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View Diary: When Can We Expect Health Care Reform (Whoever Wins)? (369 comments)

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  •  It's true that new machines are expensive to (4+ / 0-)

    run.  But the reality remains that the cost of purchasing an MRI machine, for example, and retaining a staff to run it is the same whether it's used once a week or five times a day.  The latter is only possible if there is a sufficiently large pool of patients that require the service.  You don't get that pool by excluding one sixth of the population that's actually most likely to need the service.  The current solution to under-utilization of equipment--providing the service on the basis of who's covered by insurance rather than who actually needs this diagnostic tool to be applied--increases over-all cost to the detriment of the profession.

    If you start from the assumption that medical care is the lesser of two evils (the greater being premature death), then the use of words such as "indulgence" is demonstrably inappropriate. Just as "getting a child" is not in the same class as "getting a TV," getting health care is not in the same class as getting a facial.  Correcting for debilitating disease and preventing premature death is a social necessity.  A society which fails at those tasks will not survive.

    Since all individuals eventually die, the individual incentive to acquire health care is much less.  Indeed, we all recognize that children have no incentive at all, in part because they are not aware of the difference between life and death.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 07:14:39 AM PST

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    •  Life and cost (0+ / 0-)

      The current solution to under-utilization of equipment--providing the service on the basis of who's covered by insurance rather than who actually needs this diagnostic tool to be applied--increases over-all cost to the detriment of the profession.

      I agree it helps to lower the cost per CT or MRI scan by getting everyone who uses the service to pay.  Still that only makes a difference of 1/6 of whatever is charged.  It is sizable but is that significant?  I don't know.  All I know is when something is costly, people use it less and when something is free to them, people don't value it.  For now, I would be in favor of a universal coverage, insurance based system with big co-pays.

      If you start from the assumption that medical care is the lesser of two evils (the greater being premature death), then the use of words such as "indulgence" is demonstrably inappropriate.

      When a human life is at stake, all sensible judgements go out the window.   A human life has no fair market value in the classic sense of the term, at least not beyond the potential to earn money.  When a car costs much more to fix than to buy a new one, people usually choose the latter.  With people, we often have to choose reluctantly and often unwisely.  

      Whether or not indulgence applies to treating a patient is in the eye of the beholder.  In a universal health care, single payer system, health services need to be prioritized.  I look forward to that happening and I will be happy to leave this earth if and when I am struck with a major ailment that takes substantial cost and effort to treat.

      My Edwards 2008 yard sign will stay up for a long time.

      by Andy86 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:15:30 AM PST

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