This is not rocket science. If a hospital is for profit than that hospital will do what is necessary to increase its profits. It has a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders.
Those who want to maintain a virtually unregulated and expensive private healthcare system want Americans to keep their blinders on. They want Americans to disregard math, facts, historical data, and empirical data. They want to treat the healthcare system as if it is a market, a healthcare market in which products would be correctly priced based on supply and demand, with private entities keeping costs down through competition.
“Insanity” by many is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. “Insane,” then defines those who continue to push and support America’s virtual laissez-faire healthcare system.
Simple math dictates that if there are many entities managing the payment of medical bills, each with their own bureaucracy (CEO, president, board of directors, advertising, IT systems, shareholder profits, etc.), it is impossible for such a collective to be more efficient than one entity responsible for paying a medical bill. A single payer system, a system where one entity is standardized to pay all medical bills that ALL able Americans pay into, is much more efficient. It is basic arithmetic.
Every industrialized country in the world, except the U.S., has either a single payer system or some form of it. Most of these countries have better outcomes than the U.S. and beyond their better outcomes, they do it at a lower cost.
The math evidence is absolute. For those predisposed to disregard math, the historical data is there, as one compares the healthcare systems of single payer and universal care countries with the U.S.
Here is the video:
Today on “60 Minutes,” Steve Kroft, in his piece titled “Hospitals: The cost of admission,” provided empirical evidence to support the reasons why a market-based healthcare system is inherently a failed system, a more expensive system. He starts his piece with the following statement:
If you want to know why healthcare cost so much in this country, consider this. It is estimated that $210 billion a year, about 10% of all health expenditures, goes towards unnecessary tests and treatments and a big chunk of that comes right out of the pockets of American taxpayers.
That says it all. Those “unnecessary tests” become the unearned income of the shareholders and owners of the labs and associated businesses. It is direct theft from American citizens who buy insurance and from American citizens who pay taxes. It is a transfer of wealth from the many to the few. It is for this reason there exists a misinformation campaign intent on convincing Americans that the American healthcare system is the greatest, even though it is not. It is a high stakes game and American’s lives and treasure are at stake.
The “60 Minutes” piece can be summarized as follows: In order to maintain high profits, Health Management Associates’ (HMA) hospital administrators coerced doctors to admit patients to hospitals whether or not it was needed. Additionally, they forcefully encouraged doctors to provide unnecessary tests.
When one takes a car in to change the oil, the technician is trained to encourage you to change the filter and other incidentals, as well. When the carpet man comes to clean your rug for $99.00 you know the upsell could double the price. You, however, have the option to say “no” with little concern for fatal consequences.
You do not expect this upsell from a healthcare system, but it happens and the patient generally cannot or will not say “no.” After all, it is their body and they take into consideration that it could be a life or death situation. It is for reasons like this and many others that healthcare cannot be considered a market like one would consider the buying and selling of other products and services. To treat it as such is immoral.
According to Kroft, after the “60 Minutes” piece aired, HMA’s admissions fell and their profits declined. While Obamacare will put in more controls to protect the consumer, until a single payer system is implemented to wring inefficiencies out of paying for healthcare, until doctors’ educations are subsidized to protect them against unbearable student loans, and until the government gets paid by drug companies for profits made on research paid for by the American taxpayer, the American healthcare system will remain expensive and inefficient. It will remain nothing more than a wealth transfer engine to the shareholders of hospitals, medical groups, insurance companies, and drug companies.