Thursday, April 23, 2015


We're just country economics hobbyists here, professor. Trying to shed a little light on matters of public policy (labor intensivelywise).
This is your last post in this thread. You have your own blog; criticize me there if you want to. I don't have any obligation to give you free traffic if you're not doing the same. You are still free to comment on other posts.
Silly us, we thought he'd enjoy the repartee (even maybe the attention). But, since we have been invited to;
Well, we know that efficiency involves getting the most output for the least input. Then we look at the data; that's how we know it to be true. The VA, Medicare, and Medicaid all have much lower overhead costs than private insurance, giving them a leg up in being more efficient.
We would argue that the claim of lower overhead costs--which we bolded in the above--is mostly a quirk of government accounting gimmicks. I.e., it is an oft remarked upon fact that government, incongruously uses cost basis accounting (suitable for only the smallest businesses) rather than accrual basis to match revenues and expenses. And to ignore some expenses entirely.

Though the worst aspect of the claimed low overhead, is that Medicare and Medicaid are rife with fraud. Again, that's well reported.
Medicare would be even more efficient if the government allowed it to negotiate drug prices like private insurance companies do.
Or even more corrupt, you never can tell.
And you want to tell me there are all these imperfections in the U.S. medical market, but the U.K. is pretty close to pure socialized medicine, with the providers being government employees. So the U.S. system is far more market-oriented than the U.K. system -- yet the U.S. system is more than twice as expensive. You want to compare imaginary market outcomes rather than look at what really happens in medical markets.
That's a response by Professor Thomas to my challenge to his assertion that, Markets improve efficiency for lots of things, but healthcare clearly isn't one of them. Which challenge was;
How could you know that to be true? In the USA government pays for about half of all health care through the VA, Medicare and Medicaid. It heavily subsidizes private insurance through the tax code.

It retards innovation with occupational licensing that allows a cartel to limit competition in the provision of health care, as well as in the market for drugs. Government has been much better at inhibiting market competition in health care than allowing it.
We don't find, 'It's worse in the UK.' to be that to be responsive to the point. Especially since the British newspapers have regular stories of how the National Health Service deprives the citizens of medical care (which is one way to keep your expenses down, true). We used to amuse ourselves with such;
Crowded wards, a shortage of nurses and financial problems led to 1,176 people contracting Clostridium difficile over two and half years at three hospitals in Kent.

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary today described the failures as a "scandal", and said he would send the damning report to all hospital bosses in Britain so lessons would be learned.

Though the superbug was rife on the wards, managers failed to act. Isolation units were not set up, nurses were so rushed they did not have time to wash their hands and patients were left in soiled beds. Bedpans were not decontaminated properly and beds were not cleaned as well as they should have been.
The health watchdog, the Healthcare Commission, concluded that the infection probably or definitely killed at least 90 patients and was a factor in the deaths of a further 241.
Fourteen patients who died were found to have C.diff but it did not contribute to their deaths. In total 345 people died with the infection.

....The report said some patients at the hospitals run by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Hospital Trust should have made a full recovery from their initial illness. But they caught the bug and died. Police will determine if there are grounds for criminal charges.
Of course, if your goal is simply to have a lot of people 'insured', rather than treated for their illnesses ....

No comments:

Post a Comment