Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ideas From TAP. And Spooky Polls.

Nobody has an ideal health care solution.


My esteemed colleague over at The Angry Pharmacist put up an excellent post a few days ago. I want to direct everyone's attention over to it. He makes some valid points and backs them up with reasonable arguments, and I think it's worth reading.


What makes health care reform so hard, and so scary, is stupidity on both sides.

I missed this story when it first came out, but my awesome reader Lisa was kind enough to send it to me.

Basically a firm called Public Policy Polling surveyed 900 voters here in the USA, asking them if the government should stay out of Medicare.

To my horror, 39% said "Yes"! So, more than a third of eligible voters are entirely unaware that Medicare IS a government program, and always has been.

This poll cut across a frighteningly broad swath of income and education.

At least I get blog material from them.

And a great big DR. GRUMPY THANK YOU TO MY READER LISA K. for bringing this to my attention.


ERP said...

Under Angry Pharmacist's plan, EMTALA would have to be overturned. Many people with real impending emergencies (like say a brewing appy or a TIA) might not go to the ER due to a 100$ out of pocket co-pay. I am in favour of a small co-pay for all ER visits - even 5-10 dollars has been shown to decrease utilisation of the ER for minor and or chronic stable complaints.
Also the refusal to cover any brand name drugs is ridiculous. The government just has to do like the do in the UK and set prices. The companies submit their expenses and their proposal and the government decides what is a reasonable profit and that is that. No "what the market will bear" bullshit.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

That's a VERY good point, ERP. Thank you.

No plan will be perfect, and none of us have all the answers. But a compromise of good ideas, not the current political yelling, is what's needed.

I wonder if people who really write these bills actually read sites like ours (I wish).

Not being up for re-election, we seem to have more concern for what would actually work, rather than what might get us votes.

Unknown said...

More than a third of eligible voters are uninformed?!? pffft. Its more than that. Some got lucky on that question I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of income and education, increasingly, the average American is a moron.

w8ng2retireRPH said...

What a dream it would be to have straight shooting, non delusional pharmacists, doctors and nurses in positions to run the show or at least have some serious pull. Should definitely be interesting to see how this pans out.

Amy said...

These polls always make me think of an old episode of the Man Show where they were getting people to sign a petition to end the suffrage for women. Of course, lots of people signed because they don't know the difference between suffering and suffrage! It always made me laugh and cringe at the same time.

Ladyk73 said...

ERP... I knew someone with a $100 er COPAY who did not go in for much needed stiches,,,,bad result. I had a $50 copay at one point...that seems fair

Anonymous said...

The problem of the sense of entitlement goes far beyond health care, although that's certainly the expected focus of your blog and TAP's too. I don't know that the problem is necessarily generational or that it's even national: I think it's just plain and simple human nature to want more for less, and it's also human nature to get hostile when you're promised a $1,000,000 reward and then told, "Oops, sorry, no can do, but here's this nice $100 check in the mail." You still profited $100 -- *free money!* -- but it's human nature to feel jaded and to demand what you were promised. Rationality goes out the window as anger, frustration, and desire take the steering wheel.

The one thing that I feel I do know is this: whether or not a happy solution is found for the health care coverage depends more on a retooling of citizens' expectations than it does a retooling of the architecture. You could provide the best practical plan ever and it would still not please most Americans today -- because they are convinced, having been spoon-fed this mantra over and over and over for the last 20 years or so, that (a) health care is a right, not a privilege; and (b) that *the best* health care scientifically possible is a right and not a (very expensive!) privilege.

Anonymous said...

And when you set prices for things you know diddly shit about. NO NEW MEDS come out.

Anonymous said...

We need some kinda nationalized health coverage in this country. I have excellent coverage but there are so many who don't.

Hopefully, our elected officials will do the right thing and get this thing passed!

Anonymous said...

So. Grumpy, I think you should run for pres in 2012. I'm a huge fan & would vote for you! TAP runs as the Veep, ok? Or, maybe you guys could do rock,paper, scissors to decide who runs for Pres and Veep. You guys could get it (healthcare) solved. From your adoring fan, RxMomma.

Concerned Pharmacist said...

"Anonymous said...
And when you set prices for things you know diddly shit about. NO NEW MEDS come out."

Like we really need 12 NSAIDs, 7 statins, another ACE or ARB, or Ambien CR just as Ambien goes generic..... and the list continues.

Anonymous said...

Healthcare should not be tied to employment. It worked for decades when the unemployment rate was much lower, but no longer works. Many people will gladly take even the minimum-wage job, even more than one, but their families will still go without health insurance, hence no healthcare. There does need to be a public option. And I don't want to have to choose between Insurance Plan A, B, C, etc. I had to choose my mom's Plan D provider and it took hours and hours to try to choose between Bad Choice A and Bad Choice Z. We can always go back and add or subtract or modify something if we make a mistake in the original plan, can't we?

Coverage of only generic drugs probably won't work well. I like the government negotiating prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers or distributors to lower prescription costs. And government should offer subsidies to the manufacturers as incentives for development of new drugs.

Want some help in paying for all of this? Legalize marijuana and tax it. To my generation grass is no worse than liquor and it's stupid that it's illegal. It should still be illegal to drive under the influence of course...

We are human beings and have compassion for our fellow humans. We cannot stand by and see others suffering. Business or not, healthcare is not just another commodity. That is why we give so much respect to healthcare providers -- they play a much more respected role than almost any other business person.


Deborah said...

I would be in BIG trouble if my insurance didn't cover any non-generic drugs. The only anti-inflammatory I can take for my arthritis (which also helps with my carpal tunnel) is Arthrotec because it is coated. Everything else gives me an ulcer.

The pharm companies have WAY too long of a period to rake in the dough before others are allowed to produce generic versions.

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