"For Profit"

Posted by: jgw

"For Profit" - 08/19/19 07:25 PM

I have been watching, and reading, about a lot of thoughts on a lot of stuff. I thought I would try and simplify.

We now have a "For Profit Healthcare System", minimally socialized. Nobody calls the current system for profit, except me (as far as I can tell). That being said it is, absolutely, "For Profit". This means that operates, basically, for profit, not the patient. I doubt very much that there is much argument about this one. My point is that sometimes its a good thing to call a spade a spade and, I think, this is one of those.

I can remember when a state (forget which one) tried to institute a for profit fire department. If you didn't subscribe they let your house burn down. It failed. I also remember when a governor of New Mexico (later a candidate for president as a Libertarian) decided to create a for profit prison system (cleverly renamed the "Privatized Prison system of New Mexico) - that too failed. One can make a long list of privatization failures but I think my point is made for good or bad. Oh, just one more. Our dear leader is for for profit highways, bridges, damns, etc. People tend to forget that one but its referred to as his plan to fix our infrastructure. That too will fail.

My point is stuff that is for profit is, by definition not in the best interest of most of our nation. No one even vaguely suggests, for instance, a for profit police department. One of those would reasonably called a corrupt police department.

Anyway.... I just don't get it. We have a corrupt, self serving, not particularly good system of healthcare and people are busily suggesting this or that solution. I am for a incremental approach to healthcare simply because that is the only way the nation is going to be able to peacefully, and actually, get to a 100% NOT for profit healthcare system. A NOT for profit healthcare system is called, basically, a single payer system which means, simply, that everybody is taxed to pay for everybody's healthcare. It really is that simple and the war is how, not why, not when, but HOW!

One last, one of my repetitive cries. Nobody whines about non-profit police departments, fire departments, libraries, and (most of the time) public education.

Sorry, education probably deserves a paragraph all by itself. The current administration supports for profit educational systems. As far as I can tell they are working, very hard to destroy our public system and it also publicly backs for profit higher education which is pretty much an ongoing disgrace. This is just one more of the things that the current administration has been able to 'normalize'. I find it interesting, for instance, that in other places most high education, especially in stuff needed, that education is basically free if the student maintains specific grades and performs public service after graduation. Canada, for instance, educates its doctors that way.

Anyway, I am not against for profit endeavors. There are, however, I believe that there are certain undertakings, those which are socially responsible and necessary for the well being of the nation which should not be privatized or for profit. I believe that these things should be sold on that basis. I also believe that, in the end, their socialization is better for society, cheaper to provide, and just make sense. I am big on the sensible part........
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: "For Profit" - 08/19/19 08:20 PM

Cars, homes, clothing, electronic gadgets, fancy foods, art, music, construction equipment, farm tools, there are literally hundreds of thousands of industries where profit is a great idea.

Health, education, military, law enforcement and public safety don't happen to fit any of them however.

Love your post, well said.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: "For Profit" - 08/20/19 08:51 PM

Why can't I make money off your health issues, now or eventually?
Posted by: jgw

Re: "For Profit" - 08/21/19 06:45 PM

I was trying to point out services that are better offered by gov than capitalists. As long as gov does offer the services, and you think you can do better, and cheaper, have at it. So far that one is a failure, as far as I am concerned but you certainly have the right to try. I also suspect that, under those circumstances, gov should control and regulate the hell out of you!
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: "For Profit" - 08/21/19 10:10 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Why can't I make money off your health issues, now or eventually?

Because you’re likely to make a mess of it (nothing personal!) You’re not going to make a lot of profit providing emergency care in far-flung rural areas, or drug clinics for the homeless and/or impoverished. Gerontology, at least for the elderly ill, is expensive as hell, although a profit can be made.

What about treatment for probably-fatal cancers - or do you refuse treatment on the grounds that resources would better be spent elsewhere?

No thanks. It’s horked up enough as it is.
Posted by: itstarted

Re: "For Profit" - 08/21/19 10:58 PM

Thanks for opening a good discussion.

The "Personal Healthcare for All", is probably the most over spoken and under analyzed subject in the political arena today.

My guess is (sadly) that it will be little more than that in the coming years. Cut to the quick, the balance between $$$ and moral fiber in government has come to this low bar...

"First Do No Harm"

That's about the best I've seen from our legislators, and changing the system to do something positive, by redirecting monies away from the oligarchy to the welfare of the general public is unlikely to happen in my thinking.

As far as I can see, even any short term benefit... (not a change in policy) has only come with an accompanying major increase in long term debt... not from any reallocation of monies from the multi millionaires and multi billionaires.

And so... two ways to finance... you and I pay more, or we pass off the cost to our kids.

I think of it this way... If I have $100,000. and my tax rate is 50%, I have $50,000 left. If the billionaire has $10,000,000,000 and his tax rate is 50%... he only has $5 billion dollars left.

....hmmm... preaching to the choir. crazy
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 12:22 AM

Actually, Medicare A + B + D, versus Medicare Advantage is a case where insurance companies offer competitive health care at a lower price. I have an Advantage plan that costs me nothing, but the Medicare Part B premium and it includes drug coverage equivalent or better than Medicare part D. The one disadvantage is that it is an HMO, so I have to use a certain medical group...exactly the same one I have used for years even with the same Primary Care physician and the same Neurologist!
Posted by: itstarted

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 01:18 AM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The one disadvantage is that it is an HMO, so I have to use a certain medical group...exactly the same one I have used for years even with the same Primary Care physician and the same Neurologist!

That one disadvantage was a big one for us. We were snowbirding in Florida... (6 + 6) when jeanie had a stroke. Very luck, the best surgeon in Florida was giving a talk at the hospital... he operated... 5 hours... and did a miracle carotoid artery surgery that worked.

The bill was $175,000.... Our Illinois HMO doctor refused to honor the medical bills because he hadn't authorized the operation, and had us frantic for three months until the bill was finally settled by insurance.
Posted by: itstarted

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 01:34 AM

About medical prescription drugs.

A simple example.....

6.1 Million Americans have AFIB (Atrial Fibrillation). (I'm one)

The most doctor Prescribed Drugs are Xarelto and Eliquis.

The lowest cost per month for either of these drugs... even with Medicare D Plan, is about $480.00 per month. ($5800.oo/yr.

The lower cost drug Coumadin, requires the sufferer to go for shots and blood testing every two weeks.

How long does it take a drug company to recover the development costs?

Is there any limit to the cost of a drug? A May 24 news article:

Zolgensma, a new drug approved by the FDA Friday, costs more than $2.1 million.

(that's one person, one year)

Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 02:44 AM

I have had AFib since June 2000.

I take Sotalol AF (heart rate), a generic and Warfarin (Coumadin)(blood thinner) another generic. Now I know, this next is because of my insurance but a 180 count (90 day) supply of Solatol AF costs me $3.00. While the Warfarin 5mg costs $7.00 for a 90 day supply. Also, I PT/INR test bi-weekly at home with a CoaguCheck device, like a diabetes testing device (prick the finger, place a drop of blood on the test strip and wait a few seconds for the results and then report them.

Another good thing is Warfarin has a reversal protocol, I forget which of the two you mentioned does not. That means, if I suffer a serious bleed, or they need to quickly cut me, they give me a shot and a few minutes later the effects of Warfarin are gone, and they can get about their business.

Talk to your doctor about changing meds. To change to Soltalol AF you may need to be hospitalized for about 5 days as they dial in your dosage.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 03:14 AM

Better services has nothing to do with it. If it did, then a lot of things should be handled by the public sector.
But, luckily, there is no law that prevents capitalism from making money on the commodification of illness.

If there is nothing you can predict other than death and taxes why can't I take a bet on people's dying and there attempts to forestall that from happening?
Boomers hold 80% of wealth in this country. Boomers are gunna start dying. People spend a significant amount of there life saving in the last months of their lives. One number I've read put it at 20%. That means possibly 20% of 80% of GDP will be getting spent over the next few decades with a 'hump' in the middle of that timeline of some pretty heavy spending.

Why would you deny me my freedom to partake in the healthcare market and make profits?

As far as I know, capitalism has a few iron laws it must obey or die:

Expand markets.
Increase profits.

Delivering better services is not a requirement.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 03:20 AM

Oh yeah... Global Warming.

Death, taxes and global warming.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 05:06 PM

For me, it’s a matter of ethics. It is not ethical for money to trump decisions of life and death. If OS about quality, whether you think so or not.. And delivering “better services,” aka adequate care, should not be based on profit.

How would you like to be checked in to Trump Hospital when it goes under?
Posted by: jgw

Re: "For Profit" - 08/22/19 06:55 PM

Thought on drugs. My wife was prescribed some expensive drugs. We signed up with a pharmacy in Victoria. They mailed her the drugs (they needed the prescription) which were less than 1/3 of what they cost here.

Drug companies, in America, spend more on advertising that research (we are 1 of 2 nations, in the entire world that allows drug companies to advertise). Most drugs are researched and discovered by our universities. Most of that is paid for by our government. There is a perception that the drug companies get to patent the drugs paid for by taxpayers for pennies on the dollar. That perception is very close to the truth.

Should also mention this has been going on forever, under both Democrats and Republicans. We should all be very grateful to our elected class for taking such good care of us!!!
Posted by: Greger

Re: "For Profit" - 08/23/19 03:25 PM

Some might say it is not their constitutional duty to take good care of us. Only to defend us. I s'pose that's neither here nor there as the only fella round here to take that stance was unable to effectively defend it.

The healthcare system is a huge industry employing millions and paying better than average wages. It's grown immensely technical and expensive. The machinery alone is mind boggling, CAT scans, PET Scans, MRIs...and the people who know how to operate them. Not to mention the people who know how to build them, and heaven forbid...the guys who design this sh*t!

It's a nice thought, but government really can't afford to pay for all this. If we were a postage stamp sized Euro nation that only needed a half dozen of these machines maybe the government can finance them. But the USA is HUGE! It would just cost too much!

The desire for "profit" is what spurs investors to fund innovation.

The role of government is to tax that profit and put it to the best use. They aren't doing a horrible job at it...it just needs a little tweak here and there.

Posted by: jgw

Re: "For Profit" - 08/23/19 05:14 PM

ALL politicians claim that they are working for "US" That being the case then the entire bunch of them are lying, both sides? We can all list stuff that is just wrong and has existed through both parties. One that comes to mind is the fact that the bureau of tobacco, fire arms, and something else is denied the use of computers to do their jobs. (there are a LOT more of those).

There is also no question that we are spending more on healthcare than every other industrialized nation in the world and its more than a trillion dollars per year. The difference is that the rest control and regulate their socially paid for healthcare. I think we really need to move in that direction. I do not think, however, that move can be immediate but must be incremental in nature. There are some that claim that gov is spending enough to pay for the whole thing. I doubt that but, maybe.

I believe that the real problem is our system of governing. Its corrupt, failed, and a complete and utter mess. If it doesn't get fixed there WILL be blood on the streets. I suspect the only way to fixing it is an elected class that has a backbone and dedicated, first and foremost, to fixing the mess. If they don't do that I suspect we are going to have a really serious problem and things will change and not necessarily for the best. I also suspect that Trump is an example and, right now, just a taste of what we may have in store unless this crap stops and sanity takes over.

I wish us all luck, especially our kids who are going to have to deal what we have wrought......
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: "For Profit" - 08/24/19 06:50 PM

No, it's not the government's constitutional duty. That's why I used the term "ethical."

In the same way that FEMA (theoretically) steps in after a major disaster. To take that a step further, it's the same ethical responsibility to appoint intelligent, competent people to high office. If that were in the constitution, there would be a lot more investigations than there have been to date,
Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: "For Profit" - 08/24/19 07:06 PM

"... it's not the government's constitutional duty."

Well by modern interpretation of "promote the general Welfare," it is.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: "For Profit" - 08/24/19 07:54 PM

Thanks, Shurly. I had my mind on the soup I was making and missed that entirely.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: "For Profit" - 08/24/19 08:17 PM

I mos' gen'ly have my mind in the soup...