The Best HealthCare System in the World

This post is going to be another of my examples of the iniquity in the American healthcare system. So, if that idea turns you off, just quit now, and wait for my next post.

If you do still think that America is doing a great job, then you might want to read this article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/health/exploring-salines-secret-costs.html?hpw&_r=1&&pagewanted=all#h[]

By the way, I have noticed that if I read more than 10 articles in the New York Times in a month, they stop me and require that I subscribe. However, I have several browsers on my computer.

Some years ago I found that I preferred Firefox over Internet Explorer because of a security problem with Internet Explorer. The universe has changed so much now, since that was years ago, that I honestly don’t know which one is best. But I’m used to using Firefox and continue to do so. But, since I also have Internet Explorer, I noticed that if I open the same webpage in Internet Explorer I can read this article, and presumably 9 more.

Google has a browser, called Chrome. It has some nice features and I have also used that in the past. You may want to see if it appeals to you. It is my theory that the thing that counts ‘how many times you have read articles on the New York Times’, is dependent upon the browser you’re using.

If you don’t want to click on that link, the summary is that it is a nice article about selling bags of sterile saline. Which are about the most common form of IV fluid. They admit that the typical company that makes these bags, turns a nice profit and is very happy at selling them between $.50 and $1.05 depending on various factors. Their executives live comfortably. Their workers are very happy. They have a nice building with clean toilets, in a nice neighborhood. Life is good.

The rub is that the kind of Mafia, or cartel, that controls the American healthcare system, commonly charges the victim, or is the term the pigeon? Oh no, I guess it’s ‘the patient’ because they are very patient. These people get charged typically, $546.00 and often more. For one bag that cost less than a dollar, including all fees, the pension plan, stockholders dividends, etc. And that $1.00 is the production cost. The total materials probably cost much less than a penny.

This is what I’ve been whining about for several years, and some of you are quite tired of it I’m sure.

Capitalism is a word that has a lot of baggage to several of the people that I know that sometimes read my blog. For some of them it is synonymous with evil and the end of the world. For others it is wonderful. So let’s avoid that word. Let’s just say that I, personally, have for years been of the opinion that a system where, if other people are making bags of salt water for a dollar, and I have enough manufacturing expertise, and the funding, and the property, and know where to get employees, etc. etc., and I think I can make them for $.80 and still have a nice return on my investment, then I might want to do that.

I think that sort of mentality is usually very good for the consumer. You get competition, that keeps people from gouging on the prices. Over the big picture, it usually keeps the prices close to what it actually cost to make the item. There are lots of ancillary costs. I have no problem with the fact that the water and the salt and the plastic bag cost less than a penny. You need to factor in the cost of the machine, the lights and heat , keeping the paint in good shape and all of the countless expenses of running a factory.

It’s complicated. But people have been doing it for hundreds of years. It’s become synonymous with commerce. But with the American healthcare system we have a gigantic conspiracy of secrecy and smoke and mirrors.

People die every day, because they cannot afford treatment. But, for the vast majority of those people, the reason they cannot afford it, is because the cartel, the Mafia, has jacked up the price shamelessly.

There are million half-truths and spin doctor statements that can tear my opinion apart. Go ahead, if you want to pretend I don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free. It will not change the truth.

According to many third-party studies, the US citizen, pays on average, more than twice as much as the 2nd most expensive health care system in the world. Yet, for that high price, they receive care that is worse than the 33rd country from the top. Yes. There are about 33 countries in the world that have better health care than the US, overall. I realize that it’s tricky to get exact comparisons. Apples to apples and not apples to oranges or not apples to Crescent wrenches. But I think anyone that does a remotely fair evaluation of the situation is shocked.

If you want our system to stay that way, and probably get much worse, just do nothing. Don’t tell anyone else. Don’t write letters to your government representatives. Don’t complain to your insurance company. Don’t spread the word. But most important, don’t get sick or injured. And if someone you love more than anything else in the world does, “Well, there is nothing that can be done.” Right?

Dave

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