Comments: Rip Off Inc. II

When it comes down to it, I think its not just necessarily the way one pays for health care but what health care amounts to. I think, barring astronomical tax rates, health care is so freaking expensive is because all many treatments are are highly-priced placebos. The pill-pushing philosophy that corrupts much of Western health care is repulsive. Western doctors convince their patients there's a pill for everything and they swallow it hook, link and sinker.

In China, there's no specialty called anesthesiologist, why bother knocking someone out and playing death when you can perform brain surgery on someone whose wide awake with a little acupuncture? Why "treat" multiple sclerosis when Indians cure the disease with Kundalini Yoga?

Professor, I can't say that the "research" Big Pharma does is any good either. I wouldn't be surprised if all the research they ever do revolves around better and better ways to cheat terminally ill patients out of their money. Although I've forgotten the details, when companies change the name of an over-prescribed drug and get away with reselling it for a higher price there's a deeper problem here.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at August 15, 2009 02:57 AM

I'm a member of "Wellspouse," an organization for those who care for disabled or chronically ill loved ones. I know plenty of people whose spouses have MS. If "the Indians" can cure it with a form of yoga or anything else, PLEASE elaborate and cite disinterested sources that support this assertion.

Posted by Rosemary Molloy at August 15, 2009 06:46 AM

Mr. Levin:
I'm a member of "Wellspouse," an organization for those who care for disabled or chronically ill loved ones. I know plenty of people whose spouses have MS. If "the Indians" can cure it with a form of yoga or anything else, PLEASE elaborate and cite disinterested sources that support this assertion.

Posted by Rosemary Molloy at August 15, 2009 06:47 AM

It probably wouldn't hurt to mention that the World Health Organization rates the repugnutins, "country of the greatest health care in the world," 39th and behind some lesser developed countries. NPR does a story on people from mostly, I think, Latin American Countries,coming to the U.S. For health care but fails to mention the World Health Org. report. They somehow manage to leave the impression that people from around the world are flocking to the U.S. for our less quality than most other developed country's health care. What a great fair an unbalanced job of reporting for NPR, again. God Bless the U.S.A.

Posted by knowdoubt at August 15, 2009 07:54 AM

NL,

I saw your response to me over in the other thread where we were discussing anarchism...It seems the response option is gone on that thread so I cant respond to you and i dont want to clutter up this comments page with off topic discussion...so we will have to take up our talk when we can and when it is appropriate to the topic at hand...

Just one final comment...I did not make it very clear what I meant about the use of violence...attacks on property are certainly a very different matter than attacking and killing people...so I dont really have a problem with attacking property...So I think something like what the Berrigan brothers did and stood for is very noble and I agree with them.

Anyway that's all I will say because again I dont want to clutter up this comment section.-Tony

Posted by tony at August 15, 2009 08:57 AM

knowdoubt:
Yes, NPR's coverage of this whole issue has been horrible. I've lost count of the number of stories they've done on possible methods of reducing health care spending through "efficiency", which NEVER mention the fact that private insurance companies spend about 30% on overhead, profit, advertising, etc. I can't listen any more, because the neighbors have started to complain about my shouting at the radio in the morning.

Posted by SteveB at August 15, 2009 11:15 AM

Rosemary,

I think there are a number of studies that give credit to Yoga treatment showing up in as prominent journals as JAAPA. Although, it seems that the JAAPA study claims all cases of Yoga curing diseases as "unfounded" (can't have a millennial-old art compete with modern "medicine") at least it concedes that Yoga is difficult to study in the way they usually test medications and treatments.

http://www.jaapa.com/Using-yoga-to-treat-disease-An-evidence-based-review/article/128909/

Unfortunately, the most disinterested, detached and unbiased research is found in Indian medical journals and given the threat that Yoga has to the existing medical structure, funding definitive research in the West has been slow.

The fact remains that the cleansing and detoxifying power of Kundalini Yoga sets in full lotus pose is unparalleled. If you'd like, I can e-mail you information on any Yogis that offer such services that may be in your area.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at August 15, 2009 03:09 PM

Yeah, though it seems like a noble fight there's something about setting booby traps for rainforest loggers that screams anti-social. Thats what separates Earth First! from "ecoterror" groups like The Earth Liberation Front. Contrary to what this ADL paper thinks its less radical to say, blow up a SUV dealership in West Covina, California without bloodshed than injure and kill loggers with shrapnel.

http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/Ecoterrorism.asp?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=4&item=eco

Although, I have my own opinions it'll be of course for another time.

Thanks Tony.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at August 15, 2009 03:32 PM

Bernard,

While I am not surprised to see the U.S. dead last in this ranking, it's not clear to me from the study overview you linked to that the quality of U.S. medical care is the culprit, or even the principal culprit.

Specifically, the authors seem to be using total mortality as the measure of merit, whereas I would argue that this must be further normalized by the actual incidence of disease in each country.

For example, suppose that treatable (but life-threatening) disease occurs in only 30% of the French population, but occurs in 60% of the U.S. population, and that both populations are treated by the same medical team. Under these circumstances, it would be no surprise if the mortality rate (deaths per 100K) were found to be a factor of two higher in the U.S.

As currently formulated, the graph could equally well be construed as a 'bad habits' ranking (e.g., correlated to diet), or an 'environmental hazards' ranking (e.g., correlated to toxin exposure).

Posted by SunMesa at August 15, 2009 03:43 PM

SunMesa: You're right and it would be interesting to have the data further normalized as you suggest.

But let's step back for a minute. For the patient what really matters is to live a long healthy life, so money should be spent toward that goal. Now if you're right this means that money should be taken away from where it's spent now and redirected toward primary care, preventive medicine, and public health goals.

So in all cases the current recipients of health money (18% of GDP) are overdue for bigtime downsizing.

If you go and check the food items they sell in urban ghettos, they might as well advertise them with the sign: "Eat and Die." No fresh produce of any kind. It's disgraceful.

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at August 15, 2009 04:45 PM

Prof. C: You must read/have read this? Or go talk to anybody who has EVER worked in a fast-food joint. They only get inspected every blue moon. I once dated a girl who worked for the Colonel, and she wouldn't bring home the unsold pieces because she knew how, and who, produced them...

Posted by Woody at August 15, 2009 04:56 PM

In Australia we have a had a National health Scheme
since a Labor Government set up such a scheme in 1974.We have completely Free public hospitals...I had several weeks in intensive care after brain surgery and then weeks in rehab. care and periods of care when I had both knees reconstructed at seperate times...all free !!
Persons over 65 have special provisons for medications. and tests....most cost no more than $5 ,,and all people have free visits to our local Doctor..and this is funded by a levy of 1.5% on incomes...though the elderly like my wife and I pay nothing and are covered for everything.The US failure in this matter is unimaginable here!!

Posted by brian Mc at August 16, 2009 09:26 AM

In Australia we have a had a National health Scheme
since a Labor Government set up such a scheme in 1974.We have completely Free public hospitals...I had several weeks in intensive care after brain surgery and then weeks in rehab. care and periods of care when I had both knees reconstructed at seperate times...all free !!
Persons over 65 have special provisons for medications. and tests....most cost no more than $5 ,,and all people have free visits to our local Doctor..and this is funded by a levy of 1.5% on incomes...though the elderly like my wife and I pay nothing and are covered for everything.The US failure in this matter is unimaginable here!!

Posted by brian Mc at August 16, 2009 09:26 AM