Letters to the Editor

Health care fireworks

April 25, 2009


To the editor,

If you think there have been fireworks over President Obama’s budget and financial bailout, just watch the sky as Obama’s health care initiatives get under way!

The key to Obama’s proposal is to form a government-sponsored health care plan that people could join (voluntarily). This plan would compete directly with the insurance companies. Not surprisingly, the insurance lobby (and their friends in Congress) are screaming. They have already unleashed the dogs of fear and rumor: “You won’t get to pick your own doctor,” and “The government will decide what treatments you can have.”

Consider the facts regarding their threats. Who currently picks your doctor? If you’re in a PPO or HMO, as most insured are, it’s your insurance company. Who currently decides what treatments you get? Again, who hasn’t been told by their insurance company that a recommended treatment “isn’t covered”?

Now, ask yourself why these guys are so worried about some competition for health care coverage. Simple, they operate for profit. A recent study shows the Obama plan would cost about 30 percent less than an average health insurance policy. Is that difference the insurance companies’ profit? Who knows (they hide money well), but Exxon-Mobil makes 10 percent! Should profit even be in the health care equation?

The Obama plan will drive costs down for all through competition and enable many more Americans access to quality health care. It is time to take on the lobby that profits at the expense of the well-being of all Americans.

Burger is from Lawrence


Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

No one has ever said profits are evil.

However spending healthcare dollars on obscene pay packages(inflated salaries,golden parachutes,stock options) is wasting healthcare dollars. Then we have healthcare dollars being used as special interest campaign funding( Sen Baucus has received over $400,000). Healthcare dollars spent in commercials. NOW we are talking evil. Campaign finance is the culprit stopping equal health care for all

The best healthcare plans generate $12,000 - $13,000 per family annually for insurance giants.

Actually profit should NOT be the motive for healthcare because humans do have medical problems no matter what. Healthcare should not be treated like a can of beans on a grocery shelf. Equal health care should just be available. It will never be free but way less expensive to each household and all will receive identical healthcare.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Why Not HR 676/"Under One Roof" Management

Why 676? 1."Under One Roof" is efficient spending

  1. To attract industry and new jobs at the same time which creates new economic growth.

HR 676 National Health Insurance is efficient spending,makes americans more employable and opens doors for small business ventures.

What could possibly be more middle class American than equal healthcare for all?

Providing americans with the choice of National Health Insurance. John Conyers does have a plan that can work.

Why not go into this matter that leaves the choice more open to citizens than not. This program could begin by moving all of the following into the program thus bringing a large number of tax dollars "Under One Roof". "Under One Roof" is efficient health care spending.

Who should be "Under One Roof"? • everyone on social security and their dependents • all disabled veterans and retired military • all Iraq/Afghanistan veterans • all government employees including active duty military stationed stateside • all currently uninsured

What this approach does is leave open the choice for all others to either make the change or continue with their current insurance provider.

Face it HR 676 will save large amounts of tax dollars on all federal employees,vets and those currently uninsured. "Under One Roof" makes dollars and sense.

Are Americans ready for HR 676? Of course they are. No doubt millions more will sign on once an HR 676 is put in place.

Not only that HR 676 makes all Americans more employable. Not to mention the opportunity it creates for new small business ventures. So many would not venture off to becoming a small business entrepreneur due to the cost of maintaining insurance for their families so now opportunity knocks. Now we're talking long term economic growth for americans by way of long term self employment.

Employers should not be forced to pay. There are enough tax dollars available in the USA to cover the cost easily: 60% of insured are currently covered with taxes = a big slice of the pie Reduce subsidies going to very wealthy industries = Another sizeable slice of the pie. Let's get them off welfare! Instead have those tax dollars care for Americans.

  • What a great way to bring tax dollars home.

*WHY wouldn't taxpayers want THEIR tax dollars to cover the expense of THEIR own medical insurance? What in the world is wrong with that? What could be more American?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

What would National Health Insurance "Under One Roof Management" look like?

All taxpayers need coverage, taxpayers need relief and big time reduction in cost.

HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Health care costs and facts:



Senate and House Legislation: http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/legislation/hr-676-conyers/united-states-national-health-insurance-act



just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, only through the magic of profits can everyone get healthcare (or at least continue to supply fat profits to insurance companies.)

jhawk7783 9 years, 1 month ago

response to Merrill: If you want to see the costs increase due to inefficiency, just allow the fed govt to manage health care. From one of the sources you cited:

"Some opponents use current U.S. government expenditures for Medicare and Medicaid to arrive at frightening cost estimates for a universal single-payer health care system. They may use Medicare’s $8,568 per person, or $34,272 for a family of four (2006)."

Compare that to current private insurance costs of $12-13,000 for family of four.

Steve Clark 9 years, 1 month ago

Private, for-profit companies will always be greedy. Government will always be "inefficient." I say get over it and focus on the core question. Should everyone have access to decent healthcare? Yes. Of course. Then lets put in place the less than perfect system and get on with it! The distraction and feet dragging is just sport for those of you who are positioned in society well enough to never have to worry about it...phew.

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

"A recent study shows the Obama plan would cost about 30 percent less than an average health insurance policy"

Which will still be paid by you through taxes.

"why are they so afraid of competing against a public plan?"

Gee, I don't know. Maybe 'cuz competing with the government is an automatic losing proposition?

And for the love, log, not everything is right vs. left. I know people on both sides of the aisle whose opposition to govt. run healthcare is purely based on disbelief that they can run it efficiently. Your mania is unsettling.

notajayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

"Should profit even be in the health care equation?"

Ask your doctor. How does he make a living, working for minimum wage?

logrithmic (Anonymous) says…

"We all need a good laugh this morning."

And as long as our favorite little pothead keeps posting, we'll keep getting them. Thanks, loggie!

RoeDapple 9 years, 1 month ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says… Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says… “Why should I pay for Joe Schmuckatelli's, neighborhood bum's, health insurance?”

"You already do. You're just too stupid to know it."

So, it would be a voluntary system, I could choose to stay with my carrier, I'm already paying for Joe Schmuckatelli's health care. And the Obama plan would be paid in additional taxation? I personally would rather pay a profitable company that isn't being pressured to decrease benifits to compete with the Obama plan. I choose to remain stupid rather than to make it easier for the "likes of log" to leach off the tax dollar. Enjoy your rant dips**t, I've said all I'm gonna say about it.

And God Bless.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 1 month ago

"... Joe Schmuckatelli... neighborhood bum...."

This reference appears half-a-dozen times on this page. Rather telling characterization of one's fellows. Rather telling assessment of oneself.

notajayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says…

[Insert usual marijuana-haze-induced blathering here]

Poor little log-smoker. Speaking of ducking questions, pothead, I asked you this some time back and you avoided the question with one of your usual kindergarten replies, so I'll try again:

The legislature recently passed a bill that in order to receive welfare benefits, you have to submit to random drug screens. The fed employs similar tactics with refusing student loans to those with drug convictions - same with section 8 housing. So I'll ask you one more time - if the government is put in charge of healthcare, but says you can't receive benefits unless you pass a p***-test, are you still in favor?

As to your question, log-smoker, maybe the reason nobody addressed it to your satisfaction was because your question was mindless? See, I understand that you're five years old and don't understand the things big people talk about, but I would suppose what the private insurers 'fear' would be the same thing as whatever fast-food business that's stupid enough to employ you would fear if the government opened a fast-food joint across the street, and taxed your customers to pay for it so they could keep their prices lower and drive you out of business. See, loggie, that's not "competition," which a couple of folks have already tried to point out to you (put down the pipe, loggie, some of it might sink in). If it was "competition," then this new program of Obama's would be paid for by the premiums paid by those who choose to join, not by taxes stolen from those who choose not to.

And actually, woodchipper-bait, insurance companies don't have too much to fear. Here's a little question to ponder next time (if ever) you come out of your pot-smoking haze: Why do so many people in Canada carry private insurance? Why did the Canadian Supreme Court rule that Quebec can not "prevent people from buying health insurance for medical procedures covered by the public health plan?"

Oh, wait, I remember - because "the public system has failed to guarantee patients access to those services in a timely way."


As far as your other moronic question, "If indeed, the private insurance companies are so much more efficient and more capable of delivering healthcare to all Americans, why do we have 50 million uninsured," who ever said that was their goal, their purpose, or even a requirement, to deliver healthcare to all Americans? We already have government programs (e.g. Medicare/Medicaid) to pay for those who are genuinely in need and can not afford to pay; those who can should pay their own way. Maybe some day when mommy and daddy stop paying your allowance you'll understand such things as personal responsibility.

Corey Williams 9 years, 1 month ago

You're right. And private businesses--especially health insurance companies--they never raise their rates on an annual basis in order to maintain or raise their level of profit.

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

"Jaysquawker's answer to my question why are the private insurance companies so afraid of competing against a public plan? “Gee, I don't know.”"

Only a petualnt child would repeatedly take another's quote out of context in an attempt to make his own position seem stronger. I suspect in this case you've done so 'cuz you're unable to counter my actual answer, log.

"Maybe 'cuz competing with the government is an automatic losing proposition?"

Ya wanna actually counter that point or just continue being yourself? And only a mindless fool feels the need to label everyone and everything "rightwing". Opinion counter to loggie's? "Rightwinger!" Brilliant! With a mind like that you'll have a long, distinguished career in dishwashing. Keep up the good work!

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

It's not a question, log, get a two year old to explain the difference to ya. But that's what I expected, no answer. Go call some people some more names, ya got nothin' else.

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago


Nice one Libery_One. I too have heard logrithmic rambling constantly about liberties in other posts. I am also aware of his obvious tricks of taking one sentence out of context of anothers post and attacking it like it was the central idea of the author. Loggie wants complete freedom to do what ever he wants to do (what he likes to call personal liberty) however he wants to do it. But, he doesn't want to take any personal responsibility for his personal liberty. That is when he wants the government to step in and provide for him and others.

Loggie, you can't have it both ways. You constantly are crying out for personal liberty but you are constantly shying away from personal responsibility. It is a rather childish way to think, don't you think?

P.S. I think liberty_one prooved the same thing with you that I did last night loggie. Give someone enough rope, and they will eventually hang themselves with it. Give Loggie enough time, and he will eventually insert his foot right into his mouth.

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

Sad? Log, man, you need help. How do you read that sentence as a 'question'? Is it because of the question mark? Here's a tip, junior: note the sarcasm. That's what the punctuation denotes after a sentence that does not pose an actual question. In this particular case it was a way of mocking your simplistic question, here, try again:

Maybe because competing with the goverment is an automatic losing proposition.

That's an "answer", log. Now either point how that answer is false, or in your own words, "shaddup!" I've asked already, yet you've conveniently ignored it, what are the industries that have successfully competed with the government?

(20 to 1 the subsequent response will be juvenile, most likely contextually incorrect, with a high probability of 'rightwinger' typed at least once in the body, and will not come anywhere close to actually responding to my 'answer'. Two out of four details pays. Place your bets, place your bets!)

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago

Sorry jaywalker,

I wouldn't take that bet even if log's mother/landlord was standing over him telling him she was going to take away his computer privledges if he dared to type "reichwinger".

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago

I am well aware of Liberty_Ones belief concerning drug legalization. Although I do not share that same belief, I did find his arguments compelling at times and not stemming from the selfish reason which you hold, which is to get your mother off of your back for doing something illegal, when you are "hittin' the pipe" down in the basement. As for your other statements concerning what I think, still wrong.

The question you seem not to want to answer by this pathetic smoke screen here is this loggie. Why, if you believe in personal liberty so much, should I pay for your healthcare? I like my healthcare coverage as it is. I pay good money for it. Besides, you are always wanting to quote the constitution, tell me where it says life, liberty, and the pursuit of public healthcare? Where is your personal responsibility to provide your own healthcare? And, I personally do not believe that the government can match my current policy for a cheaper price nor do I have as much confidence in its overall quality. I also believe that under a government run healthcare system I would lose the option to get a second opinion. I also think that if I do not want to participate in the government run healthcare, I should still have to pay for it as well as my private insurance that I currently have, and I really do not see this as fair to me. So, really how I see it is thus, I do not see this as really benefiting me, only you, so why should I support it when viewed through a personal liberty pair of glasses?

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says…

“And if government is so filled with bureaucracy and inefficiency, private insurance should drive it out of the marketplace.”

Not if the 'government inefficency' isn't required to make a profit to stay in business. That is where the unfairness between the government and private businesses come into play. A business has to turn a profit, the government doesn't. Tell me how that could be fair in regards to pricing?

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago

Where would all the money come from for these new federal offices? Where would all the money come from for the salaries of the employees for this organization? Where would the money come from for all the bills from all the offices that would be spread out across the nation? Where would all the money come from for all their incidentals? Is this money coming from the voluntary members or is it coming from tax payers?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Saturday night on C span it was revealed that USA auto makers spend more for health insurance than for steel.

Now we know why some of corporate america and many many unions are supporting HR 676 National Health Insurance = smart economics. 64% of voting taxpayers say yes. =======================


It doesn't have to be this way. A video of a woman dying in a Brooklyn hospital waiting room after nearly 24 hours waiting for treatment is just one more heartbreaking piece of evidence that our health care system is not only broken, it has become a hazard.

Health coverage forces people to stay with jobs they don't like and to compromise on getting the care they need. Thirty percent of those surveyed in a November 2007 Gallup poll put off getting treatment they needed because of cost.

The system is not working for those paying the insurance premiums, either. Businesses have seen premiums more than double since 2000. And we aren't getting much bang for all these bucks. In the YES! Fall 2006 "Health Care for All," we reported that Americans spend twice per capita as much as other industrialized countries, yet our life expectancy is lower than 27 countries. Little wonder, since having private insurance costs us an estimated 25 cents for each health care dollar for the additional paperwork and bureaucracy, fat CEO pay packages, marketing, and profits.

Although the national political season has seen few mentions of national health insurance, that is exactly what a majority of Americans say they want. Here are the figures:

* In a CNN News poll, 55 percent preferred a system "administered by the government and paid for by taxpayers" -- just 29 wanted to hold on to the current private insurance system that leaves some without coverage. When asked: "Do you think the government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes?" 64 percent said yes.
  And Americans are impatient for change; 17 percent of those polled by Gallup at the end of 2007 said the rising cost of health care is a crisis; another 56 percent called it a "major problem." Listen up, candidates. That's a total of 73 percent.

Daina also talks to entrepreneur, Jack Lohman, a lifelong Republican and co-founder of Business Owners for Single Payer, who tells her: "For the same 16 percent of GDP that we are spending on health care in the U.S., we could provide first-class health care to 100 percent of the people." And a single-payer system would "get health care off the backs of corporations so they can be more competitive with products made overseas."

Con't http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-van-gelder/what-americans-want-natio_b_110830.html

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Health care is a gravy train for the medical insurance industry.

How you ask?

60% of medical insurance is covered by OUR tax dollars. That is one major gravy train.

And to think some of those tax dollars are being used for special interest campaign money,propaganda against health insurance for all paid with our tax dollars,CEO obscene salaries and golden parachutes and advertising for their corporations instead of all those tax dollars going for health care = irresponsible use of tax dollars. Yes both corp america and elected officials are being negligent with our tax dollars

How can anyone support this corporate medical insurance rip off?

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Health care costs and facts:




just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

In Britain, decisions about how medical resources are allocated is determined by a panel of medical experts, not by government bureaucrats and central planners.

In contrast, in this country, most decisions of this sort are indeed made by central planners, only they are insurance company bureaucrats with MBA's, not medical degrees.

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

"So why the fear, Jaysquawker? Which leads to my next question: “Why are you so afraid of government competing with private healthcare insurance?”"

Your such a child. What 'fear'? Where in any of my comments did your twisted little mind come up with the idea I'm 'afraid of government competing with private healthcare'? You've got some serious issues, log. Let's see, so far you've taken quotes out of context, rearranged quotes in order to prop up some weak insult, refused to answer even the simplest question, and now attribute some false notion as my own. Well played.
How 'bout this, brain trust: If the government merely wants to 'compete' with private healthcare so that it holds just a slim margin for actual competition.... what's the point? I mean, if the government is gonna make their plan mirror what's already available, or even just a touch better, why bother? So what they have to do is offer more for much less, which they'll be able to do only by taxing the bejesus out of us, and make it so their is NO competition. The angle you continue to come at this from is one gigantic logical fallacy. And even if that's what occurs, my issue with the feds taking over healthcare is that I don't believe they can do it efficiently. Proof of this is evident in the Social Security system (verge of bankruptcy), public education ( standardized scores have decreased each and every year since they took it over), the USPS (verge of bankruptcy), and on and on. How 'bout the VA's, log? Been hearing good things about how that miniscule federal healthcare agency has been doing? But you want the government to take it ALL over? Swell. I'm sure this one will go just fine.

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 1 month ago

I 100% agree with “pro-choice” reform in health care. But let me propose a truly pro-choice health care alternative to HR 676 with 3 very simple rules.

1) Allow every citizen who currently has “private” health care to choose their own health care/insurance, regardless of employment/employer, without “after-tax” penalties (that currently exist with employer-based system). They can freely choose providers directly, government “insurance”, or private “insurance”.

2) Allow those receiving “public insurance” (Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, etc.) to accept “health care cash” (credit/voucher system) in leu of the third-party, government-payer system. The “medical cash” could be used to pay for health care directly or purchasing of private insurance plans. The amount of “medical cash” could be determined by age, pre-existing conditions, etc. (e.g., the elderly/sick would get more than young/healthy).

3) Allow each “insurance” entity (public or private) or health care provider to be solely funded by individuals who 'voluntarily' choose their service. NO corporate welfare or taxes on private providers/insurance and NO general tax fund support of government plans.

I will eagerly await your response.

I posted a blog piece on the true cause of medical inflation and "uninsured" at . . .

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

"You said the government doesn't steal since I get something back for my money. It is still stealing and still immoral. Compulsory taxation is slavery."

The problem here is that you are basing your moral absolutism on nothing more than abstractions-- "property" and "property rights." To be sure, they are useful abstractions, but by no means the only useful abstractions. "Fairness" is also quite a useful abstraction, and our ability to achieve some modicum thereof is all that prevents us from falling completely into a Mad Max kind of world. Taxation (progressive, that is) is a vital element in achieving some modicum of fairness, especially in a capitalist economy, which is by design quite unfair.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

I learned long ago not to argue with religious zealot, LO. Have a nice day.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, when I don't have insurance and have cheap or free health care, then I'll say that nothing is wrong with the situation. Life, liberty, and happiness, to me relates quite intimately with one's health. People are getting dicked over by our current system. Any compassionate human being can see that. But the conservative point of view is that of a "just world" or meritocracy. If folks don't have health insurance and cannot afford medical treatment, then that's their fault, right? This attitude pisses me off to no end, as there is no such thing as a "just world" or meritocracy in terms of access to health care in this country.

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 1 month ago

Bozo says, “(personal) property” and “property rights” are abstract. . . .

I am sure the European kings of the 16th century, lords of peasant farmers in Middle Age serfdom and the slave owners of Africans in 18th century America would agree.

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 1 month ago


i will attempt to clarify. thanks for the response.

1) Your description of HSA tax-deductions (limited) misses one very important point. HSA funds (tax-free) cannot be used to purchase a High-Deductible Health Plan (insurance) which is required to obtain an HSA in the first place! So any "insurance" policy purchased outside of employer-based is "after-tax" dollars, period.

My proposal is actually very SIMPLE and would do away with deductions, limitations, etc. Allow every citizen access to a Tax-Free Medical Account (like IRAs) that could be used to purchase anything medically related (direct care from doctors, Rx, managed care policies, insurance policies, etc.).

Also, I NEVER described insurance/manged care companies as "providers". Providers are doctors, hosptials, etc. I mentioned "providers" (direct payment to them) specifically to make the distinction between "insuarnce" and "providers". (In fact, I am a physician and I don't confuse myself with the CEO of BC/BS!)

Furthermore, I think the so-called "insurance" (really mangaed care) would feircely oppose such an idea - as it would likely result in people opting out of employer plans (which discourage competition and allow/encourage poor value) and likely more people paying doctors (providers) directly and take money away from them!

2) Glad we can agree here! And I would also stress that the "medical cash" should not come with lots of bureaucratic strings (approval/review/rules of private plans, such as Medicare Part D does). However, most politicians (mostly Democrats) would oppose this measure as they would lose control of the money.

3) Sorry, this was vague in description. The unfunded liabilities of Medicare/Medicaid make this topic very confusing. Basically, if people opt for "medical cash" instead of government managed care the amount must be fairly substracted from the fund.

Overall, I think my plans provides ultimate freedom and would result in more direct-care by providers and a decreased reliance on private/government managed care . . .which would greatly reduce cost of medical care. However, this plan only benefits the people and not any powerful special interest group (insurance industry or political/government control).

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 1 month ago


So many points to discuss in your post, but thanks for the civil discourse.

I don't want to get you in trouble with the IRS, but HSAs can NOT be used to pay for any health insurance premiums. See IRS rules at . . . .


IF your employer offers a High-Deductible Health Plan/HSA, you can get the HDHP premiums tax-free and HSA to pay for other expenses tax-free (maybe that is your case!) - but there is a clear and meaningful distinction between the current system and my proposal.

With regards to the growing HDHP/HSA market, I think you are partially right about 'start up' costs (see Whole Foods corporate HSA plan, innovative stuff) but people (maybe yourself) are also realizing that they don't need a "middle man" for every single visit to the doctor (routine, minor, primary care).

The real limitation to HSAs is the entire health care industry (providers) has been designed over the past 30 years to work with third-party payers NOT patients directly. Most doctors don't even know what they should charge because they typically charge whatever third-party will pay!.... which is mostly based on Medicare. You may have experienced this while using your HSA to pay doctors -

"How much you gonna charge me for X,Y,Z doc?" Doc, "I don't have any clue! Ask my insurance people"

This third-party dynamic is one of the primary causes of medical inflation in the first place. Doctors and patients don't even know what anything really costs - Can you imagine if you had a third-party managing your grocery shopping?! How much do you think a t-bone would cost? or what would the quality be? I'm guessing expensive and not prime!

Concerning the "public's ability to make informed decisions" and "lack of information"........ You are correct that "evaluation of providers" is currently difficult, but that is somewhat inherent in such a complex system. Again, I think the third-party system is largely responsible for this "lack of information" because most patients do not demand such knowledge and why should they? They just go where their “insurance” allows. There is an interesting topic in economics regarding “byproxy informed consumers”.... basically, how does anyone know how to buy a quality car? when the vast majority of us can’t even change our oil? but everyone knows that Honda and Toyota make dependable cars.

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 1 month ago


“I can see how the physician would benefit from a cash voucher system, as the physician could charge in excess of the standard rate”. You are 100% wrong with this assessment if you define "standard rate" as insurance payment. Can't physicians currently charge whatever they want if people are willing to pay? in fact, an increasing number of physicians are starting direct-medical practices (no insurance accepted, payments directly from patients) and are able to drastically cut overhead costs and most of them charge patients 1/2 what the “insurance pays” seeing half as many patients and much better quality (longer appointments). There is an innovative primary care group in Seatlle called Qlliance (http://www.qliance.com/) you should check out. This system works fantastic for many types of patients (uninsured, high deductible insurance/HSAs, etc.) and will continue to grow if allowed. Patients win, doctors win. Insurance companies and bureaucrats lose! Actually, my plan is to start a direct-medical practice (Family Medicine) in Lawrence when I’m done with residency!

Overall, your instinctive analysis that the "seller" determines prices to their wishes is deeply flawed (in a free-market). If that is true, I'm opening a hamburger stand and charging $500 for a double-double!

“consumer can concentrate on provider selection and not have to worry about the cost” “value goes away” As you might expect, I think that is what got us in this mess (inflation) in the first place.

“substantial savings in adminstrative costs (if government single-payer)” Dealing with any third-party (private or public) requires lot of resources/manpower. It is true that a single third-party in theory could streamline procedures, but I seriously doubt the government can “streamline” anything! Currently, the MOST difficult third-party for physicians are Medicaid and Medicare! (and not just because of their low reimbursements). Would the same people who administer MC be running this “single-payer” efficient payment system?

my three cents!

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years ago


i sent you a PM if you'd like to continue the chat when i return from vacation.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.