Short take: Health care spending

  • Article by: JILL BURCUM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2011 - 11:32 AM

There was blistering blunt talk on health care Tuesday on Capitol Hill from the two men who led the presidential deficit reduction task force.

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srlabelleNov. 2, 1112:08 PM

Not one mention of ... "the evil, villianous insurers". I think I even heard Simpson say "we've got to knock down the providers"... wow, a little truth to power there.

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jrswanNov. 2, 1112:16 PM

I miss guys like these. You felt like responsible adults were running the country. Now not so much. The United States can no longer afford to waste hundreds of billions of dollars in health care spending to support dinosaur insurance companies. We need a single payer system which will whack fifteen percent off of our cost. We need universal coverage with everyone paying. We need to free our businesses from the expense and distraction of providing health care for their employees. We need better outcomes which only robust preventative programs can provide. Let’s shed this rugged individualist mentality and build a healthy community together.

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smasicaNov. 2, 1112:51 PM

These two clowns want nothing more than to gut Medicare and eliminate Social Security. The real problems are in the private health care insurance industry endlessly driving up cost for the sake of corporate profits while denying care to the insured. Limiting malpractice awards is a demonstrably phony solution because malpractice jury awards make up much less than 1% of health care costs. Look it up. Texas capped malpractice awards and it's done nothing to control costs in that state. It's the corporate health care industry that drives costs up costs, not Medicare.

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englup01Nov. 2, 1112:57 PM

Sen Alan Simpson started out saying "Obamacare cannot work." They then proceeded to say what has to happen which can work...better accessibility...tort reform..more primary care physicians...and forget about death panels. So let's do it. Scrap Obamacare now and replace it with something that can work.

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xenonimusNov. 2, 11 1:42 PM

@jrswan: "You felt like responsible adults were running the country. Now not so much." And so you want to put these very same people in control of your healthcare. Really? I mean... Really?

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xenonimusNov. 2, 11 1:57 PM

@smasica: "The real problems are in the private health care insurance industry endlessly driving up cost for the sake of corporate profits while denying care to the insured." No, the real problem is a bunch of fat, unhealthy Americans who need more and more healthcare as they age. Simply look at the statistics regarding where the healthcare dollars are being spent. 5% of the population consumes 50% of the healthcare dollars, and many of their health conditions are largely preventable.

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elpam05Nov. 2, 11 2:18 PM

Here's a little straight talk for you: The medical industry figured it out, they knew that ultimately they would be the beneficiary of the largest wealth transfer in modern times... and for what, a few more days or weeks of life? They KNOW that ultimately, at the end, we'll spend everything we have for those last breaths - it's criminal that the 'industry' is driving our elderly into poverty - and they do it with a smile. Moral of this story, BE HEALTHLY, because ultimately this will be your largest, and last purchase.

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njoytoyzNov. 2, 11 3:04 PM

One of the bigger health insurers spent thousands of dollars to move & remodel from one city to another city in the our area. The big shots decided they didn't like the tall ceilings so now they are moving back to the building they were at. Plus some fly to work here from other states. Talk about waste of spending.They don't live in our world. Makes you wonder why healthcare is so high.

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xenonimusNov. 2, 11 3:27 PM

@njoytoyz: "Talk about waste of spending.They don't live in our world. Makes you wonder why healthcare is so high." Health isurance companies make about 5% profit, on average. In a 1.5 TRILLION dollar industry that makes for a lot of money, but it should be obvious that it is not the root cause of rising healthcare costs.

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crystalbayNov. 2, 11 3:59 PM

Health insurers are a completely unnecessary middleman, a parasite on the system. Single payor systems (and the VA & Medicare) run around 5% for administration; private insurers around 15%. The difference in costs is significant, not to mention the billions going into advertising & marketing their nefarious products. It's high time we join the rest of the developed world and have single-payor.

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