1. Discuss politics - join our community by registering for free here! HOP - the political discussion forum

The solution to Medicare and the health care system

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Hobo1, May 26, 2011.

  1. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Move around
    I have been thinking this for a long time now, but finally a rather unexpected source came out and confirmed my thinking.

    The whole problem with Medicare and our broken health care system is not money, it is HOW DOCTORS PRACTICE MEDICINE. I have had the occasion to need some medical care in Asia, where I am traveling. I am amazed how cheap it is.

    At first I thought maybe the staff and doctors don't need the high salary, so the costs are held down. Then, I began to realize that the whole system is different. For example, I have had high blood pressure for a long time and need medicine. In the US, I must go to the doctor twice a year, get an expensive blood test, sit for an hour in the waiting room, have a nurse take my height, weight, and blood pressure, plus ask me a hundred questions. Then I get to see the doctor, who takes my blood pressure again. Plus he gives me a general physical exam, asks me more questions.."are you feeling okay?" Finally he writes out a prescription for an expensive new blood pressure medicine. I go to the drug store, and max out my credit card paying for the medicine!

    Yesterday, in Malaysia, I went to a "health klinik". Nurse photocopies my passport, I wait 5 minutes to see the doctor and tell him I need blood pressure medicine. This all happens in a small office with just a desk, a few books, and some diplomas on the wall. He asks me what medicine I have been taking - and tell him. He writes down some information on a pad of paper and says, "this is the generic stuff. The medicine I am giving you has proven to be just as effective as the drugs you are taking now. I never use any of that new medicine until it has a few years to prove itself."

    I walk to a small store next to the clinic. It is a pharmacy. I tell the lady the name of the medicine on the paper that the doctor gave me. She gives me a month supply of 2 types of drugs for a total cost of $40. I ask where I pay for the doctor... oh, that is included in the cost of the drugs! She says, "next month you go to a pharmacy and this medicine will cost you about $10!" So I paid $30 for the doctor, and $10 for the meds.

    I came back to the hotel and looked up the medicine on the internet. Everything the doctor had told me was true. The designer drugs I had been prescribed in the US were no better than the cheap stuff that had been around for a long time. Plus, I could buy it over the counter in Malaysia (and Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, etc). Why in America do you need a prescription?

    Moral of the story appeared in print yesterday in the New York Times - that liberal rag... Squandering Medicare’s Money. Here's part of the article:

    "MEDICARE has suddenly taken center stage in American politics, with Democrats now trying to score an advantage from the unpopularity of the Republican plan to overhaul the government health insurance program."

    "Much has been said about the growing gap between the program’s spending and revenues — a gap that will widen as baby boomers retire — but little attention has been focused on a problem staring us in the face: Medicare spends a fortune each year on procedures that have no proven benefit and should not be covered. Examples abound:"

    "• Medicare pays for routine screening colonoscopies in patients over 75 even though the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts financed by the Department of Health and Human Services, advises against them (and against any colonoscopies for patients over 85), because it takes at least eight years to realize any benefits from the procedure. Moreover, colonoscopies carry risks of serious complications (like perforations) and often lead to further unnecessary procedures (like biopsies). In 2009, Medicare paid doctors more than $100 million for nearly 550,000 screening colonoscopies; around 40 percent were for patients over 75."

    It goes on, but I am convinced we need to stop the doctors from being our personal nursemaids, just looking for trouble. Let's reform the Cadillac health care that comes without option in the US. It will save a lot of money - and probably just as many lives.
     
  2. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hobo, I agree with you. The U.S. healthcare system is a mess. It needs to be reformed. It needs to be overhauled. The waste and the overcharges and the unnecessary testing and treatments must be stopped.

    So why on earth would you want the U.S. government, the most wasteful and fraudulent organization in the United States, and probably the world, to COMPLETELY control the U.S. healthcare system?
     
  3. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    1
    There are LOTS of things that drive up health costs, and what the OP mentions must be a trivial effect compared to any one of them - e.g. that doctors have to practice defensive medicine to protect themselves from the leftwing predatory lawyer jackals like John Edwards.
     
  4. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your last point is PERFECT. That is EXACTLY the reason why all HONEST doctors have to resort to unnecessary tests and procedures.

    Put the predatory malpractice lawyers out of business, and watch health care costs go WAY down.
     
  5. Centrehalf

    Centrehalf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    56
    Hobo, you can get generic drugs in America too. All you have to do is ask for them if your doctor doesn't bring it up. My doctor always gives me the option to buy generic. I save a lot of money that way.
     
  6. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Move around
    Yes, I knew that would cause confusion. Let me explain. I have high blood pressure. If the doctor prescribes Zestril, a brand name, I can get a generic called lisinopril. That is not what I am talking about!

    I am talking about a drug salesman comes to the doctors office and tells the doctor what a great new drug they have is much better than the old stuff.

    Meanwhile the company that makes the drug goes into high gear to market the product. It is in all the reference documents that the doctor reads. It is on the internet sites where the doctors look for information.

    So, to practice "state of the art medicine" and not get sued for malpractice, the doctor prescribes the new medicine. But it is a brand name product and still under patent - so no one can make a generic version. When you go to the pharmacy, they only have the brand name product and it is really expensive.

    Now, a few years go by and new tests show that new medicine is no better than the old stuff. Do you want an example... here is an article I found just released today. It is called Study finds no benefit of raising 'good cholesterol'

    "A new study has dealt a blow to theories that using medication to raise good cholesterol while lowering the bad translates into fewer adverse cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.

    The study, released Thursday by the National Institutes of Health, said high dosages of Abbott Laboratories' Niaspan failed to prevent heart attacks and boosted the likelihood of a stroke when combined with the popular generic cholesterol pill simvastatin, also known under the brand name Zocor.

    The news prompted the NIH to halt a study of more than 3,400 patients after researchers uncovered an “unexplained increase in the rate of ischemic stroke” to patients to given Niaspan, which is used to raise HDL, or the so-called good cholesterol, along with the generic simvastatin, which is used to lower LDL, or the so-called bad cholesterol. Oops! :eek:

    The price of Abbott shares lost more than 2 percent of their value in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Late this afternoon, Abbott stock had dipped $1.06 per share to $51.91."

    This shows up in the news almost every day! It is a scam. Drug companies make new drugs which are supposed to be better than the old ones. They market the new drug like crazy. Lawyers are standing by to sue any doctor that does not prescribe the "improved drug". AND YOU ARE LEFT PAYING THE BILL FOR MEDICINE YOU DO NOT NEED.

    The solution is:
    1) change the way medical lawyers prey on doctors over "malpractice". The lawyers have lobbied themselves into a sweet situation and the patient is getting screwed.

    2) If a doctor has one medicine that has worked in the past, don't be so quick to change when something new comes on the market. Why change if the old medicine is working?

    3)Doctors need to stand up to salesmen. I was an engineer that designed water systems that used big pumps. I had salesmen tell me all the benefits of his improved pump. It would be very easy for me to write into the plans, "use brand X pumps". Plus at a fancy restaurant the salesman asked, "how are those plans shaping up?" It is hard to resist, but a professional must be able to say, NO. Doctors need to look at the hard facts and resist the drug salesmen who are once step better than car salesmen!

    That is what I am talking about. A doctor cannot bury a patient in a barrage of tests and drugs - and hope the result is good. Good medical practice means cost efficiency and working in the best interests of the patient - including the patient's financial situation.
     
  7. Centrehalf

    Centrehalf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    56
    Thanks for the clarification. I agree with you that the Pharmaceutical industry is partly responsible for the rise in costs. I personally put most of the blame on the insurance companies, but you're right about the drugs.

    BTW, Off Topic, how do you like Malaysia?
     
  8. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said, Hobo. I couldn't agree with you more!
     
  9. steveox

    steveox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    Way Down South
    I like the U.K health care system and tax the Doctors
     
  10. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    So move to the U.K. Go ahead and do your own home dentistry, because there are no dentists available in the UK. Go ahead and wait 1-2 years for cat scans and elective surgical procedures. Oh, and good luck with those UK "end of life", aka "death", panels when you get old.

    You'll also love the high taxes, the very poor economy, and the very high cost of living.

    Bon Voyage!
     
  11. steveox

    steveox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    Way Down South
    the Queen is 87 years old something right is done there.
     
  12. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    1
    The lack of health care in the UK is no problem for lots of British - they simply become medical tourists, fly to india, and have it done there, whatever "it" is. Hey! WE could do that too! :eek:
     
  13. steveox

    steveox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    Way Down South
    Hey i was in Toronto i fell down thought i broke my arm they asked me where im from i said Florida. They asked for my SS number. Then took XRays and told me it cost $455 then i had to pull out my visa card. I said wait a minute i thought its free. She said only for Canadian residents. I tried to sue for discrimination the ACLU told me they cant do anything about Canada you have to take it up with them.
     
  14. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Move around
    Anybody ever heard of this drug? It is close to being a "wonder drug", and has been around since 1956:
    Hydroxyzine (sold as Vistaril, Atarax) is a first-generation antihistamine of the diphenylmethane and piperazine classes. It was first synthesized by Union Chimique Belge in 1956 and was marketed by Pfizer in the United States later the same year,[1] and is still in widespread use today. [not in the US]

    Hydroxyzine is used primarily as an antihistamine for the treatment of itching, allergies, hyperalgesia, motion sickness-induced nausea, and insomnia, as well as notably for the treatment of mild anxiety.[2] Even though it is an effective sedative, hypnotic, analgesic, and tranquilizer, it shares almost none of the abuse, dependence, addiction, and toxicity potential of other drugs used for the same range of therapeutic reasons.[citation needed]

    Hydroxyzine is used with opioid analgesics to increase the pain-killing ability of a given dose of opioid, reduce the quantity needed to stop a given level of pain, and/or preempt some side effects of opioids like itching, nausea, and vomiting.

    Hydroxyzine preparations usually require a doctor's prescription [in the United States] whereas most other countries allow hydroxyzine and all or most other antihistamines to be sold over-the-counter.​


    Plus it is cheaper than aspirin! Another example of why our health care system is broken.
     
  15. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ever heard of Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride? Also known as Benadryl. Virtually the same thing. Very cheap. Over-the counter. Available in the USA.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice