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Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by SecurityGuy (#49630571) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

You're describing one system, not all systems that use single-payer. I can't remember if it was Germany or a Nordic nation that was profiled, but for them you just showed up for GP visits.

Saying, in effect, that some countries do it right and some don't really makes my point. If you implement this in a nation of 300,000,000 people where moving to another country is kind of a very big deal, you're hosed if your country doesn't do it right.

Now consider that I live in a country that periodically shuts its government down because they can't even pass a budget.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by Applehu Akbar (#49630429) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

Open market medicine reduces cost for everyone who pays medical bills, including governments and charities. It does not have to mean that only those who can afford full service get care.

For those of you unfamiliar with the American system, we have a requirement that hospital emergency centers provide free care to everyone who presents and can't afford the standard prices - which are in any case secret! This is, as you might expect, horrendously inefficient. If you go to an ER with a broken wrist, you first have fill out insurance forms for the company which will negotiate the secret prices on your behalf down to a treatment that can be afforded by your policy. Then you may have to sit and wait for treatment in line behind indigent kids with the flu.

Having an increased open market in medicine would start with making the secret prices public, but hospitals adamantly refuse to do this, even in places like Arizona. They will cling to their assumed Guild of the Silversmiths set of privileges until the day Stalin comes to execute them.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by SecurityGuy (#49630425) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

No, they're simply not linked. That other people need stuff is a fact. I'm not averse at all to society helping out people with genuine need. My personal viewpoint is that my place in the world is just a moment in time. I as well as my family and friends could be in very different circumstances in the future. For that matter, some of my family are really not well off anyway. I just disagree with the notion that because a subset of people can't provide something for themselves, we should have the government provide it for everybody. There's another option, that being provide it for just the people who can't provide it for themselves who actually want it.

Homeless people need somewhere to live, but that doesn't mean the government should start building houses and assign everyone one. Some people don't have food, but I don't want a government ratio crate on my doorstep every week. I want the right to pick my own provider, and the right to fire them when they do a bad job.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by SecurityGuy (#49630349) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

People always say that, yet I have extended family in Canada who aren't happy with health care there.

I'm expecting exactly what I said. Single payer means if that single payer screws it up, you don't have an alternative to jump ship. Sometimes the government does a good job at things. Sometimes they don't. I'm just choosing not to indulge in the naivete that some wish to and believe that giving a job to government automatically means it'll be done well.

Really, if single payer is so wonderful, just let people opt in to Medicare for $amount. There's no need to conscript every living person in the US to go with you if they don't want to.

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by Applehu Akbar (#49629281) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

If trade policies are going to be workable, they need to apply to all, or at least large classes of countries, as equally as possible. The very existence of secrecy for the reasons you describe means that we are trying to micromanage the trade policies we have with individual countries in response to pressure from corporate lobbyists.

Tear up this mess of corporate secrets. The trade treaty we need is one that can be negotiated openly.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by Applehu Akbar (#49629125) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

A dose of socialism is just the bitter pill that might finally convince medicine that all those open market initiatives that have been proposed over the years might not be so painful after all. Like Czar Nicholas before them, US medicine is not about to accord the peasantry any rights until the Bolsheviks swoop in to exact "justice" on their own terms.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 257

by SecurityGuy (#49628995) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

Single payer just means no options. If your single payer is great, wonderful. If it's not, you're hosed and have no options.

Personally, I think it's just a pipe dream/standard appeal to authority. "Somebody else handle this and do a good job!" Well, yeah, sure. What if you give it to someone else and they do a bad job?

Comment: the codes are pretty simple really... (Score 5, Funny) 257

by nimbius (#49628989) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
as a senior administrative manager for a large health insurance company I see no reason why customers are boggled over these codes. Any schoolboy (provided your school wasn't free) could decypher this kind of billing. Anyhow, to clarify:
Code 105: we've run out of those little salmon things on the yacht in the hamptons. naturally we would call upon customers for this expense.
Code 127: truffle spread in the lounging room of the manor has expired. normally we do not assess this fee, however since we've gone to the trouble to obviously dispatch a manservant for fresh baguettes, this must be accounted for.
Code 164: The good luck brandy in the maybach has been found to clash with the petit fours and as such we will need to purchase a reisling instead. Part of this fee goes to jet fuel for the arduous trip to germany.
CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798: These are the inventory numbers for the delightful new mercedes we intend to purchase after returning from germany. The autobahn really is delightful you know.

Money is the root of all wealth.