Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Question About Health Care

So I've been watching the Republican debates because that right there is pure comedy gold and today when I went to the coffee place one of the old gentlemen who spends time there was pontificating on "Obamacare," and how the Supreme Court was going to "fix all that nonsense," so the free market can take care of the health care costs. (Clearly, he too is a right wing comedy fan.) So I asked him, "What was the total cost of your last medical visit?" He said he thought it was $50 or so. That's a common answer but it's not the answer to my question . That's how much he paid. That's not the total cost.

To know the answer to my question each consumer would have to have a goodish idea of the cost of each test and be able to judge a fair market price for a doctor's time. But it's more than that. Each consumer would also have to know whether or the test that they are being given is necessary. Are there other tests that cost less? How effective are they? What about treatments? What is the best most medically effective treatment? What is the most cost effective treatment? Are they the same? Since they probably aren't, one has to ask where the middle ground between cost effective and medically effective lies?

The Republican health care plans is that they only apply if you are talking about something tangible. You can't treat your medical care like buying a car because no matter how much a consumer wants to they will never, ever be able to educate themselves enough to make free market decisions without an advanced degree.

As it stands right now and will probably always stand unless Leggo starts building people, medicine is too involved for a non medical professional to make informed decisions about. That's why we can't go with the Republican plan on health care. In reality there is no plan.

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