Tuesday, November 1, 2016

On health care

Note. This article was written many years ago before ObamaCare but all the points still are valid.
ObamaCare will have an impact on businesses. Large businesses will gain an edge over small businesses unless there will be subsidy and that will add to our deficit. Small businesses will suffer with several side effects:

·         They will work around from the requirements of forced health care insurance by limiting the number of hours of an employee and the number of employees.

·         Most of the new ventures are seeded from money from their home equity loans. With falling home prices, they will have less new businesses. The banks already have more restrictions in loaning money since 2007.

Most proposals on health care delivery do not care about how to cut down costs, and how to make it fair and practical. We need to know how to pay for it first, how much, and the consequences to businesses and employment. My proposal and comments:

1.       Basic treatments for all.
Better coverage is paid by an individual. We should encourage folks to work hard and there is no more free lunch. It is abnormal for the poor to have free health care while the middle class do not enjoy the same. The poor in Mass. receive free health care. I hesitate to visit a doctor as I have to pay even after the insurance.

2.       Fair regulation for nursing home.
Those with low incomes and/or those without a house most likely can receive free nursing home care, free drugs and free doctor visits in most states such as Mass. Those in borderline qualify for the free nursing home care by giving their houses to their children, hiding their incomes and/or just quit working. They are lazy but not stupid.

The government should spend an agreed percentage of the GDP on public health care. We can use the average percent from developed countries or let the voters decide. We cannot ignore other spending such as education or let the budget unbalanced irresponsibly.

When we over spend on any entitlement, there needs to be a corresponding hike in taxes.  High taxes reduce the United States’ global competitiveness and lead to more unemployment.

3.       Prevention: Voluntary and non-voluntary (via taxes) on smoking, fast food, soda, etc. It is fair for the citizens to take care of their own health. You can select to live recklessly in unhealthy life style, but the rest of us should not be burdened with your bad habit. In his book The China Study, Dr. Campbell recommends a whole food, plant-based diet that would reduce a lot of diseases.

When we ban smoking totally, many hospitals ought to free up many resources. In addition, the second-hand smoke kills too. Why should we die for your bad behavior? The children of parents with drug problems have higher chance of birth defeat and problems than the average.

4.       Limit lawsuit award on malpractice.
Our health care cost is being jacked up partly due to the legal expenses.

Most do not realize these lawsuit awards will pass back to us. It is also the reason why the doctor would hesitate to care for us when we fall and lie in the street or why our clinical charges are so high. Lawyers and insurers get their share.

5.       State-of-the-art treatments are less effective than prevention such as a low-dosage aspirin for all over 50 years of age and the routine shots for babies / children. Aspirin is the miracle drug that is hated by all drug companies due to the low profit margin.

6.       Outsourcing the expensive treatments to foreign countries and drug development / clinical tests.
Our costs are outrageously high. Try some Caribbean countries, Thailand or Shanghai for example. The money we save pays for a free vacation, not mentioning the free massage every day for the entire trip in Thailand. Many Caribbean countries offer same dentistry services at half the cost.

This is a temporary solution until we solve our high cost problem.

7.       Cut down the expensive drug marketing (such as giving money / goodies to doctors).

Personally I know doctors receiving free golf trips to the most expensive golf courses for the entire family. They also got unlimited lobsters in medical conventions in Boston. Should doctors receive the 'lecture fees' giving phony lectures or sales pitches in return of recommending the drugs or prescribing them to their patients?

Guess who end up paying for all these goodies eventually?

8.       Stop the illegal aliens and foreigners from using our medical systems free.
Their employers or the patients should pay for their expenses. It is nice to help the rest of the world, but we do not have money to do so now.

Emergency room is the most expensive delivery method and its usage has been abused.

9.       Before we send soldiers abroad or explore space (both have some merits but the average citizen does not benefit from these ventures), should we solve our home problems such as health care first? Get our priority straight.

10.   The average last two years of one's life would be the most expensive health care cost. Many do not want to live through pains and sufferings. Should we let them pass away in peace if they want to?

11.   Stem cell research has proven to be promising.
We should not let our politicians dictate the policy for religious reasons. The desperate will go to foreign countries to receive the riskiest treatments anyway. Why let them know their risk and do the treatments here in a better environment?

12.   Stop all the insurance and Medicare frauds. If you spend $10,000 on inspectors and get back $1 million, it is a great investment. Whistle blowing is the most efficient way to prosecute violators. Each successful, publicized prosecution warns thousands of potential violators.

13.   Importing foreign doctors and nurses is the worst we can do to a poor country.

These foreigners are seeking a better economic life for themselves, but forget their original purpose of seeking these noble professions. Why we send aids to these poor countries and steal their medical resources?


Finally we have a national health care system. Give it a chance to succeed. Have to give credit to Obama to start ObamaCare in a recession.

Roughly we spend double the average developed country on health care per capita but our health care system is rated as average.

A joke on outsourcing our medical delivery to China:

The hurting patient pleaded painfully to the outsourced doctor to get him someone who could speak English. The doctor said, “If I not English, what language I talking?


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