Thursday, June 23, 2011

Health Spending 1: Wastes in US health spending

The Economist in this June 17th 2011 issue produced this interesting chart.

In 2009 alone, some $600 to $850 billion of unnecessary care, fraudulent claims and other forms of wasteful health spending were made. The accompanying brief explanation of the graph says

A patient may see many skilled specialists, none of whom co-ordinate with one another. Payment systems are unfathomably complex and highly variable. Doctors order duplicative or unnecessary tests... All these problems are due to a simple, structural failing: the more services a hospital provides, the more it is paid.

The Business Pundit's US Healthcare vs. the Rest of the World: Part 2 also made these observations below.

That healthcare providers in the US can charge as much as they can, that the high administration cost contributes to high healthcare costs there.

I am just curious why the chart artist/s say that "The US government is less involved in price regulation..." So they are advocating more "price regulations" of healthcare by the US government? Tough luck, I don't believe that. That's a convenient excuse to justify more government intervention in healthcare and other sectors later on.


Todd said...

The problem with left wing magazines is that they stumble all over themselves. One one hand they complain that there's too much duplicate services. On the other they leave out the reason why. Yes, doctors make double sure, triple sure of their diagnoses. Why? Lawsuits, something the magazine doesn't mention, which doesn't surprise me they being a left wing magazine in business to fool the gullible, and to advocate the complete government takeover of things, which is The Economist's position.

And the day that medication stops being "118 percent more expensive" in the United States is the day that the price of medication rises 118% in the Philippines. It no secret (except amongst leftist journalists at leftist magazines) that the companies sell their drugs at a steep discount in poorer countries.

21% of the EXCESS of spending? Excess over what? Britian's sorry system? What is "administration" that's supposedly double any country? Is this left wing magazine trying to say that government does things cheaper than the private sector?

The problem with so much of western media today is that it's just made up. Literally. That final line is laughable. I would ask reading such, who went to jail. You defraud government, you go to jail, so who did? What I don't wait for is today's journalist being smart enough to answer that question, nor be smart enough to even why I would ask myself that, after reading a laughable assertion.

Todd said...

I didn't even look at first, becase I just know this article (not yours, the Economist) is pretty much a fraud. I can just sense it, being a consumer of journalism most of my 46 years.

Not $310 million if spending on speech therapy...$310 million billed to the GOVERNMENT SYSTEM!!! is fraudulent.

Yes, the Economist played it's readers for chumps, arguing for government controlled systems, pulling a factoid out of the writer's butt, just to fraudulently try to attribute that factoid to private "administration." THAT is journalist fraud, and why I never trust anything I read in the paper anymore, without further confirmation.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Hey Todd, thank you very much for pointing these out. Yes, I also have suspicions about The Economist of being more statist than free marketer. The Business Pundit, I am not aware of its political leaning yet, I just find their graphics rather user-friendly, but their main data source is not given.

Todd said...

I'm automatically suspicious of any article that doesn't touch on the two biggest drivers of American health care costs.

1. Somebody else paying the bill. If you're hurting and an insurance company is paying the bill, you're going to consume as much health care as you can. A government takeover won't change this.

2. Lawyers. We're a sue happy society. The billions and billions in lawsuits are added to the health care costs. The leftists wanting to take over health care do not want to change this situation, as lawyers and unions feed billions in bribes to our Democrat (leftist) Party.

Both countries, yours and mine, the overwhelming amount of fraud, is found in the governent administered portions of our respective systems. Something else, that article won't an honest fashion.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Thanks again Todd. But a private health insurance can charge you higher premium next year if you consume a lot of healthcare this year. Whereas government health insurance will charge high those who take care of their body more so that government will have more money to subsidize those who are more irresponsible about their body but are more noisy politically.