth are in jeoprady"
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Pls donate here Ron Paul can still win

The three biggest issues IMHO

1. Big Pharma paying giant commissions to those doctors who do the best job of selling their poison concoctions.

2. Big Pharma in collusion with the Big Food Poison Posse via the FDA to make sure we all stay as sick as possible so that they can make money by selling us "cures".

3. The snarled web of bureaucracy that exists between doctors, health insurance companies, and government regulations. For example, I was recently referred to a private specialist by my primary care physician to have a level 2 EKG done as part of my routine physical. My PCP had already done a level 1 test, but at the insistence of my wife I had the second test scheduled just to ease her mind about a mild heart murmur I have. My PCP deemed the test unnecessary based on his tests, but after I insisted he scheduled it anyhow.

When I arrived at the specialist's office I realized that they had scheduled a level 1 test (a static test done while lying prone) instead of a level 2 test (done on a treadmill). I mentioned this to the doctor expecting him to just do the correct test...WRONG! In this instance, the doctor is powerless to schedule any new procedure without going through the "proper channels" (i.e. the insurance company). The fact that he went through years and years of intensive training just gets thrown out the window, because after all, some bureaucrat knows best.

This is just one small example of what goes on all the time... Extrapolate it out to a giant hospital with and you will start to see what a tangled mess the system really is.

p.s. - Ask this question of Robert Scott Bell and you will get an encyclopedia's worth of answers (if you don't know who he is, google him - he's a huge RP supporter and he has a great weekly radio show).

"Basically I'm in the idea business — whether it's a musical idea or a spoken idea ... If you wind up with a political system that wants to put idea men out of business, then you have worry on your hands."

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Like the post below

Like the post below mentions, medical licensure laws keep doctors salaries unreasonably high by limiting doctor supply. Isn’t it funny (or tragic) how US competitiveness ‘depends’ on access to cheap, often illegal, labor, lowering wages for blue collar workers, while the AMA (American Medical Association) is allowed to maintain a complete monopoly on the supply of doctors?

Also, laws requiring prescriptions for every drug out there requires you to pay the AMA tax every time you need (or want) a pill of some sort.

Liability laws certainly have some effect, especially the inability to sign away your right to sue in order to get a lower rate. If you trust the doc (Say its Dr. Paul), why should the two of you have to kick money up to an insurance company?

In a free country, anyone could set up shop as a doctor, just like anyone can set up a lemonade stand. If you had a complicated condition, and insisted on only being treated by the most renowned Harvard surgeon, you’d likely still pay quite a bit, but you would no longer need to pay hundreds of dollars to have someone look down your throat and say penicillin, or take your blood pressure and tell you get some exercise.

If we ever become free again, expect 1-800-call-doc to be on the back of the yellow pages promising in home care, first three calls free, you get well or your money back etc., just like competitively exposed professionals are forced to. And we’d all be better off for it.

besides what the people below have mentioned

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there is also the fact that the government monopolies discourage competition. Doctors are more inclines to order extremely expensive screening tests, often not as diagnostic tools primarily, but for liability purposes. With competition, there would be incentive to cut costs. As it stands, the incentive works the other way, so the doctors keep ordering the most expensive things.

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not to mention

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the drug industry, and how they are more interested in developing long term treatments then real cures (think about this for a minute)

and all the pollution, radiation, shit in our food, and other byproducts of modern life that are inclined to give us more health problems

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1) Has the government ever

1) Has the government ever done anything well? Then, why would you want them in your 'socialized' medicine?

2) High costs are not due to law suits---as doctor will lie on that. TX after implementing caps on med-mal. awards, has not lowered medical costs one iota. Doctor's mistakes and negligence adds to costs--not law suits--they got it backwards.

3) High costs are due to bloated administrators (the middle-man) insurance companies, and government boondoggling.

4) High costs are also due to doctors being hogs...did you ever see a poor doctor? Look at their lifestyle...nothing merits $450.00 for a 'specialist' seeing you for 5 minutes.

5) High costs are from expensive technology and that technology is needlessly duplicated (like why must all hospitals have MRI machines?).

6) High costs of medical care are aggravated by inflation---which is not 3% as government lies...rather is 300%.

7) Big pharma...no explanation needed.

That is only some factors that readily come to mind.

this is a very good post

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I would slightly disagree with your contention about the MRI's though. Probably all hospitals should have one, but if you let the free market handle this (like computers) the cost would go down.

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What does Ron Paul say?


Ron Paul talks about government involvement in the HMOs, etc. It is not just about medicare/medicaid but government getting involved at all levels.


"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6


The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

thank you for the reminder!

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"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Medicare, Medicaid...

Big Pharma and Big Insurance companies (we actually had a doctor tell us that insurance (both the malpractice insurance for doctors, and the health insurance for us) was one of the reasons health care was so expensive in the US)

Libera me, let the truth break, what my fears make--Leslie Phillips

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

The reasons are many and varied...

Friedman attributes a large portion of it to medical licensure laws (http://www.fff.org/freedom/0194e.asp) starting ~100 years ago.

Someone I spoke to recently mentioned that Medicare/Medicaid price negotiations contribute to it. Since they demand a "deal", physicians need to quote them prices way beyond actual costs so they can afford to give Medicare a "break". They must then charge non-Medicare clients at prices similar to their exaggerated rates to keep Medicare happy. This would have started ~50 years ago? I have no official data to back this up, just a conversation with someone in the field. Google around.

Those two contributing factors would have pushed prices beyond what most of us could pay out-of-pocket. So then we started using health insurance to cover "normal" medical costs. That would send health insurance costs up drastically.

That's just a few things to think about....

Thanks. I knew Medicare and Medicaid were somehow involved

I''m gonna check out that Friedman link as well.