The Exploding Cost of Health Care (and Death Care)

With Lexington Green, Ginny, myself, and many others talking about deathcare, it is worthwile to say a few things on why healthcare costs are becoming so unaffordable.

We are better at making sick people well (which decreases morbidity and mortality) and making dead people sick (which increases morbidity and decreases mortality).

To the extent the government increasingly interfers in the healht care market (as is already happening), it should be further societal well-being.

This scares a lot of people.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin worries about her son, who will be aflicted with morbidity all his life.

Others worry about the aged, the care of whom is a conversion of mortality into morbidity.

Some worry about young couples.

Some also worry about the economy as a whole, and note that while turning the sick into the well helps the economy (and thus all of us together), transforming mortality into morbidity hurts the economy (and thus all of us together).

If we are going to get costs under control, we will need a Federal Health Reserve which uses scientific approaches to minimizes both mortality and morbidity, and is protected from politics so that the rage of the berieved does not hurt all of us together.

Update: Courtesy MyDD, an example of the emotion of this issue

16 thoughts on “The Exploding Cost of Health Care (and Death Care)”

  1. One guy on a CNN panel brought up an interesting point. Though not verbatim, he said something on the lines that if, in 2008, if we were to assume that the candidate with the most vocal support had the clearest mandate, then such logical would suggest that we should have President Ron Paul right now.

  2. Curtis,

    No problem.

    I was initially confused why there were two officers near the speaker. The reason is that immediately before this video begins, Senator Specter told the speaker to just leave, and an audience member began shoving him. Specter saw this, told the shover to stop, and I think the officers are milling about the protect the speaker.


    Very true. Likewise, Code Pink would be running foreign policy.

    What has to concern the Senators is that these protestors appear to be older and less educated. Republican terror of this grou prevented social security reform for more than a decade.

  3. Perhaps these senior citizen counterrevolutionaries feel morally obligated to get vocal to make up for their lack of action during the 60’s?

  4. Perhaps they should just give up their socialist Medicare and save us all some money. I would be happy to give up their share of Medicare for the rest of their lives to benefit programs encouraging young women against having abortions in these harsh economic times.

    I cannot remember a time where I actually agreed with Nancy Pelosi, but her comment about “Un-American” acts of rampaging screaming and hollering at town halls while other citizens were trying to exercise their 1st Amendment rights almost warranted my approval. These people are an embarrassment to any American w/ a brain and respect for his fellow citizen. If you want screaming matches and incoherent rants to replace citizens pressing their elected crooks with wit and a bit of appropriate nerve , move to Qom or Pyongyang.

    Thank you for this post Dan. I finally had the chance to read the Federal Health Reserve article and am impressed. I wonder if the Fed is as “esteemed” in modern eyes as it once was, given the role of Fed officials like Geithner in the recent and continuing disasters in the financial sector.

    As well, the problems of tort reform and insurance fraud & collusion by companies and doctors cry out to be addressed in effective legislation establishing such a Fed.

  5. Eddie,

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to take the side of the Joker on this one.

    These town hall meetings have moved beyond whatever purpose they may have served and have become well-planned, choreographed advertizing events. As long as everything goes “according to plan” people are pretty happy, pat themselves on the back for asking what amount to rote questions (citizen participants) or answering with predictable, canned responses (politicians.)

    Keeping up the illusion of concerned civility requires suppression of the oddball yet passionate opposition and a lot of kumbaya amongst those who remain sedate in the little get-together once the odd-balls are escorted out.

    Of course, I would not ask for bloodshed or any sort of pagan fertility ritual, but I do think the limitations on the format — largely set by the politician’s coterie in order to advance his agenda — is mock democracy at best.

    No American is un-American.

  6. Of course, I would not ask for bloodshed or any sort of pagan fertility ritual

    I for one would be delighted if Arlen Specter dropped some canvas and revealed Christopher Lee, a giant wicker statue, and a nubile virgin [1].

    It would be the end of Specter’s political career (I can see the attack ads now: Do you trust a Senator who knows Christopher Lee?), but it would be a delightful end.


  7. CGW,

    I concede your point. At the same time, all it leads to is even more scripted events, a false impression of widespread populist rage, and a PR win (probably) for Obama b/c the media (even conservative outlets locally) are often portraying them as flashpoints of disorder, paranoia and focusing on the Nazi talk, the not so veiled threats of assassination for tyrants, and the entry of what appear to be many out of district troublemakers into what are supposed to be local affairs.

    What you will end up with is an even more artificial relationship between a congressmen and his constituents.

  8. Eddie & Curtis,

    The only violence I am aware of is by unionish thugs who attack the protesters. The only fake democracy here is the use of “town hall meetings,” which are scripted and controlled. The only hypocrisy are Senators, like Specter, who tell people to get out, and then praise them for being a demonstration of democracy.

    Certainly these protests may backfire. They seem to be working now. Obama was on the verge of having a really great health care proposal. But he dumped Daschle, delegated the bill to the Congress, and is now floundering. [1]


    Thanks! I haven’t had this weird an impression formed about me since I debated atheist-evolutionists during high school. Then everyone kept thinking I was a creationist. Now I’m some sort of wacko-leftist!


  9. The loss of Daschle was a terrible blow to his health care hopes. The faux scandal revolving around his taxes and lobbying in a time when we have real (likely) crooks like Chris Dodd, Byron Dorgan, John Ensign, and David Vitter in the Senate pronouncing judgment on him and other Americans was sickening.

  10. I think Daschle was guilty of the accusations, and the way he seemed to ‘roll over’ indicated that there was a lot unsaid.

    Still, that was the chance Obama had. He had, what, 70% approval? If Health Care is as important to him as it seems, that was the time to get the nomination through. Obama has bigger problems than Daschle, but it’s hard to imagine a better ally.

  11. I should clarify then… to me his “scandal” was a joke because we have so many greater criminals and hypocrites in office currently from both parties who had to express their “outrage” at his lobbying schemes.

    I agree that there was no better ally for him on this. His plan he proposed w/ Bob Dole & Howard Baker was better than the President’s and light years beyond anything the GOP has proposed thus far.

  12. Eddie,

    Quite right.

    There is an alternative & better dimension, where Obama was faced with resistance to two of his insider nominees (Geithner and Daschle), and choose to throw Geithner, and keep Daschle.

    In that world, the bailouts are less insular, and the health care debate passed on the same lines as Sotomayor — moderate Republicans in favor, conservative ones opposed.

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