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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Healthcare in America

A friend of mine on Facebook made this comment yesterday:

Health care across the country should be more like the Mayo Clinic. Does that really sound like the socialized medicine the conservative pundits are trying to scare people about?

I don't know a lot about the Mayo Clinic...I know it has a great reputation for research and for taking some of the "lost causes" and helping them to get healthy. Other than that, they are a foreign entity to me. So I got on their website to find out a little bit about them, focusing on their financials because the bottom line is ALWAYS, well, the bottom line.

I agree that it would be nice, utopic in fact, if all of healthcare could be like the Mayo Clinic. Or St. Jude's. But these organizations, after looking at their own published information, need A LOT of public and private support above and beyond what patient care provides.

Would this scenario REALLY work for the general healthcare of America? It doesn't seem so, to me. There is a limited pot to draw from, and organizations like these are already drawing huge amounts. If we tried to make EVERY healthcare organization, clinic, hospital, etc...fashioned after them, they would all be bankrupt. It's just not fiscally sound.

I can see and feel the emotions that would cause my friend to say what she said, but looking beyond emotion to the actual viability of it...a different story.

Healthcare needs fixing. No doubt about that. But socialized medicine? Not the fix we're looking for.

Next time we'll take a look at the Scott & White Healthcare System run out of Texas. Now THAT is an option for more widespread coverage.


backwoods conservative said...

Congratulations. You've accomplished something a lot of people never do. You looked beyond the emotional "feel good" appeal of a proposal and checked into what would really happen if the proposal was put into effect.

So much of what liberals want for the world is based on just such an emotional appeal. They think of the wonderful things that would happen if we lived in an ideal world and then try to enact policies as if we lived in such a world. They end up with a lot of unintended consequences they didn't see coming, just because they didn't set their emotions aside long enough think things through.

I've heard from people in the conservative camp who explained that they were former liberals who got mugged by reality.

Baloney said...

I love the "mugged by reality" comment.
Socialized medicine scares me to death.
It's not that I don't want medical care for all. It's not that I don't care.
How about we go after the insurance companies and figure out all the broken things there? That's where the problem lies, in my opinion.
Being self-employed, we pay a lot of money on our premiums and an extremely high deductible as well. Our insurance won't cover any services for our son's autism (diagnosis, treatment, etc.).
Doctors get screwed by insurance all the time and don't get paid.
Insurance dictates what treatment you get instead of doctors.
I could go on and on and on.
It's a real problem.

Baloney said...

Oh - and I left you something on my blog.

backwoods conservative said...

One thing I hear mentioned a lot is tort reform. It seems that doctors suffer a lot of unnecessary pressure from malpractice suits. In today's litigious society, doctors are adding a lot more tests to anything they check into in a sort of preemptive CYA. They have to be sure they don't leave themselves open for any line of attack. The problem is all those tests cost money, and somebody has to pay for them.

DRJ said...

I have experience with the Mayo Clinic because members of my family have been patients in Rochester and Scottsdale since 1999. I agree with you that the Mayo Clinic formula wouldn't work for government healthcare.

Mayo provides superior health care and it would be great if everyone in America had healthcare of this quality. But one of the ways Mayo controls costs is by being very careful about what patients it agrees to treat. They do that by rigorously screening a patient's insurance or requiring pre-payment of (or proof of ability to pay) estimated costs.

With government-run healthcare, the government would tell Mayo what to charge instead of Mayo telling the patient/insurance co. what to pay. That might work for awhile but I don't think it would work for long.