We have this jackpot justice mentality here for whatever reason, and alot of our political leaders have made personal fortunes off the system. So it never really gets brought up in the debate. But it is a HUGE chunk of our healthcare expenses.
I love the 'jackpot justice mentality' concept. That describes the American attitude toward lawsuits, especially medical, perfectly. For whatever reason, we seem to have really, as a culture, abandoned our earlier work ethic in favor of one that posits getting rich as some kind of gambling success. We can win the lottery, we can win in Vegas, or we can win a big lawsuit for something. I know people who are actually busy budgeting their lottery winnings as we speak, while living in abject poverty.
You're absolutely right about the defensive medicine. Tests, tests, and more tests, when it's obvious from the beginning what is wrong. But they have to CYA, and you can't blame them. I take estrogen because if I don't my life is not worth living from my symptoms, but I practically had to sign a waiver to get my doctor to prescribe it because there's been a study that it increases the odds of getting breast cancer by 1% or something. He's afraid that if I get cancer I'll sue him, and some people probably would.
There are a couple of other things that never get discussed in the health care reform, or health care insurance reform, which this bill actually is for the most part. And that is the number of chronic diseases with expensive treatments that people bring on themselves with their lifestyles. I smoked cigarettes for years, even after knowing that they cause cancer, etc. Is the government, if they provided health care,obligated to treat my lung cancer or emphysema? If so, to what extent? Should they pay for expensive chemo that may or may not work? How about a lung transplant? Should someone who didn't smoke get a new lung faster than a smoker?
What about all the chronic diseases caused by obesity, which is taking over smoking as the biggest cause of chronic disease brought about by lifestyle? Diabetes is expensive, especially when you start getting complications, and most diabetes is directly caused from excess weight. High blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc. If the government is going to have to pay for it, should they have the power to make you lose weight?
I only brought those up because, again, just like tort reform, it's something that doesn't get discussed. It's as if, and this is true for many more issues than health care, some group has decided ahead of time the parameters of the discussion. There are still two sides, but only certain items are up for discussion. Everything else just isn't spoken of. It's really fascinating.
One more thing. The 'death panels.' I hate that Americans are so stupid that they actually can let something this stupid be accepted as fact. And again, nothing was ever said about the huge rationing that goes on now. It's called insurance policies. If you don't have any insurance, well, too bad. You're rationing starts and ends with nothing. Even if you do, though, it's a crapshoot if your company is actually going to pay for whatever it is that you have. Or pay enough of it that you can get treatment without losing your house.
And BecKKK... Perhaps intelligence isn't the word I meant. More like a cunning ability to pick up on what an audience wants and be able to bring exactly that to them. The people who believe in him, granted most of them aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but the kind of unwavering, blind allegiance they give him is frightening. My opinion, and its only my opinion, is that there was an orator in the early 40s in a European country who had much the same talent and used it much the same ends that I see BecKKK going for. And look how that turned out. BTW, that same talent for getting audiences of True Believers is also Sarah Palin's forte. And I don't think many people use intelligence and her name in the same sentence.