Healthcare for Profit a Bad Idea

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by sealybobo, May 14, 2009.

  1. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    Daily Kos: Public v. Private Healthcare

    Why do people think that they’re better off with a private system for healthcare delivery? All private healthcare providers have one very important thing on their minds that is not conducive to good healthcare: profit.

    Yes, yes, I know the argument – the profit motive is a good thing because it encourages competition. But among health insurers, that competition takes the form of refusing to insure people with pre-existing conditions and trying to slough off all high-cost insureds. More importantly, the supposed benefits of the profit motive, for whatever reason, don't operate in the healthcare sector. As study after study demonstrates, we spend far more money than any other developed nation on healthcare for worse outcomes.

    Some time ago, I read a study finding that public and charitable hospitals spend a larger percentage of their revenue on patient care than private hospitals – duh. They don’t have to worry about profit. Every penny that owners take out of a hospital in profit is a penny they can’t spend on patient care.

    This is only one reason why the whole "free-market" approach does not work for healthcare. I understand that no one would make Mercedes-Benzes or build fancy houses if there were no profit involved. But people will provide healthcare without profit, and I think that’s a preferable system. The standard economic models we typically use to organize our world just don’t work for healthcare. University hospitals, for example, are often excellent places to get health care.

    If you can’t afford a Mercedes-Benz, tough shit. Do without. If you can’t afford a liver transplant, well, that’s a different story. You just can’t expect people to voluntarily do without healthcare when their lives are at stake. And I hope we never become a society that is so lacking in compassion that we’re willing to let people just die for lack of the money to pay for healthcare – any more than we already do.

    I think it’s really sad that we let the mindless free-market for everything crowd dominate the healthcare debate when their arguments so plainly make no sense in this context.
     
  2. auditor0007
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    auditor0007 Gold Member

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    Healthcare is a mess, and finding the right balance has not been easy. No one should go without healthcare, but everyone should also contribute to their own healthcare. There is and should not be considered such a thing as free healthcare, because it is not free. Also, choice is important to many and if someone can afford to have those choices, they should not be taken away. At the same time, there does need to be some type of safety net so we don't have people dying because they can't afford to completely pay for healthcare on their own, nor should people be denied coverage because they are sick.

    Allowing the government to be the sole provider is not a good idea. Canada has a decent system, but it has many flaws. When people have no choice, it is not a good thing, especially if their quality of life suffers because they have to wait excessively long for treatment.

    No matter what we do, at some point it is going to involve rationing care. One payer systems do this and so does our current system. The point is, we should not be rationing care for those who can afford it. At the same time, there should be a way to also cover those who can't afford it. There is no cheap answer, but we should be able to come up with something that would help reduce costs, or at least stabilize costs, while giving everyone some type of minimum coverage and also keeping choice available for everyone who is willing and able to afford it.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Although we have disagreed in the past, mattress-boy, I'd like to extend my condolences at this trying time in your life:
    "SEARINGTOWN, N.Y., May 14 (UPI) -- The wife of the founder of 1-800-Mattress was found dead in her New York home and her son was charged with second-degree murder in the case, police said."
    1-800-Mattress founder's wife found dead - UPI.com
     
  4. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Here's the thing that people do not realize, it isn't private right now. With all the regulatory commissions, "protective" groups, inspectors, agencies, etc. run by the government, the costs is not regulated by supply and demand, it's regulated by how many palms have to be greased. Look at how many drug failures we have in the US, compared to places that don't have all the red tape it's REALLY fucking high. The only reason Canada's meds don't cost much isn't because of national health care, it's because they don't have as much red tape and government endorsements for their medical system.
     
  5. Hillbilly
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    Hillbilly Member

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    I agree with kitten koder.

    Socializing healthcare is a cause without a need. I have never heard of anyone who needed healthcare and couldn't get it. Why would we want to make our system more like Canada and Britains? So we can have rationing and have to do without? So we can wait 4 months to get needed surgery instead of getting it today? So we can pay twice as much to have the government administrate it? Right now everyone gets treated, immediately. If we do like Canada and Britain, then only some people will be treated, eventually(if they don't die first).

    Further, I see this as a loss to the right to life. We will be allowed to live at the government's whim, if they see fit. Not to mention the possibility of healthcare rationing based on demographics. Hay, let's just not do cardiac or diabetes for blacks or people in Oregon, I don't like how they vote.
     
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  6. auditor0007
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    auditor0007 Gold Member

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    Wrong. The reason Canada pays less for prescription drugs is that the government caps how much the drug companies can charge for all drugs that are under patent. Once the patent expires, all price caps are lifted on that particular drug. Most every country in the world has price caps on prescription drugs, except for the US. So what happens is that Americans are subsidizing the rest of the world when it comes to prescription drugs.

    The real pisser with this is that the drug companies freely sell the same drugs to other countries at much lower prices, but charge us even higher prices to offset the difference. Because of this, I do support price caps on these drugs here in the US. Until the drug companies force everyone to play on the same field, why should we subsidize everyone else in the entire world?

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/521378_3
     

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