Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Several states have made ambitious attempts to address health care costs, only to be thwarted by the hospital industry. Why it matters: States' failures provide a warning to Washington: Even policies with bipartisan support "like ending surprise medical bills" could die at the hand of the all-powerful hospital lobby. The big picture: Hospitals are the biggest contributor to rising health care spending, and states are on the leading edge of trying to curtail those costs.

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Once again, the healthcare industry shows its main goal is profit.

... as life expectancy in the United States continues to decline.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-08-15 11:11 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Pigs.

#2 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-08-15 04:03 PM | Reply

Who are they lobbying?

When you complain about the healthcare industry showing its main goal is profit, some politician is benefiting, right?

The lobbyists have no power if the politicians don't take their money.

Anyway, if they do take the money, they can't vote against them. After all, the money isn't a bribe.

#3 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-08-15 05:01 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Healthcare lobbyists spend FOUR TIMES more lobbying Congress than defense lobbyists spend to keeping the military industrial complex in place ...

That tells you everything you need to know.

#4 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-08-15 09:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And this is why our healthcare system is broken - insurance is only part of the problem but the one that gets 95% of the focus in any discussion. The problem is the underlying cost of care - in terms of facilities and salaries for nurses and doctors. Compare healthcare salaries - nurse, family doctor, surgeon, other specialist in the USA vs. Canada or Europe. Our salary structure is much, much higher - it can routinely be 2x the cost. Why is that? Well - that blame falls on the AMA. For a vast, vast majority of tasks you don't need the specialist training that the AMA forces on all medical professionals with the sole purpose of limiting labor supply and keeping wages high - that is the difference between a doctor and a dentist.

If we want to lower medical costs - the primary thing we need to do is break the AMA to increase the number of available professionals AND introduce automation. AI is coming for this in a big way - especially for machine learning for scanning MRIs and x-rays for identifiable patterns. We are going to see a huge pushback on AI in medical applications and my guess will be the Dems demanding AI is limited use while screaming that medical costs are too high. Just a matter of time until a nurse takes your vitals, feeds them into a computer and have AI give a diagnosis (Taiwan already uses IBM's Watson) with difficult cases upleveled to a 2nd opinion from a doctor in a low cost geography like India. Right only, it is only the fear of getting sued and the AMA which is stopping this.

Lastly, it is no secret that hospitals vastly inflate costs to cover for non-payers and government services which are cost losers (a lot of Medicare services) so most stay in business by inflating costs to those with insurance.

I had a friend that owned a low end autoparts sales business. He was uninsured and had a heart attack. He agreed to pay in cash and the hospital gladly agreed to take 50% of what their initial bill stated. Maybe there was goodwill in the reduction, but I suspect that was much closer to the true cost of the service provided.

#5 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-08-15 10:56 PM | Reply

#3 | Posted by Petrous

I love that sarcasm so I flagged it funny. "After all, the money isn't a bribe" - LMAO

#6 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-08-16 09:17 AM | Reply

#5 | Posted by iragoldberg

If you keep reading the articles down the page there is evidence of that initial statement. Start reading the "PBMs pass along a lot of Medicare rebates" bit and how the insurance companies end up keeping much of the money that should be going back to people and employers. PBMs are Pharmacy benefit managers and the negotiate "Rebates" and other concessions from Pharmaceutical companies.

And even further down is a nice article on "Another way the U.S. is an outlier" - in healthcare and social services expenses. A new Health Affairs study throws cold water on the idea that the U.S. spends so much more on health care than other countries because we spend less on other social services. Everyone should read it and the related links.

#7 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-08-16 09:25 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Kind of funny - so far all sides seem to agree here. Wonder why government can't do anything about it? All sides in healthcare need to be taken down several notches at the same time.

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-08-16 09:27 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

hmmm I agree with it all.... everyone pretty much nailed it.... but let me just add...

Medical Tourism... that is, patients going outside the US for medical procedures that are cheaper in other countries...

Let me also add... the possibility of medical ships parked just outside the 12 mile US border. A complete hospital within a ship just outside the influence of the AMA and just a water Taxi trip away.

Possibly at 1/4th the cost?

#9 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-08-16 12:25 PM | Reply

How many votes did the lobbyists cast?

#10 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-08-16 01:16 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Galaxiepete - I aim to please. Just give me a target the size of a barn.

#11 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-08-16 03:59 PM | Reply

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