Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Medical Care Costs

Thomas Sowell has written another great article. In it, he discusses the fact that just because you pay less at the doctor's office doesn't mean the actual cost of your medical care is lower. The cost has just been shuffled over to taxes or some other gotcha. He likens it to the pea in the shell game that you might see at a carnival. He then goes into reducing costs via cutting salaries.

Britain has had a government-run medical system for more than half a century and it has to import doctors, including some from Third World countries where the medical training may not be the best. In short, reducing doctors' income is not reducing the cost of medical care, it is refusing to pay those costs. Like other ways of refusing to pay costs, it has consequences.

Ah consequences. That is what Americans lack: the ability to accept and give out consequences. We want everything to consequence free. We want to sleep around AND not have to worry about STDs and pregnancy. We want to ditch our kids in day care AND have a great relationship with our kids. We want to have the best medical care in the world AND not pay for it.

And are we really so stupid to believe that the government is capable of doing ANYTHING efficiently? Are we really so gullible to believe that red tape and bureaucrats can give us more for less? Good grief.

He ends with a section on ways to get the cost of health care lower without craziness.

The high costs of "defensive medicine"-- expensive tests, medications and procedures required to protect doctors and hospitals from ruinous lawsuits, rather than to help the patients-- could be reduced by not letting lawyers get away with filing frivolous lawsuits.

If a court of law determines that the claims made in such lawsuits are bogus, then those who filed those claims could be forced to reimburse those who have been sued for all their expenses, including their attorneys' fees and the lost time of people who have other things to do. But politicians who get huge campaign contributions from lawyers are not about to pass laws to do this.

I like his plan a lot better than the government take over.

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