A Sicko Liberal Media

CNN does their fact checking on Sicko. It precisely illustrates why the stupid liberal media is both stupid and liberal.

Like Moore, we also found that more money does not equal better care. Both the French and Canadian systems rank in the Top 10 of the world’s best health-care systems, according to the World Health Organization. The United States comes in at No. 37. The rankings are based on general health of the population, access, patient satisfaction and how the care’s paid for.

Read those last words. “How the care is paid for”, i.e., the US system is ranked low partly because it’s not socialized. And as I’ve noted many times, “general health of the population” contains no corrections of America’s high rates of obesity, violence, car crashes and drug abuse. And by the way, those things are high because Americans are making stupid choices, not because their healthcare system has failed them.

So, if Americans are paying so much and they’re not getting as good or as much care, where is all the money going? “Overhead for most private health insurance plans range between 10 percent to 30 percent,” says Deloitte health-care analyst Paul Keckley. Overhead includes profit and administrative costs.

“Compare that to Medicare, which only has an overhead rate of 1 percent. Medicare is an extremely efficient health-care delivery system,” says Mark Meaney, a health-care ethicist for the National Institute for Patient Rights.

This is quoted a lot. And it is utter total BS. It is absolute mendacious deception. Yes, Medicare only spends 1% of its budget on it’s administration. The only problem here is that Medicare doesn’t administer Medicare. Medicare is administered by private insurance companies, which spend enormous amounts of money on paperwork and Administration. 1% is what Medicare spends administering the administration.

When I worked in medicine we were constantly in paperwork wars with Medicare. The appeals system was backed up for years. Talking to the Aetna people led me to believe that their administrative overhead was far greater for Medicare than non-Medicare (30-40% was the figure they would give me). This is somewhat exaggerated because Medicare pays very little — they haven’t significantly raised their fees in about 25 years. So the ratio of administration to pay-outs is a bit inflated. But they also provide more care.

Still. 1%? What kind of lazy media take that figure for gospel? Jumping Jesus, does anyone out there think anymore?

Moore focuses on the private insurance companies and makes no mention of the U.S. government-funded health-care systems such as Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Veterans Affairs health-care systems. About 50 percent of all health-care dollars spent in the United States flows through these government systems.

Hmm. Do you think there’s a reason he doesn’t talk about them? Like the rat-infested VAArmy hospitals? Or the crummy payments made by Medicare and Medicaid that cause us to cost-shift to people with private insurance?

That’s no surprise given the number of U.S. specialists. In U.S. medical schools, students training to become primary-care physicians have dwindled to 10 percent. The overwhelming majority choose far more profitable specialties in the medical field. In other countries, more than one out of three aspiring doctors chooses primary care in part because there’s less of an income gap with specialists. In those nations, becoming a specialist means making 30 percent more than a primary-care physician. In the United States, the gap is around 300 percent, according to Keckley.

And yet almost every healthcare reform plan — and the current structure of Medicare and Medicaid — is designed to screw the family doctor even more.

There’s a reason specialists in this country make so much: their services are not being rationed.

I hate it when the media talk about healhcare. They are so pig-ignorant of how the business works, they just make the situation worse. I’ll never forget the NBC/ABC/CBS special with Koppel/Brokaw/Rather (I can’t remember which, I was so angry) in which they said a doctor was charging his patient $150 a day for poking his head in her hospital room for five minutes. Ignored in this finger-wagging maneuver:

  • The doctor would have been in the nurse’s station reviewing the chart, giving orders, talking to nurses and doctors and deciding her course for about 15-30 minutes.
  • Medicare probably paid about $75 for the visit, if they paid at all, no matter what the doctor charged. A lot of doctors charge their full price so they can keep track of just how badly Medicare is screwing them.
  • If anything bad had happened to the patient, the nurses would have called the doctor at home at 3 am to get orders. And most of the time, he’d give the right ones. For no extra charge. Try calling your auto mechanic at 3 am about your transmission.
  • Listen, media. Do you think you could do some fucking research? I don’t mean going to various liberal think-tanks so they can tell you Medicare only spends 1% of its money on administration — a claim so ludicrous, you’d think even our flunky media would see through it. Why don’t you send a reporter to work in a hospital or a doctor’s office, to fight with insurance companies and to watch the malpractice lawsuits stream in. Then you might do some actual reporting.

    Oh, that liberal media!

    3 Responses to “A Sicko Liberal Media”

    1. sccali says:

      You are fucking disgusting. You’re so full of shit it’s unreal. How about you learn how to write before taking the time to deceive people with your bullshit. You write like a fucking two year old. Please do the American people a favor and shove this blog up your ignorant ass.

    2. blogguy says:

      sccali, you MUST be joking! Mike points how how misleading the information the media spoon feeds us is, and all you can do is attack Mike with no substance – it’s really a classic liberal response when you can’t argue with logic.

      Mike, thanks for the blog, it’s very enlightening.

    3. jimmyt says:

      Why do you associate, over and over, the word “liberal” with evil, laziness and general incompetence? That’s just unfair!
      I don’t have a lot to say, and I’m not an angry person – and I don’t know enough to really give an opinion that matters to anyone – but one thing did strike me about your article: when you mentioned that there is a 30% gap in “other countries” between GPs and specialists as opposed to the 300% gap in the States, aren’t those “other countries” ones like Canada, France or Great Britain? Countries that have social health care, similar to, (but more widespread and more properly administered than) the examples of public health care in the US?
      Anyhow, I have had surgery on my eyes twice, broken an ankle and broken an elbow and I can still afford to eat food so that’s nice.