August 13, 2009
Apparently Medicare only reimburses around $1000 for an amputation, not $30,000.
I want to take something Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report and run with it a little. He said:
Krauthammer then goes on to discuss a CBO letter quoting studies that said that preventative medicine actually costs more in the long run, since you're screening far more people who won't end up with whatever disease you're looking for. The CBO says that all those pittances added up for everyone to get screened for diabetes end up costing more than the couple of feet you have to amputate.
But I want to run in a different direction. Krauthammer got me going. The president keeps saying that we're going to save money through preventative medicine. But he thinks he's comparing "a pittance" to $30,000. So yeah, that makes it sound like we'll save a ton of money if we can get doctors to prevent having to amputate feet. Think of how many people we could get in for a simple preventative appointment with their doctor for $30,000! But if it really costs between $500 and $1000 for an amputation, then that's far fewer preventative appointments for the cost of one amputation.
My question is, Does Pres Obama even know that? I mean, where did he get this $30,000 figure, which he presents so authoritatively? And does he know how much smaller the figure really is?
Is he being deceptive or just ignorant?
If he's deceptive, that's despicable. But I think he's just ignorant. I think he really believes that, at a reimbursement cost of "a pittance," he can help many more Americans by preventing amputations or tonsilectomies or whatever else he thinks greedy doctors are doing just to make extra money.
But that means he actually thinks that doctors see someone with diabetes and think, "Man, if I just bide my time and fatty here loses his foot, then I can buy a new jet ski!"
I just find it worrisome that Pres Obama thinks we're going to save all this money with his new health care plan because he's overestimating how much we currently spend by a factor of thirty!
When my counselor told me she was all for national health care, I wanted to ask her if she would be happy to be paid what TriCare pays her ALL the time. I get the explanation of benefits sheets. I know that she gets from TriCare 2/3 what she bills, give or take. My chiropractor doesn't even take TriCare, but he voted for Obama and is still very happy about it. I know that TriCare is only just now expanding their chiropractor services, but I know they don't take it very seriously. Where's his practice going to go when there are no insurance companies to cover him? He will lose his higher-maintenance customers, because they might not wish to afford more than two visits a month (at $40/visit).
Should this bill go through, I wonder if any health professionals who think Obama is all that will change their tune when the excrement hits the oscillating air-circulation device.
Posted by: Deltasierra at August 13, 2009 09:31 PM (unCAk)
Posted by: deskmerc at August 14, 2009 12:24 AM (pYOXQ)
Not everyone who receives the 'pittance' for preventative care would have needed an amputation. Even at his grossly inflated cost per amputation, the expanded roles of people on preventative care (remember that its 'free' so everyone will want it) given to those that don't need it will balloon the costs well over his deceptive number.
Figure that balanced against what an actual amputation costs and it becomes, like Krauthammer said, off by a factor of 30, or more.
Sigh, we are all doomed.
PS, I personally think he is being deliberate in his deception. It has always worked for him in the past, the media regurgitates his figures on a daily basis with nary a skeptical eye turned their way.
Posted by: John at August 14, 2009 12:57 AM (T0dFH)
Obama has a pocket full of policy prescriptions which he's been carrying around for a long time. He is much more interested in getting the patient to take those prescriptions than he is in diagnosing the patient's actual situation.
Posted by: david foster at August 14, 2009 06:34 AM (uWlpq)
Posted by: David Boxenhorn at August 14, 2009 08:03 AM (bjGKR)
Posted by: Krista at August 14, 2009 12:41 PM (sUTgZ)
There is literally a magic number that you must reach before your pediatrician will even REFER you to an ENT person and then, the ENT person will 'monitor' your child over a certain number of weeks/months. I believe my youngest had no less than 19 trips to the doctor with strep throat and double ear infections (her ears do not drain properly & won't until she grows and her face widens) before we could even have someone talk to us about tubes. It wasn't until a particularly awful bout of strep that left her tonsils enlarged, touching and causing sleep apnea (her record b/w breaths during sleep? 17 seconds) before we could discuss removing her tonsils and adenoids.
It has nothing to do with health care. It has to do with the mentality of 'we know better what is best for you.' And, once this administration ushers in health care for all (no matter how craptastic), they will FOREVER be able to say, "Sure...vote for the other guy, but they will take away your health care."
I also cannot stand the lecturing on etiquette and manners. Puh-leeze.
Posted by: Guard Wife at August 14, 2009 12:54 PM (qk9Ip)
Even if an amputation did cost $30,000, we don't really save anything, because the costs for the gummint to insure everyone will far outstrip potential "savings" by spending less on preventive medicine.
It's like this: You have ten bucks. You go to the store, and want to buy a widget. One widget is $5, one better widget is $6, one cheap widget is $2, and there's even a widget marked down from $20 to $9.
No matter which widget you buy, you don't "save" anything. You spend. The only choice you have is what amount you spend. And NO, buying the $20 mark down doesn't mean you "saved" $11. YOU STILL WALK HOME WITH ONLY $1.
Posted by: Chuck at August 15, 2009 09:46 AM (bMH2g)
Science fiction writer Heinlein,Asimov? once wrote 'TINSTAAFL',
there is no such thing as a free lunch. As for OHB's "facts"- Winston Churchill was asked how he'd gotten 6 mos. of research for info before his speech. Ans. I made them up, but it'll take 6 mos. for them to prove it. We'll have other crises to distract them.
Posted by: Ray Ott at August 29, 2009 12:36 PM (g6d1f)
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