The best health care solutions just might bubble up

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 24, 2011 - 4:26 PM

A 'demo project' in Hennepin County is a case in point.

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RF6700Sep. 24, 11 5:14 PM

One of the best rthings we could do to help control health care costs would be to stop medical malpractice lawsuit abuse which causes doctors and hospitals to practice "defensive medicine" and order expensive and unnecessary tests just to cover themselves in the event of a lawsuit. Too bad ObamaCare doesn't even address that, I guess the dem's don't want to stop their cach cow from trial lawyers. People should be outraged!

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owatonnabillSep. 24, 11 5:21 PM

Greater minds than Sen. Durenberger's are needed for meaningful health care reform in this country, whether on a local or on a national level. We need to be looking at other models for some fresh ideas. I've spent a lot of time in Thailand, and their system seems to be one that would work well here. Over there, if there are promising students who do not have the money for an education to achieve M.D. status, the Thai government provides the funding. In return, the newly-minted M.D. works at government-run hospitals and clinics for a minimal salary for a certain specified number of years. It solves the problem of cost and shortage of doctors in one blow. The care might not be Mayo Clinic - quality, but it is available, cheap and competent. A few years back when in Thailand I developed a reaction to one of the local insects and was seen at the Emergency Room of a small-town hospital. Total cost of the E.R. visit, doctor's exam and two medications prescribed and dispensed on the spot, was 112 baht--about $4 American.

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SupervonSep. 24, 11 5:31 PM

Congratulations, RF6700. You may have remembered when Obama gave his first speech to the joint session of congress where he managed to throw in "tort reform" to make the Republicans bark. But, true to nature, the Liberals won't touch it as it is the golden egg of the lawyer crowd and guess who contributes to the Democrats in droves? No, we are so biased that we believe that we can do anything to make the other guy pay treble damages, etc, etc. My recent trip(s) to China find that almost no lawyers work for the people-they work for the government protecting all the mistakes the government makes. That's why they get things done in China without anybody standing in the way-that's where we are headed.

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one4thepeepsSep. 24, 11 8:14 PM

Supervon and RF6700, you missed the boat. Adding tort reform into the Affordable Care Act would have been a wonderful thing, but Republicans weren't interested in dialogue. It's a small example of where bipartisanship would have served our country well, but Republicans have only been interested in hamstringing or wrecking any reasonable health reform from the beginning. We can't keep fighting the same old battles over and over again. You aren't going to stop the Affordable Care Act, no matter who wins in 2012, or what the courts do. Kudos to Hennepin County and Senator Durenberger for putting into motion real action that will benefit people who need help.

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RF6700Sep. 24, 11 8:20 PM

"You aren't going to stop ObamaCare, no matter who wins in 2012" ****** I think we need to figure out a way to do that if this country is going to be prosperous again. The first step is voting out Obama and electing someone committed to repealing that awful piece of legislation.

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goferfanzSep. 24, 11 9:03 PM

Of course, the weakness in this column is it gives zero details on what will change in the delivery of healthcare,in this proposed model. Didnt someone recently run on "hope and change" and that change has worked out just "greeeat." I wont hold my breath that this fabulous model will be the answer. And yes, the amount spent on defensive medicine in various studies (often from blue states) is about 20-22%, or 500+ billion per year. Ouch!

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merkinSep. 24, 11 9:20 PM

"One of the best rthings we could do to help control health care costs would be to stop medical malpractice lawsuit abuse which causes doctors and hospitals to practice "defensive medicine" and order expensive and unnecessary tests just to cover themselves in the event of a lawsuit. Too bad ObamaCare doesn't even address that, I guess the dem's don't want."

Studies have shown that malpractice suits and mitigating tests account for about 1% of the cost of health coverage. There's fruit out there that's far larger and far lower on the tree. Address those first and you might get some credibility and traction for your malpractice issue.

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merkinSep. 24, 11 9:23 PM

"The first step is voting out Obama and electing someone committed to repealing that awful piece of legislation."

Republicans have had 20 years to put forth their own solutions and didn't even propose anything besides no bid/no negiations medications for Medicare. It's time for them to step aside and let people who are serious about solutions work on the problem.

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best3800Sep. 24, 11 9:49 PM

I really miss normal republicans like Dave. He surely would find a way to improve the affordable care act instead of repeal!

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goferfanzSep. 24, 1110:00 PM

"Studies have shown that malpractice suits and mitigating tests account for about 1% of the cost of health coverage"--Actually, recent studies put it at 20+ % based on the Virginia and Massachusetts data. Nice try, though ;o) If one wants to lower the cost of medicine-->end the tidal wave of needless, worthless lab tests, CT's, MRI's, Rx's, ER visits, surgeries, etc The solution is there, but the party beholden to trial attys wont have any of that humble pie.

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