I've been hearing a lot from the rich about how the poor "will overuse medical services" if they aren't charged a percentage of their costs, preferably a high one, but nobody ever mentions how impossible it is finding out what those costs are. This is a ridiculous argument, given that truth, and a dangerous situation for the working class because for example, people often are told a procedure will be covered when it is not. This must be made illegal for the current monstrosity to work. Also, with the cost of travel falling, people need to be able to know the price, so they can decide if medical travel is a better idea. I know that the cost of an MRI that costs $3000 here is $98 in Japan, the government price list is online. So, anyone who is getting an MRI can get a free trip to Japan, and save thousands of dollars too. So what the hell is going on that the hospitals and doctors don't publish the prices for MRIs, CAT scans, all medical tests, etc. so people can negotiate prices. Thats what the hospitals elsewhere do. This would save lives!
Last night I watched Sick Around the World, and it had me really angry about the incredible arrogance and indeed, malevolence of our leaders here for deigning themselves so empowered as to block the nation's upgent demand for passage of affordable health care in the US and replace it with an unaffordable abomination. Both parties are doing this hijacking. Affordable health care starts with an idea, universality. It requires that other alien concept to the robot like politicians, transparency. It includes another idea, managers put the peple of this nation ahead of profits. In other words, they must be mentally healthy, sane individuals. Any politician who lacks that certain amount of sanity, enough to see that the system we have right now not only isn't working, its murdering huge numbers of people every day, should be removed from the position of responsibility, Any politician who fails to respect the need of America for change in the immediate time context, needs to immediately be led away and replaced.
MRIs are a powerful diagnostic tool.
Lives are lost, diagnoses are missed, when people can't afford to get one. And thanks to companies like Tosiba, almost any hospital, or even small medical groups, can afford an MRI machine now.
The Obama administration plans to make healthcare "more efficient" and slow the rate prices are increasing by curtailing the use of important diagnostic procedures and tests. Even though the rate of medical errors is at all time highs.
As part of their PR campaign, they are asking people call it "defensive medicine" as if knowing more about patients health status was a bad thing. Why are they ramping up the PR to attack something that helps people get better and sometimes, prevents really terrible outcomes? What about the wisdom of common sense, and being responsible, You know that old saying "measure twice, cut once"? Or "first, do no harm"?
"MRI prices fall sharply in markets outside U.S. - Diagnostic Imaging
"Japan has the most competitive prices," said Ralph Andreas, vice president of international for Toshiba America MRI in South San Francisco. But MRI prices ..."
How can an MRI of the neck and lower head that costs more than $3000 in the US cost $98 in Japan?
Read this interview with Naoki Ikegami chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Keio University School of Medicine, is widely regarded as Japan's top health economist.
I can't imagine what would threaten anybody about requiring that all prices, the real prices, for medical services be published. And that quality levels for hospitals and doctors also be published. That way, people could make realistic determinations of which doctor or which hospital to use. They might be able also to find cheaper services elsewhere.
What is so threatening about the free market to America's corporatocracy?