View Poll Results: What is the LARGEST cause of increasing health care expenditures in the US?

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  • Increasing Consumer Demand (rising income and population)

    1 2.94%
  • Advancement in Medical Technology

    5 14.71%
  • Cost Insulation from Third Party Payers (Employers, Insurance, Government)

    17 50.00%
  • Employee Based Health Insurance

    0 0%
  • State Mandated Benefits

    3 8.82%
  • Spending on Prescription Drugs

    0 0%
  • Adminstrative Costs (customer service, IT, underwriting)

    2 5.88%
  • Rising Prices in the Health Care Sector

    4 11.76%
  • Aging Population

    2 5.88%
  • Defensive Medicine

    0 0%
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Thread: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

  1. #41
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    I think the biggest contributor to increasing health care expenditures is that it is not a sector that adheres to the laws of supply and demand.

    For example, if I want a new TV, I go out and shop around and if I feel the costs of that new TV are out of line, then I choose not to get it. End result - Demand for TVs goes down as the cost goes up.

    If I need a heart bypass, I pay whatever I am told to pay for that heart bypass because if I don't I die. If I have cancer, I undergo cancer treatments even if they are extremely expensive, because if I don't, I die.

    Kind of hard to control costs with that kind of an economic model. That said, I think price insulation certainly plays a role in rising health care costs. Another big contributor is the fact that individuals are largely insulated from the costs of their lifestyle choices. If you are obese, you will pay the same health care rate than if you are fit, even though your lifestyle choice will almost certainly lead to far more health care utilization.

    Finally, we have the highest paid doctors in the world. Frankly, we are probably paying our doctors too much.
    You, as a consumer also have no real way of comparing the "product". If you go shopping for a TV it only takes about a day of talking to salespeople and a little research to be able to compare the quality of one TV set with another. But how do you compare say, surgeons? Take heart bypass one surgeon might have a 95% success rate and the other an 85% success rate. On the surface you would pick the first surgeon. But a closer look shows that surgeon A only operates on people under the age of 70 who are non-smokers and are not obese. Surgeon B on the other hand operates on everyone including 85 year old smokers who ARE obese. So in fact surgeon 2 is the "better" surgeon

    Actually your best bet if you ever have to go under the knife is to ask the nurse working in the area - they will usually tell you who is the best. Unfortunately you cannot always do that and have to rely on pot luck - and this is where ONE of the normal drivers of market forces falls flat on it's face
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  2. #42
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    I think the biggest contributor to increasing health care expenditures is that it is not a sector that adheres to the laws of supply and demand.

    For example, if I want a new TV, I go out and shop around and if I feel the costs of that new TV are out of line, then I choose not to get it. End result - Demand for TVs goes down as the cost goes up.

    If I need a heart bypass, I pay whatever I am told to pay for that heart bypass because if I don't I die. If I have cancer, I undergo cancer treatments even if they are extremely expensive, because if I don't, I die.

    Kind of hard to control costs with that kind of an economic model. That said, I think price insulation certainly plays a role in rising health care costs. Another big contributor is the fact that individuals are largely insulated from the costs of their lifestyle choices. If you are obese, you will pay the same health care rate than if you are fit, even though your lifestyle choice will almost certainly lead to far more health care utilization.

    Finally, we have the highest paid doctors in the world. Frankly, we are probably paying our doctors too much.
    Again a big part of what doctors make goes to Malpractice insurance...the surgeon that performed a delicate intricate operation on my wifes spine in her neck...told me he pays over 2million a year in malpractice insurance to protect him from the claws of every lawyer trying to milk a buck out of every teat they can get their hands on..
    Theres so many factors involved in the rape of consumers....Doctors to be fair...deserve the big bucks, there is no profession with as much responsiblity..your dealing with the most delicate and precious of all LIFE...parents looking to you to save their children...No I disagree I dont think doctors are paid to much....LAWYERS are paid waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to much...insurance companies rape everything is sight....

  3. #43
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    of course it's a combination of issues, but when you take a look at the market for the third quarter, it's underperformed. therefore, insurance companies raised their rates.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


  4. #44
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    the problem with this being "compared to other nations" - as other industrialized nations tend to have universal systems, we're putting apples against oranges due to the alteration between private and public sector compensation. we have a glut of specialists compared to Britain because Britain has an even worse shortage than we do.
    Actually, in Britain's case, they have a relative shortage of specialists, but a larger number of General Practitioners. That is the case in most other nations.

    that is not true - consider the drop in price that has occurred along with the increase in quality of laser eye surgery.
    Laser eye surgery is a completely voluntary procedure. If it's too expensive as a consumer you can simply choose to stick with glasses or contacts. It's not comparable to most healthcare services which are not voluntary.

    the difference between food and most healthcare, however, is that we care what we pay for food, but we don't care what others pay on our behalf for healthcare. many procedures (setting a broken arm, for example) remain virtually unchanged over the last two or so decades, yet the price for them has skyrocketed along with everything else in healthcare, despite the relative lack of "innovation". because it's not the innovation - innovation tends to increase quality and decrease prices. it's the market distortion.
    Actually, the difference between food and healthcare is that one can purchase lesser quality foods for far less money that have the same results. For example, I can choose to purchase cheap pack of hotdogs and meet the same caloric needs as an expensive steak. While this is true with many prescription drugs in terms of generics, its not true with most healthcare services. There is no premium versus generic option for setting a broken arm. One most simply pay for whatever the service costs. That is the problem with just implementing market controls as cost controls for healthcare, the economics of healthcare are unlike any other sector. In any other economic sector, the consumer has a wide variety of choices in terms of cost and quality to meet their needs. I can go into a tire store and have a wide variety of different choices on tires that all meet the same need. I have a wide variety of choices on clothes and electronics, housing, food, and so on that all meet the same needs. However, if I need a broken bone set or cancer surgery, you have to go with what ever your physician tells you to go with. There are no cheaper options that meet the same need. Thus, there is no cost control mechanism even if you removed the third party payer.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Cost Insulation and Consumer Demand are the biggest drivers of spiraling costs.

    And Obamacare does nothing to address either problem.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    of course it's a combination of issues, but when you take a look at the market for the third quarter, it's underperformed. therefore, insurance companies raised their rates.
    You think insurance companies are raising rates to compensate for low stock valuations? Really?
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  7. #47
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensibility View Post
    You think insurance companies are raising rates to compensate for low stock valuations? Really?
    I dont know about lady...but I think insurance companies raise rates just because they can...

  8. #48
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensibility View Post
    You think insurance companies are raising rates to compensate for low stock valuations? Really?
    how do you think insurance companies make money? by sitting on cash? no....they invest their cash, our premiums.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


  9. #49
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that is not true - consider the drop in price that has occurred along with the increase in quality of laser eye surgery.
    an elective procedure with a much less expensive alternative (glasses / contacts) that it must compete with. hospitalization for your two year old who has serious pneumonia and can't breathe is something else entirely. would be pretty hard to "shop around for the best price."

  10. #50
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    Re: Increasing Health Care Expenditures

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    an elective procedure with a much less expensive alternative (glasses / contacts) that it must compete with. hospitalization for your two year old who has serious pneumonia and can't breathe is something else entirely. would be pretty hard to "shop around for the best price."
    Medical care, contrary to the opinion of a ton of people here, is not always inelastic.
    How about we compare situations where one can shop around, instead of always using the reasons one has insurance to begin with.
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