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(51,907 posts)
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:29 AM Dec 2014

How health care as a commodity screws both the poor and the affluent

A commodity is something you can have only if you have the money. It makes our health care vastly more expensive in two ways.

If you don’t have money, you can’t pay to treat problems when they are still cheap to treat, as in the case of the Maryland boy whose mother didn’t have $85 to extract an infected tooth. The infection spread to his brain, and the people of Maryland paid $230,000 to try to save his life. He died anyway.

On the other hand people who do have money (or good insurance) are oversold on unnecessary care. We spent $750 billion on unnecessary health care in 2011, about a third of all health care expenses. Invasive procedures that are unnecessary can result in injury or even death.

Health care policy is unique in that it is the only social issue where the morally right thing to do is also the cheapest thing to do.

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(30,058 posts)
1. Health care seems to be moving to preventative care whenever possible and as noted an infected
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 08:04 AM
Dec 2014

Tooth resulted in $230,000 and the death of the child. Prevention is cheaper. In cases of diabetes checking on patient care can prevent amputations and other issues related to diabetes, extending the lives and health and resulting in lower cost.



(36,392 posts)
2. thanks eridani
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 09:57 AM
Dec 2014

The propaganda onslaught from alleged dems about how great heritage care is is disgusting. Rec


(25,350 posts)
4. Health care as a commodity is way cheaper for the wealthy than taxes to support a right would be
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:12 PM
Dec 2014

They don't care about systemic waste, it is a profit making investment opportunity.

What they care about is what they have and scale of economy dictates they will have more of it than any other design.


(3,732 posts)
5. It's the resistance to treating poor "freeloaders"
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:39 PM
Dec 2014

I think this is the sticking point. No one wants to "redistribute" income to catch the infected tooth while it's cheap. No argument about workplace productivity, disability costs, or human suffering/torture will prevail over the short-term idea that money is coming out of one working guy's (it's always a white guy) and going to subsidize the healthcare of someone else (usually painted as an overweight smoker, a black woman, or an illegal immigrant). It doesn't matter that the healthcare will be there when the white guy has his heart attack. It doesn't matter that the white guy's mother is already on Medicare. All that matter's is the idea that universal healthcare "redistributes" money somehow.


(51,907 posts)
6. Here's a clue for the old white guy
Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:51 PM
Dec 2014

In the infected tooth case, $229,915 was distributed from him and others to pay for futile brain surgery.

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