Browsing throught the Wall Street Journal Health Blog today I came across a comment posted by a doctor and thought it definitely worthy of posting here. It’s time we got a glimpse into the thoughts of our doctors concerning the deterioration of affordable health care in the US.
PBS found some interesting data that would change many minds if more people would see it.
The following was posted in response to…
Life Expectancy Falls In Pockets of U.S.
April 22, 2008, 9:30 am
“Frontline”, a PBS documentary, did a comparison of health care system in 4 countries. By interviewing patients, doctors, government officials and health insurance executives in Switzerland, the UK, Japan and Taiwan. They came away with the following impressions:
1. Patients were generally satisfied with universal health care, although some had to wait for 2-3 weeks for elective procedures. Emergencies were handled immediately.
2. Physicians had incentives to provide good care and they were satisfied. Bonuses were paid for high quality care and patient satisfaction.
3. Insurance companies and hospitals are not for profit and have to compete for patients on the basis of quality, service and infection control.
4. Patients never receive a bill for medical care. Taxes, employer and patient premiums support the system.
5. No one has ever gone bankrupt because of medical expenses.
6. Malpractice premiums are trivial.
7. Best of all, the health of the population and longevity of life is far better than in the US.
Needless to say, our health care system gets failing grades in most of these areas.
I am not a provider. I am a physician. A board certified internist with 40 years of experience. I am not wealthy, but OK. I wish others can feel the sense of relief I had when I cancelled my last Managed Care Organization (MCO) contract.
MCO’s have a term for for paying benefits. It is called medical loss ratio. Clearly, they see providing care as a loss.
Let’s look at MCO practices. The last president of United Health Care is called William McGuire. He left with 1.6B in compensation much of which was ill begotten gain. He is facing huge civil penalties and a possible criminal indictment. The board of directors seems to have sanctioned this disgrace by poor oversight or worse. How many people had to suffer and die because a seeming sociopath was running the company.
The biggest impediment to universal health care is the HIAA, the industry lobbying group, run by Karen Ignani. Her election year budget is at least 500M. Ignani is very good at what she does. She pays politicians off with “campaign contributions” and other unmentionable amenities.
Folks, it’s all up to you, to take back our government and our health care system. I will vote for the candidate who has the integrity and will to make dramatic changes. Unfortunately, they may also owe favors to the current health care industry.
Thanks and Stay Well,
Comment by Pinchas, MD – April 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm
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