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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Studies show only 4 to 20 percent of primary care patients have hypochondriasis. Source: "Hypochondriasis: A Fresh Outlook on Treatment", Article in the Psychiatric Times. Most people are not hypchondriacs.
    I don't think that most people are, but of course, in a system where everyone has "unlimited" access to "free" health care, one hypochondriac could well consume as many health care dollars as ten or twenty "normal" individuals...

  2. #22
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fecal McAngry View Post
    Health care demand is in fact highly elastic, in multiple different ways.
    Statements like this cause me to shake my head in disbelief. The only segment of health care that has elastic demand is preventative medicine. People don't get chemotherapy because the hospital is having a half price sale, they get chemotherapy because they have cancer.

    Preventative medicine is where we WANT people to go overboard because it's a hell of a lot cheaper than surgery, chemotherapy, ER visits, etc. You should really look at the distribution of health care costs, by patient. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it's something like 5% of patients account for 90% of the costs. The point of making preventative medicine cheap is to keep people from moving from the 95% (of cheap patients) to the 5% (of expensive patients).
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #23
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fecal McAngry View Post
    It doesn't. The devices intended to control costs in this bill are batty and have historical precedent for never working--things like Nixonian price controls...
    I would agree that price controls don't work in a market with elastic demand, but price controls are often used successfully in situations with inelastic demand (see utilities). You should check out Japan's use of price controls with their health care system. In my opinion, their system is more efficient and more likely to be implemented in the US than any of the European models.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #24
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I would agree that price controls don't work in a market with elastic demand, but price controls are often used successfully in situations with inelastic demand (see utilities). You should check out Japan's use of price controls with their health care system. In my opinion, their system is more efficient and more likely to be implemented in the US than any of the European models.
    Interesting. You know, Japan's model is in a way a modification of Germany's. I agree that Imagining Britain's system, or even a Scandinavia style one in the USA might be a stretch, but what to you are the crucial differences between Germany and Japan's systems that make on viable for the USA and not the other?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #25
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I admit I don't remember exactly what type of system Germany has, so I can't compare it to Japan's without reviewing it. I'm much more familiar with the English and French systems.

    What I like about Japan's system is that it uses mostly private insurance companies and keeps the costs really low. It's something that I think we could implement in the US, in a practical sense (single payer is pretty much a pipe dream in the US, right now). Japan's health care costs are only ~8% of GDP, half of what it is in the US, and they use price controls extensively. In fact, the price controls have forced Japan to develop cheaper ways of doing things like MRIs. Of course, in the US, we would probably just try to find a way to do fewer MRIs or have McDonalds employees perform the scans rather than develop a cheaper machine.

    There was a Frontline story that covered some of the details of different health care systems around the world, a while back. It was pretty good.

    FRONTLINE: sick around the world: interviews: naoki ikegami | PBS
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #26
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Costs are already going through the roof. Health care demand is inelastic. Free market solutions cannot fix all of the problems with the system, such as patients who have 22 prescriptions from 14 different doctors.
    Exaaactly @ the bolded. It's an extremely important point.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Statements like this cause me to shake my head in disbelief. The only segment of health care that has elastic demand is preventative medicine.
    Of course what you wrote is idiotic. Just think about it a wee bit. Last year I had ACI on my right knee.

    Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI):

    The charged cost of ACI was almost $62,000. ACI is covered by my insurance company. It is also, in most cases, and in my case, an elective surgery. Articular cartilage damage is extremely common, causes--in most cases--mild discomfort which is largely avoidable by limiting activities, e.g. not playing tennis; in short, it is something that one can live with, and which only recently has become something one can "do something about" surgically.

    I am in fact currently contemplating whether or not to get ACI on my left knee. I had a microfracture which didn't work all that well and I suspect that knee could be improved by ACI, I just don't know if I want to go through the pain and rehab again.

    Tuesday I will have a bunion surgery which is also an elective surgery, also covered by insurance.

    Tangetially, this is a great article:

    Little Pricey Pill - Forbes.com

    Of course, there other obvious ways in which non-preventative health care costs are flexible...

  8. #28
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    The procedure you mention is far more similar to cosmetic surgery than any sort of life-saving medical procedure. I don't know why that procedure is covered by your insurance. It probably shouldn't be.

    I find it interesting that someone who has a net-negative effect on the system would be so vehemently against universal health care. Are you afraid such treatments will be denied or you'll have to pay for them out of your pocket (instead of letting others cover your bill)?

    As for the Forbes article you linked, the decision is not in the hands of individuals. And, despite how much sense it would make, we probably won't get rid of prescription drug insurance any time soon. So the question becomes, do you want this decision in the hands of government or stockholders?

    Do you really want this guy to have any say in what treatments you can or cannot receive?

    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The procedure you mention is far more similar to cosmetic surgery than any sort of life-saving medical procedure. I don't know why that procedure is covered by your insurance. It probably shouldn't be.

    I find it interesting that someone who has a net-negative effect on the system would be so vehemently against universal health care. Are you afraid such treatments will be denied or you'll have to pay for them out of your pocket (instead of letting others cover your bill)?
    I'm not afraid such treatments will be denied.

    Your comment that I don't know why that procedure is covered by your insurance. It probably shouldn't be indicates that you understand that one highly elastic factor in health care costs involves what treatments to cover or provide. Soon, as the costs of Obamacare go through the roof, medical rationing will get more and more extreme. Death Panels, for example, will be created, and if Grandma's cancer treatment costs too much, she will not be treated.

    Re: I find it interesting that someone who has a net-negative effect on the system would be so vehemently against universal health care.--this is yet another statement of yours which is idiotic, which shows that you haven't thought about the implications of your verbiage. If I have a net negative effect now, will I not have a net negative effect under universal health care, spread over a larger number of people who may or may not wish to fund my treatment?

    Is not the remedy to that to move toward a system in which either I or those who wish to fund my care actually do so, while those who do not, do not?

    Should you be forced to pay for the liver transplant of someone who contracted hepatitis c via IV drug use, or the triple bypass surgery of a grossly obese individual who refused to diet and exercise?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    As for the Forbes article you linked, the decision is not in the hands of individuals. And, despite how much sense it would make, we probably won't get rid of prescription drug insurance any time soon. So the question becomes, do you want this decision in the hands of government or stockholders?
    If I don't like a restaurant, I don't eat there, I eat someplace else. In a free world, there are always alternatives.

    Under Obamacare, there will be fewer and fewer insurance companies providing fewer and fewer alternatives which will differ less and less.

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