Why Does Health Care in the U.S. Cost So Much?

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Nighthawk62, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Nighthawk62
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    Nighthawk62 Member

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    "That’s because 20 percent of patients account for 80 percent of spending, and that 20 percent is made up mostly of the chronically ill."

    “Indeed, perhaps the most significant reason Americans are drowning in health care debt may shock you: Americans are getting far too much unnecessary care. Of our total $2.3 trillion health care bill last year, a whopping $500 billion to $700 billion (30%) was spent on treatments, tests, and hospitalizations that did nothing to improve our health. Even worse, new evidence suggests that too much health care may actually be killing us.”
    Even as millions aren’t getting treatments they vitally need, a leading medical journalist argues that the main culprit in the soaring cost of American health care is actually overtreatment… and all that extra care is making us very sick.

    $500 BILLION: The amount that Americans spend annually on unnecessary care.

    30,000: The number of Medicare recipients who die each year as a result of unneeded care.

    50%: The portion of surgeries, tests, and procedures that are not backed by scientific evidence.

    Consumers aren’t shopping wisely. The moral-hazard argument says that because people don’t pay out of pocket, they use more-expensive health care than necessary. Moral hazard says we go to the doctor when we don’t really need to; we insist on getting a CT scan for a twisted ankle when ice and an Ace bandage will do. Experts will tell you that as many as one in four doctor’s-office visits are “social calls,” and nearly half of emergency room visits are for care that could have been handled in a nonemergency setting. But even this argument doesn’t explain why health care costs so much. That’s because 20 percent of patients account for 80 percent of spending, and that 20 percent is made up mostly of the chronically ill. These patients are often sick with multiple conditions—such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure—and more than half of the money we devote to caring for them is spent when they are in the hospital. People who are sick enough to be hospitalized are generally too ill to be insisting on certain tests or procedures.

    Indeed, perhaps the most significant reason Americans are drowning in health care debt may shock you: Americans are getting far too much unnecessary care. Of our total $2.3 trillion health care bill last year, a whopping $500 billion to $700 billion was spent on treatments, tests, and hospitalizations that did nothing to improve our health. Even worse, new evidence suggests that too much health care may actually be killing us.
    According to estimates by Elliott Fisher, M.D., a noted Dartmouth researcher, unnecessary care leads to the deaths of as many as 30,000 Medicare recipients annually.


    Source: AARP Magazine
     
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  2. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The short short version? Lack of a free market.
     
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  3. Mr. Shaman
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    Mr. Shaman Senior Member

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    Yeah.....that's what it is......

    :rolleyes:
     
  4. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    Because it's a litigious society and everybody wants to sue the hell out of everybody else for every freaking little scratch they get. Makes for bad premium increases and richer lawyers. End of story.
     
  5. MarcATL
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    MarcATL Gold Member

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    Let me simplify it for you in two words: Big. Pharma.

    They have the government in their pockets and have been successfully keeping out the small man for decades. There is no profit in cures, there is LOTS of profit in treatment for cures and even more profit in making up new diseases...as they currently do now.

    The Drugging Of America baby...gotta love Capitalism on Steroids!
     
  6. txlonghorn
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    txlonghorn Senior Member

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    Expensive??? What are you talking about? Didn't you hear? If you can't afford it, Obamacare pays for it...well....not actually...the rest of us pay for it...but it's not expensive if you're broke, unemployed or here illegally.
     
  7. txlonghorn
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    txlonghorn Senior Member

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    Like that nasty West Nile epidemic we were sold?
     
  8. Mr. Shaman
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    Mr. Shaman Senior Member

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    Sorry, Granny......that's STILL Bullshit....same as it's ALWAYS been. :eusa_hand:

    Get back...TO WHERE YOU BELONG........​
     
  9. MarcATL
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    MarcATL Gold Member

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    No Einstein, like the tons and tons of mental diseases that they now have tons and tons of handy dandy pills to keep the fools placated...like ADD, ADHD, all sorts of made up crap...that they just happen to have a litanny of pillsto rememdy...as long as you keep poppin' those pills.

    You're a dummy...plain and simple.
     
  10. thereisnospoon
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    thereisnospoon Gold Member

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    Wonderful. AARP went in the bag for Obamacare and is now ready to throw it's members under the bus. This is typical of the supporters of Obama. They cannot admit they are wrong so they've gone off the deep end for this guy.
    Now, as far as the article is concerned...why are none of the statistics sourced? Where did these numbers come from? Who did the research?

    The article suggests 100 people per day are dropping dead from "overtesting". HUH?
    Look, there are cases where very sick people with multiple afflictions are getting massive amounts of medical care that probably will not extend the lifeof the patient but will make them a little more comfortable and allow them to die with dignity.
    The expense of taking care of these patients is infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things.
    The real problem is abuse of the system by folks who have minor ailments that will call 9-1-1 for a ride to the hospital for a cough.
    Then there are the people who are self destructive. These are the drug abusers, those who will not use proper safety equipment on their jobs. The gang bangers who get stabbed and shot. Most children born out of wedlock are to uninsured patients.
    That birth in the hospital is written off and then added to the cost of premiums for insured patients.
    Now, the insurance carriers are responsible as well. These companies pay for treatments at not what are market rates but at rates set in negotiations with hospitals.
    Medicare for example has dropped the rate of reimbursement. SO the cost to the patient does not change( which is counted in the statistics) the write off by the medical professional just gets larger.
    Nobody really can produce accurate statistics as to the actual cost of health care in the US. One thing is clear, the system is not perfect. IMO we should have a pay as you go system which would increase competition between medical providers which would in turn lower prices. Eliminating insurance "networks" would also lower costs to consumers because the patient could shop around for the best deal for care.
    Now, the most frigtening aspect of the health care debate is the spectre of a government take over of the system. With the government setting prices , more or less fixing the marketplace, the costs stay the same or continue to rise. What occurs is the marketplace shrinks as health providers leave the industry. Fewer doctors and fewer facilities means care MUST become rationed. In other words largely unavailable.
     

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