‘Free’ Healthcare?

 

Mrs Rodin was riffing this morning about healthcare and how people have come to hate medicine while loving their own doctor. (Kind of like hating Congress but loving  your own Representative.) How people seem to not want to pay for medical care. And, of course, socialists (communists) keep telling people that healthcare is a “right” that should be centrally controlled and managed.

There probably is not a more abused word than “free.” Marketers have long used terms like “buy one, get one free,” which in reality means only that the unit price is halved. While “free” is always appealing, it is little understood. What, in reality, is free?

I remember learning about “life cycle costs” many decades ago now. The difference between a Certified Public Accountant and a bookkeeper is study and experience in allocating costs among things — a judgment call — and not simply recording an amount into a ledger. Even legitimate gifts have costs: do you insure it? Does the government tax it? Do you have storage expenses? Maintenance expenses? Disposal costs?

I recognize that, at a level, this is pedantic, but really, people, grow up and understand what real life is all about.

But “circling back” to healthcare: bringing the cost down to even close to free involves shifting costs. Want to avoid any of the so-called lifestyle diseases? Change your lifestyle! And next time you have a sugar craving, just remember you are doing it for nearly free healthcare. Have a chronic illness or injury? Just buck up and bear it — you’re getting nearly free healthcare!

Oh, for the good old days –no, not the 1960-’80s — the 1060-’80s. Healthcare was nearly free. A small donation for a prayer. Lots of exercise while doing back-breaking and life-shortening tasks.

Sadly we seem to be on a trajectory back to 1122 as Obamacare (thank you, John McCain!) continues its march through medicine, shifting incentives from rendering to denial of care, putting paper pushers in charge, and making the ultimate “care giver” the government who never took a Hippocratic Oath.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Why would you pick on “free’?

    As long as we have those now in charge of making the rules we can expect any word that has value in someone’s view to be corrupted.

    I think you know a long list could be made now.

    What this means in effect is the cost analysis you would do will be filled with words that have been corrupted so that you will have much difficulty in convey an understandable message.

    Good luck convincing those who believe things are free because someone says so that it is a false claim.

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Why would you pick on “free’?

    As long as we have those now in charge of making the rules we can expect any word that has value in someone’s view to be corrupted.

    I think you know a long list could be made now.

    What this means in effect is the cost analysis you would do will be filled with words that have been corrupted so that you will have much difficulty in convey an understandable message.

    Good luck convincing those who believe things are free because someone says so that it is a false claim.

    True that. (Depending on the NewSpeak Dictionary of “True” and “that” when you are reading this.)

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Rodin

    Mrs Rodin was riffing this morning about healthcare and how people have come to hate medicine while loving their own doctor

    Now your lady has touched on what the real problem is. Not only is healthcare not free, it is loaded with unnecessary administrative costs following the pattern established by public education and government. So, people who dislike government come to dislike the delivery of medical care but not so much their specific interaction that they have chosen, i.e. their doctor.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    When I visited my breast surgeon last December, it was the second visit following my surgery. When the visit was over, and he said he’d have his staff make me an appointment for a year from that date, I asked how often I would have to come back. He said he’d like to see me one more time. (I guess the standard is to check annually for two years.) I almost said, you know there’s nothing to see there–bad joke-but I agreed to see him–just in case. (Besides he’s a cute young guy.) For the last time. Ultimately I won’t get a bill, but I wonder how many people schedule needless visits because it’s “standard”; I may not get a bill, but in a sense the country pays for these visits (I have Medicare) every time. It’s not free.

    • #4
  5. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Last month, for the very first time in my life, I actually found something that was buy 2 get 1 free and they really meant it.

    • #5
  6. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    So, are mostly socialized medical industry spends about 3X what Brittan’s fully socialized medical industry.  We are in a bad place and either need to embrace markets or embrace socialism on the cheap. 

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Well, I know for sure that “free shipping” isn’t really free.

    • #7
  8. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Rodin: There probably is not a more abused word than “free”.

    “We” is the most abused word in history.

    • #8
  9. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Where do our doctors bear any responsibility for what is going on in health care?

    Or should the public  hold accountable only   the hospital franchise owners and franchise health clinic owners for the demise of actual health care?

    It does seem that “free” health care and total lack of regard for patients by the physicians came about at the same time.

     I realize that people here who are lucky enough to have the same doctors today as they had in 2005 might not understand what I mean.

    Our family GP retired from his clinic in 2015.

    Since then, we have had only the lowest common denominator of physicians.

    The last bad experience was my spouse going off to the usual clinic and finding the guy whom  he had seen before had left our area. He then was assigned a Chinese physician.

    The woman could barely speak English. Mark spent most of the visit asking her to repeat what she had said.

    She seemed intent on ignoring his request for a re-up on his insulin.

    Instead she began to hammer away at him that due to his continual need to have her repeat things, she would not address his need for the insulin Rx until he agreed to have a session with an audiologist. (My spouse has such excellent hearing that he will wake me up in the middle of the night due to “that noise” preventing him from sleeping. The noise will end up being a cricket two fields away from our house.)

    I complained the next day to the customer service people and got him re-assigned to a different physician who was enough of a doctor that  he managed to re-issue the needed prescription.

    But that experience is typical of what is happening to those of us who live in rural California.

     

    • #9
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Where do our doctors bear any responsibility for what is going on in health care?

    Or should the public hold accountable only the hospital franchise owners and franchise health clinic owners for the demise of actual health care?

    It does seem that “free” health care and total lack of regard for patients by the physicians came about at the same time.

    I realize that people here who are lucky enough to have the same doctors today as they had in 2005 might not understand what I mean.

    Our family GP retired from his clinic in 2015.

    Since then, we have had only the lowest common denominator of physicians.

    The last bad experience was my spouse going off to the usual clinic and finding the guy whom he had seen before had left our area. He then was assigned a Chinese physician.

    The woman could barely speak English. Mark spent most of the visit asking her to repeat what she had said.

    She seemed intent on ignoring his request for a re-up on his insulin.

    Instead she began to hammer away at him that due to his continual need to have her repeat things, she would not address his need for the insulin Rx until he agreed to have a session with an audiologist. (My spouse has such excellent hearing that he will wake me up in the middle of the night due to “that noise” preventing him from sleeping. The noise will end up being a cricket two fields away from our house.)

    I complained the next day to the customer service people and got him re-assigned to a different physician who was enough of a doctor that he managed to re-issue the needed prescription.

    But that experience is typical of what is happening to those of us who live in rural California.

     

    I don’t think health care quality plummeted because of doctors leaving.  I think doctors are leaving because the quality of care they’re allowed to offer due to government and insurance regulations, has plummeted.

    Which would mean it’s not the doctors that are to blame.

    • #10
  11. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    I have reached an age where those college grads who voted for Biden are paying for my health care.  Love it. 

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I have reached an age where those college grads who voted for Biden are paying for my health care. Love it.

    And by voting for Biden they voted to make it impossible to buy a home, too.  Double-whammy for them.

    They may not be able to afford to have children either.  That’s mixed, I suppose.

    • #12
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I have reached an age where those college grads who voted for Biden are paying for my health care. Love it.

    Khan Revenge GIF - Khan Revenge DishCold - Discover & Share GIFs

    • #13
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Rodin:

    Mrs Rodin was riffing this morning about healthcare and how people have come to hate medicine while loving their own doctor

    Now your lady has touched on what the real problem is. Not only is healthcare not free, it is loaded with unnecessary administrative costs following the pattern established by public education and government. So, people who dislike government come to dislike the delivery of medical care but not so much their specific interaction that they have chosen, i.e. their doctor.

    Government upcharges for everything it adopts for its own through admin and oversight. And then asks us to thank it for ‘creating jobs’. 

    • #14
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I have reached an age where those college grads who voted for Biden are paying for my health care. Love it.

    And by voting for Biden they voted to make it impossible to buy a home, too. Double-whammy for them.

    They may not be able to afford to have children either. That’s mixed, I suppose.

    “I’d like the double-whammy revenge, served over ice, and a bowl of the locally-sourced liberal tears.” 

    • #15
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