Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Health Care Folly

One thing I have noticed in the NY Times letters to the editor, is their excessive use of appeal to authority. It often goes like this: blah, blah, blah, I'm a professor at Stanford, b*tch!

Today the New York Times has just the right mix of professional and amateur dolts.

In the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, that is the bronze plan, which requires that insurers cover only 65 percent of medical bills, leaving a whopping 35 percent to the patient. Many will forgo beneficial services because they will not be able to afford the out-of-pocket costs...


Stephen M. Davidson
Boston, Oct. 18, 2009

The writer, a professor at the Boston University School of Management, has written a forthcoming book about health care reform.
Perhaps in his book he can go over the concept of spending what you can pay for. His argument is that if people are forced to directly pay the 35% of expenses for health care, they might <gasp> consume less care. No, no, no. We can't have people rationing their own care given their own values and preferences. Let's pretend that unlimited care is possible and then have the government backdoor rationing because the tooth fairy doesn't exist.

And then there's the obligatory, it's not Obama's fault comment:

Rather than camping out in this so-called Frustrated Left crowd, perhaps Mr. Blumenauer should find his backbone and stand up for a public option. We have a Democratic majority, yet the Democrats in Congress seem to have forgotten that.

If a public option dies in Congress, Mr. Blumenauer will be more at fault than President Obama.

Jane Endacott
Portland, Ore., Oct. 18, 2009
Here is my favorite, it's the jews! OK, they didn't say that, but jews have historically played the role of greedy middlemen, the moneychangers.
Why do health insurers hold a privileged place in health care at all? They make no diagnoses, empty no bedpans, build no hospitals, sweep no corridor floors. Health insurers are little more than overpaid, profiteering middlemen who produce very little.


Dennis Sentilles
Rocheport, Mo., Oct. 15, 2009
Mr. Sentilles, insurers actually produce something of value to society. It's called insurance and it's apparent you don't understand how it functions. Hopefully you can catch my next class on LiveAmerica.

And finally there is the, "oops, I mistakenly argued my opponents position" comment:
...Hawaii has achieved this top-functioning status without fancy payment-by-diagnosis schemes or forcing physicians into large groups. (It also helps that Hawaii has avoided overbuilding of expensive technology.)

I only wish the folks in Washington would learn from Hawaii!

Sarah K. Weinberg
Mercer Island, Wash., Oct. 17, 2009
The writer is a retired pediatrician.
Let's hope that Washington doesn't learn that we can keep costs down by preventing expensive life saving technology onto the market!


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