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Thread: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainties'

  1. #21
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    And preventive medicine won't reduce the most expensive medical costs.
    Sure it will. Detecting and treating cancer when it's 1,000 cells is a lot cheaper than chemotherapy when it's 10 billion cells and has metastasized to several organs. And prescribing personalized medicine to a healthy person to prevent heart disease (which their genome shows they will likely develop 10 years from now) is a lot cheaper than a heart attack.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-26-10 at 10:45 PM.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Sure it will. Detecting and treating cancer when it's 1,000 cells is a lot cheaper than chemotherapy when it's 10 billion cells and has metastasized to several organs. And prescribing personalized medicine to a healthy person to prevent heart disease (which their genome shows they will likely develop 10 years from now) is a lot cheaper than a heart attack.
    I was talking more about end of life care. That stuff is exorbiantly expensive. The last 2 years of my grandfather's life were expoentially more in medical costs then the rest of his life combined. Costs were in the thousands per day. Preventive won't stop the body from shutting down.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Sure it will. Detecting and treating cancer when it's 1,000 cells is a lot cheaper than chemotherapy when it's 10 billion cells and has metastasized to several organs. And prescribing personalized medicine to a healthy person to prevent heart disease (which their genome shows they will likely develop 10 years from now) is a lot cheaper than a heart attack.
    But even if all that comes to pass, it still won't lower the costs of hiring nurses to wipe asses and to help people climb in and out of wheelchairs.

    I just have a hard time envisioning any scenario in which our health care costs decrease except as the result of a decision to simply stop providing some types of care.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    But even if all that comes to pass, it still won't lower the costs of hiring nurses to wipe asses and to help people climb in and out of wheelchairs.

    I just have a hard time envisioning any scenario in which our health care costs decrease except as the result of a decision to simply stop providing some types of care.
    Unfortunately, money is finite while need is not. Death panels are going to happen no matter if we go with public or private medical financing.

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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    I was talking more about end of life care. That stuff is exorbiantly expensive. The last 2 years of my grandfather's life were expoentially more in medical costs then the rest of his life combined. Costs were in the thousands per day. Preventive won't stop the body from shutting down.
    No, but it can delay the amount of time before the body shuts down, which A) reduces the overall health care cost at any given point in time, and B) buys time for future medical advances to further delay the amount of time before the body shuts down.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    But even if all that comes to pass, it still won't lower the costs of hiring nurses to wipe asses and to help people climb in and out of wheelchairs.
    But what fraction of health care expenditures go to those menial tasks? Those services are really not worth more than about $15 per hour. And in any case, medical advances which increase the average age before people NEED those services will reduce the overall cost of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC
    I just have a hard time envisioning any scenario in which our health care costs decrease except as the result of a decision to simply stop providing some types of care.
    This is premised on the assumption that future advances in medical care will primarily be advances in better ways to treat disease, just as they were in the past few decades. While there will undoubtedly be some of that, many of the technologies that are now on the horizon are geared more toward prevention and early detection.

    To the extent that "sick care" costs continue to increase, you're probably right, but only if people demand the latest and greatest treatments. My guess is that the kind of treatments available in 2010 will be cheaper in 2030 than they are today...if you can even get them anymore.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-26-10 at 11:47 PM.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But what fraction of health care expenditures go to those menial tasks? Those services are really not worth more than about $15 per hour. And in any case, medical advances which increase the average age before people NEED those services will reduce the overall cost of them.
    I think that a very substantial portion of health care expenditures goes to personal services, whether it's provided by nurses or doctors. And while it may increase the age before people need those things, it seems logical that it will also increase the number of years that a person will last after they start using those things.

    This is premised on the assumption that future advances in medical care will primarily be advances in better ways to treat disease, just as they were in the past few decades. While there will undoubtedly be some of that, many of the technologies that are now on the horizon are geared more toward prevention and early detection.

    To the extent that "sick care" costs continue to increase, you're probably right, but only if people demand the latest and greatest treatments. My guess is that the kind of treatments available in 2010 will be cheaper in 2030 than they are today...if you can even get them anymore.
    This could well be true, and I certainly hope that it is. I just don't know that I'm convinced.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Did I fall asleep and miss where the GAO became a partisan organization?
    Go back to sleep, we're better off.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I was referring to all the responses who try to paint this as being the fault of Democrats specifically.
    Well that goes without saying.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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