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Old 08-19-2009, 01:40 AM   #556
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Interesting and possibly telling...
Quote:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday.

The Seattle-based charity endowment, set up by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, sold its total holding of 2.5 million shares in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson in the quarter, according to the filing.

The foundation also sold millions of shares in major drug makers, including 14.9 million shares in Schering-Plough Corp., almost 1 million shares in Eli Lilly & Co., 8.1 million shares in Merck & Co. and 3.7 million shares in Wyeth, over the same time period. The foundation no longer holds shares in any of those companies.

Among the other health and life sciences-related investments the foundation liquidated are Allos Therapeutics Inc., InterMune Inc., Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The only life science-related holding the foundation retains is a 3 million-share stake in Seattle Genetics Inc.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #557
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Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
They did free acupuncture for pain. Which is great, because if people believe Qi adjustment is medicine, it can be administered by non-doctors in non-medical facilities at a much cheaper rate. Already a huge cost savings!
Strangely, the US Air Force agrees with you.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:56 AM   #558
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If they believe it will work for pain, it will work for pain. The brain is an amazing thing.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:14 AM   #559
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Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Also, US doctors, especially specialists, are paid more than in any other Western nations. There are other areas, like prescription drugs, where costs are higher than they should be, but the insurance companies and overpaid doctors account for most of the high cost in our system.
Well as soon as we significantly decrease their pay the incentive to go into those fields will disappear. I am not sure many people understand what it takes to become some of those specialists that everyone bitches about. And if there are less of those people you will get care from generalists who know a little about a lot of things. The other area that is not being addressed is tort reform. And until you drive down those costs do not expect that people are going to be further incentivized to go into those areas that have high risk.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:17 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by richlevy View Post
Remember this one? I'm still appalled. I don't think I've heard a horror story about UK healthcare that matches this one.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died of a perforated bowel
I doubt you know all the facts that surround this case and neither do I.

When did she first get sick? When did she first seek care?
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:19 AM   #561
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Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
I'm an occasional visitor to this thread, and a seagull poster (swoop in, skwawk a bit, and flap off...), but ...

according to some things I saw on TV a while back, health care in the US is so much more expensive than elswhere because of (a) insurance costs, (b) excessive testing for every conceivable possible cause of the symptoms, no matter how unlikely, and (c) adminstration.

Why is this? Lawyers. Litigousness. Suing the hospital and the doctor if anything goes wrong. Getting payouts that make the rest of the world gape in awe. Increasing the cost of insurance for the doctors, and causing the docs to do every imaginable test.

Sure, I want doctors to be prudent, and do *appropriate* tests before making a diagnosis. The judgement call is on what counts as appropriate. The opinion of the program I saw is that US doctors, to cover their backs liability-wise, have to do far more tests than anyone else would consider appropriate. It is a risk balancing act - do you spend $800 on a test for a disease if there is a 1 in 10,000 chance the patient has it? IMHO, the US has gone too far towards caution.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:24 PM   #562
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Its the lawyers faults - everything is. We no longer enforce the intent of laws, if we ever did, we enforce the letter of the law. For that we need lawyers. Who wrote the laws? Lawyers - sometimes I think laws are written a certain way just so that we need them to ... Its a sick cycle.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:50 PM   #563
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I have heard, however, that in states where they have capped the maximum value a malpractice suit can pay out to a victim, it has had the unintended consequence of increasing malpractice suits, because now the lawyers have to file more cases to keep the same income.

There need to be harsher, direct penalties for lawyers who bring frivolous lawsuits, not just having the case thrown out.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:52 PM   #564
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I heard that too Clod - leads me to the same conclusion ... Fuck Lawyers
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:55 PM   #565
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Malpractice insurance increases the cost of health care for everyone. Tort reform would address that. But there has to be something that keeps doctors accountable for their actions.

If I go in for a leg amputation and a drunk doctor cuts off the wrong leg, they should be held personally accountable.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #566
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Oh, absolutely. But somewhere between that, and the woman who falsely accuses her obstetrician of sexually harassing her, there's a line we have to find and adhere to.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #567
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Obama Goes Postal
Quote:
“UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” -- Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

No institution has been the butt of more government- inefficiency jokes than the U.S. Postal Service. Maybe the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The only way the post office can stay in business is its government subsidy. The USPS lost $2.4 billion in the quarter ended in June and projects a net loss of $7 billion in fiscal 2009, outstanding debt of more than $10 billion and a cash shortfall of $1 billion. It was moved to intensive care -- the Government Accountability Office’s list of “high risk” cases - - last month and told to shape up. (It must be the only entity that hasn’t cashed in on TARP!)

That didn’t stop President Barack Obama from holding up the post office as an example at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last week.

When Obama compared the post office to UPS and FedEx, he was clearly hoping to assuage voter concerns about a public health-care option undercutting and eliminating private insurance.

What he did instead was conjure up visions of long lines and interminable waits. Why do we need or want a health-care system that works like the post office?

What’s more, if the USPS is struggling to compete with private companies, as Obama implied, why introduce a government health-care option that would operate at the same disadvantage?

Everyone makes a mistake or flubs a line when asked questions on the spot, including the president of the United States. We can overlook run-on sentences, subject and verb tense disagreement, even a memory lapse when it comes to facts and figures.

The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

Neither option is good; ignorance is clearly preferable to the alternative.
An admittedly partisan view, but Obama's quotes are a little frightening.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #568
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
I have heard, however, that in states where they have capped the maximum value a malpractice suit can pay out to a victim, it has had the unintended consequence of increasing malpractice suits, because now the lawyers have to file more cases to keep the same income.

There need to be harsher, direct penalties for lawyers who bring frivolous lawsuits, not just having the case thrown out.
I don't know about that. I would like to see some stats on it. The bottom line is that malpractice insurance is VERY expensive. And if you have a specialty it is even more expensive. If you want to work they have you by the balls. But the system, in this respect, has you hostage. In some cases the choice of who you can buy your insurance from is very limited.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:39 AM   #569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Malpractice insurance increases the cost of health care for everyone. Tort reform would address that. But there has to be something that keeps doctors accountable for their actions.
No doubt. The National Data Bank has gone a long way to help with some of the chronic repeat offenders, but even it has some serious problems.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:32 AM   #570
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Fighting false health care claims, Obama repeats one of his own

Quote:
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama participated in a scripted online discussion of his health care overhaul with a friendly audience of religious voters and pastors Wednesday. It ended with him bemoaning those who bear "false witness" against his plans — and then making a claim of his own that's been widely shown to be false.

"There's been a lot of misinformation," Obama said, complaining about people who are "bearing false witness."

He said the first thing he wanted to correct was the idea that the proposed overhaul would force some people into different health care plans. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," he said, repeating one of his stock lines.

That's not true, however, according to FactCheck.org, an independent truth squad run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

"He can't make that promise to everyone," concluded FactCheck's analysis, one of several that point out that the Democrats' health care plan could lead to employers switching plans, and thus forcing their employees into different plans and perhaps to different doctors.

"Under the House bill," FactCheck said, "some employers might have to modify plans after a five-year grace period if they don't meet minimum benefits standards.

"Furthermore, some firms are likely to buy different coverage for their workers than they have now, or simply drop coverage and pay a penalty instead, leaving workers to buy their own private coverage or go on a new federal insurance plan."
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/74035.html
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