Open thread 3 on poverty: Health Care
HEALTH CARE… LuckyJohn19 alluded to the fact that if you don’t take care of certain things, you will pay for it in the end. People are as much an infrastructure of our country as bridges, and are even more important. I am in favor of basic socialized medicine. No heart transplants, thank you, nor extreme measures to eak out a few more weeks of life, but working people should be able to count on basic care…
Other industrialized countries – many quite wealthy – manage this and actually get MORE for their money than we do. Fact is, our health system spends more to get less than any other in the world. Hard statistics of infant mortality and longevity bear this out.
Of course I have no objection to the wealthy buying extra insurance for extreme measures. That is what drives medical advancement, after all, the way auto-racing drives vehicular engineering. Today’s cheap, basic care was yesterday’s cutting-edge miracle.
Much has been made of the medical malpractice crisis. But you can bet that 80% of the insurance payouts go to pay for the screwups of the worst 5% of the doctors. Insurance companies need to refuse to insure those doctors, effectively putting them out of the business. Hard-nosed actuaries that they are, they should be able to distinguish between risky work like OB/GYN and a pattern of truly stupid mistakes.
(Most likely this is true of any risk-prone occupation. Who would be surprised to learn that 80% of charges of police brutality focus on the worst 5% of cops? Professions need to get better at – pardon the expression – “policing” themselves.)
Healthy people work better, and small employers could reach farther if they weren’t trying to manage basic health care. Some things are better done wholesale and health care is one of them.
Notes: see also