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01/29/2007

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guy in the veal calf office

Bernard-

I deliberately improved your car analogy because it was a poor analogy (based on the assumption that healthcare is the same "car" the world over). At any rate, analogy is a pretty weak method of advancing an argument so let's desist.

Similarly, it should be self evident that life expectancy is sensitive to lots of things besides the delivery of health care. I needn't go into the reasons or studies, they are readily available. The party who claims that healthcare has to be fixed because it takes to large a percentage of GDP, and who asks for regulatory change, bears the burden of explaining the problem and spporting the proposed change. That burden hasn't been met.

Until then, I remain agnostically yours,
Guy in the Veal Calf Office.

Bernard Yomtov

I deliberately improved your car analogy because it was a poor analogy (based on the assumption that healthcare is the same "car" the world over).

Spare me the logic lectures. I didn't say health care was the same the world over. I implied it is roughly similar across most advanced countries. I haven't seen anything from you that suggests otherwise.

it should be self evident that life expectancy is sensitive to lots of things besides the delivery of health care. I needn't go into the reasons or studies, they are readily available. The party who claims that healthcare has to be fixed because it takes to large a percentage of GDP, and who asks for regulatory change, bears the burden of explaining the problem and spporting the proposed change. That burden hasn't been met.

And I would say that the party who argues that US health care is plainly superior to that available in other advanced countries, and therefore justifies the extra cost, needs to present some evidence other than vague tales or claims about how the available measures are inaccurate and biased against the US system.

That burden certainly hasn't been met. I don't even think you understand it.

n.e.hat

I'm somewhat surprised that no one has raised the issue of what appears to be an underlying problem of "monopoly capitalism" hard at work in the medical service industry. Take for example the issue of negotiated price. Let's say for example that I am the only supplier of something called "medserv" and I know full well that if I set a price for it, a powerful institution which purchases it is going to demand that their price be negotiable. So what am I too do? Of course I'll set the starting price so high that by the time negotiations are finished, the price paid will cover the cost and add in a profit. This issue raises some rather interesting questions regarding free markets and fair pricing when dealing with a form of monopoly capitalism. It appears to be inherently self inflationary, which may very well explain the double digit cost increases that have occured over the years.

Dare I say it? That the solution may very well be a form of "price & wage" controls. We already have a Federal Reserve that tries to control inflationary tendencies in the Economy by manipulating interest rates and the amount of money circulating. Perhaps something similiar is needed in the Medical Industry.

Bob

I am always amazed at people who can write the following:

I cannot think of a good reason for subsidizing health insurance, or, indeed, for the demand for noncatastrophic health insurance.

What about children of the working poor? I guess our good judge just doesn't think they deserve any consideration.

You do have to wonder about what world he lives in to also write this:

. . . most medical expenses are modest.

I wonder if he would share with us what he means by "modest." We know that in the last year the savings rate in the US was negative. Perhaps, he can tell us what a day in the University of Chicago hospital costs and then explain this is not a problem for the average Walmart worker.

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