Stimulus bill to regulate the cost effectiveness of medical treatments provided by private health insurance?

Ugh? Why would the stimulus bill regulate the cost effectiveness of medical services by private doctors to patients covered by private health insurance? This is just Obama's way of putting private insurance companies out of business. We already had the massive health insurance regulations imposed as part of the financial bailout bill last October (something designed to dramatically increase the cost of private health insurance). The Democrats seem to want to destroy the private system to increase support for a government takeover.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the goal of healthcare becomes profit and not health, it is no longer healthcare.

2/10/2009 8:10 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The Democrats seem to want to destroy the private system to increase support for a government takeover

No, John, this legislation IS the Gummint takeover. Going forward, MDs and hospitals will do what the Gummint tells them to do--and ONLY what the Gummint tells them.

2/10/2009 9:19 PM  
Blogger Harry Schell said...

Recall that Hillarycare mapped out the strategy to nationalize healthcare.

The first step was to get children locked up, and SCHIP was the bone thrown by short-sighted Republicans to the Dems for shelving the entire HC plan...but it was the first wedge.

Now SCHIP is being fed steroids, and a "stimulus" bill has this incredible step in it. Pelosi's strategy of larding up "essential" bills with a wish list of payoffs to supporters and incremental socialism is working again with Bama as POTUS. Bush, to his credit, kept this tactic to something of a minimum, but Bama owes Pelosi too much.

No point to private insurance if the feds dictate what can be done, is there?

But, think of the jobs it will create, minders by the thousand, and enforcers and checkers and auditors and inspectors and inspectors to keep the minders and inspectors in line and...

2/10/2009 9:32 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear forthesakeofscience:

When the goal of computer companies becomes profit and not computers, they are no longer dealing with computers, right? Personally, I think that computers and food and every other product would have much greater incentives to be properly produced if the profit motive was removed, right?

If you don't think that the government will have to make trade-offs based on cost, you are sadly mistaken.

2/11/2009 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apples and oranges, but good attempt.

The goal of healthcare companies is to deny as many people as possible their right to health.

I think there is a fundamental different of philosophy here, and it goes much deeper than simply which is the better model, private or public. It is, quite simply, that you have absolutely no concern for basic human rights. You've shown this again and again. Your ulterior motive - if something so glaring can be called that any longer - is profit for faceless corporations. People do not matter in the world of John Lott. It's pathetic.

2/11/2009 5:20 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear forthesakeofscience:

Logic is not your strong suit, but that is fine. The issue is one of incentives. What gets people to produce the best products or services? You think that politicians will produce the best health care because they won't trade-off dollars for services, but politicians face the same limited resources as everyone else. The question is where to make the cuts and who makes them. Politicians will make the cuts based upon where the votes are, not what the patients want. WIth private medical care, it is what the patients are willing to pay for that gets provided.

2/11/2009 6:32 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Without the knowledge of having read the "stimulus" package legislation myself, I am going to draw my conclusions from what I know.

First, it is not in the government's interest to see people do for themselves. Doing for yourself makes you independent of them.

Second, in order to secure the best "product", some form of competition must be available. Last I checked, the government is none too happy about competition.

Third, to keep things balanced one must rely on the self-restraint and moral fortitude of those "producers". When that is lacking, regulation and penal authority come to pass.

So, essentially you end up with what we now have. We now have two sides that are so far apart that they take great pleasure from shafting each other. Sounds like progress to me.

2/11/2009 8:45 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Hmmmmmm. I myself have Blue Cross Blue Shield Health insurance. A non profit outfit, yes.

How it works is that companies sign on to their plan in order to reduce costs. BCBS negotiates lower costs with many doctors by assuring prompt and guaranteed payment for services rendered (unlike the government).

From my perspective, the high cost of medicine can be explained by high insurance costs (malpractice for one), costs of staff, equipment, logistics, regulations, a building in which to work out of, and many other things which any other company can reduce cost by consolidation of resources under one roof. Doctors do not have that luxury if they are in private practice.

The difference between hospitals and private practices strikes me as very similar to say, General Motors vs Rolls Royce. GM builds fine autos that function quite well, and at a much lower cost than Rolls Royce. Mass production vs hand built. However, medical issues do not lend themselves well to mass production. Too many variables. Personal attention is needed. Each individual has unique problems, yet illnesses have the same causes. A dichotomy? Not really.

Let us suppose for a moment that our government dictates that only methotrexate can be used to treat RA. It's cheaper than other drugs. All patients must take this drug because it costs less. No if's and's or butt's about it. You must use this drug. The choice for alternatives is taken away from the physician. Did I mention if that you and the drug do not get along well, that you must file paperwork to establish that it is harmful to you? Just keep taking the drug while we process your claim. Try not to die while waiting. It would be a shame to approve changes after you are dead, and then have to cancel said approval.

2/11/2009 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, can you try some honesty? You care about private profits, nothing else. Admit it so we can continue without this veil.

Anyway, private healthcare has not produced the best overall healthcare. For the relatively well-to-do, perhaps, but not for a very large number of people. Where private healthcare is run by people with the primary purpose of turning a profit, public healthcare is run with the primary purpose of, well, healthcare. It's simple. Perhaps you don't consider this to be logic. I hope that's the case. It makes your 'insult' more amusing.

"Politicians will make the cuts based upon where the votes are, not what the patients want."

By politicians you mean Republicans. The more liberal our politicians, the more interested they tend to be in human needs. Of course some politicians will vote for cuts based upon where the votes are, but that inherently means they are voting in the interests of the patients/potential patients. You see - jumping from this whole logic thing in which you seem to have finally shown some interest - voters are patients, know patients, understand the plight of patients, or are likely to some day become patients. They have their own interests at heart a tad more than some well-insured health insurance employee whose job it is to refuse patients care.

"WIth private medical care, it is what the patients are willing to pay for that gets provided."

This inherently favors the wealthy. Again, you show your concern for the bottom line over basic human needs.

Beside that, yes, people are willing to pay to not die. That does not mean that is a good thing. I'd pay quite a bit, I imagine, if I came into ill health. So much, in fact, that my other bills and potential purchases would undoubtedly be neglected if need be. So great, private healthcare can do just dandy. That doesn't help the general populace's wallet or any other bottom line (which, again, is far from the primary concern - at least for the humane among us).

2/12/2009 12:07 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

To: forthesakeofscience

I respectfully disagree with your last post. Socialised Medicine only works on a very small scale, if at all.

Private health care works far better than public health care. I can choose. I am allowed to make an informed decision as to which doctor is best for I.

Having spent the last five years dealing with my personal health issues, I have learned a great deal about how the medical community works.

I can assure you that the best doctors get the most patients, provide faster and much higher quality care than do bad doctors.

No one, and I mean no one, has the right to tell me who I can see for my health care issues. Not you, nor some bureaucrat.

May I assume that you want the taxpayers to pay your bills? In so doing, you will receive exactly what you deserve.

2/12/2009 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Public healthcare does not need to entail restricted choices. Often, it, in fact, does not.

2/13/2009 2:05 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

" forthesakeofscience said...

Public healthcare does not need to entail restricted choices. Often, it, in fact, does not."

I respectfully ask for proof of this, your argument.

If in fact you do provide proof, please cite your sources so that we all can subject your argument to peer review.

Thank you.

2/14/2009 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You raise your ego with the term "peer review", methinks.

Many countries offer multiple choices for healthcare while also having that healthcare be universal. Look at much of Europe. It happens.

If you're so concerned with this conservative tag-line "give me choices!" then why not advocate a system that entails private and public healthcare? Something where all people are entitled to basic care? If they don't like it, they can go to the private insurers. Of course, that's going to hurt the bottom line of those 'healthcare providers'. But hey, that's just healthy competition, right?

2/15/2009 8:33 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Unlike you, I keep my ego on a strict diet.

I ask for proof, and you ignore my requests repeatedly.

Must you just accuse others of lies, while all the time you fail to prove anything?

Rhetoric proves nothing except ignorance. Come to think of it, I did ask for proof, did I not? I guess I have received it in mass quantities. Thank you.

2/16/2009 4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with universal standards of care that are ultimately subject to the will of a majority of voters is that the majority will amost always vote to protect its perceived interests at the expense of the minorities' interests. So, if you are in a classification which the majority has decided should not be treated, you don't have other recourse. You can't switch doctors, insurance providers, or jobs in order to get the care you need.

I expect that nationalized health care will start by denying care to the "hard cases" -- those in the end stages of horrible, and horribly expensive terminal illnesses. Then the grounds for non-treatment will be expanded progressively to all terminal conditions, then all expensive-to-treat conditions, then to all who are over a certain age, then to all who are handicapped or who have chronic conditions, then to anything that is not "preventive care."

This will pay for the expense of a gov't run healthcare system, and may eventually be used to solve the problem of other expensive entitlements, like Social Security ...

2/23/2009 1:51 PM  

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