to finally get our money’s worth

“Most Americans don’t understand how bad health care in the United States is.”

I think Ceci Connolly, June 9 at the Washington Post, has written one of the best summary on health reform. Nearly 3,000 follow-up posts refer to her piece.

Not partisan spin, but a terrific blend of facts and vinegar.

Bright young physicians trained at prestigious and expensive universities enter a profession built on perverse financial rewards.

They, like assembly-line workers of the past, are paid on a piecemeal basis, earning more money not by doing better but simply by doing more.

Among many snippets on health care, I like “We don’t ration care, we ration people“.

Articles that fairly explore our conundrum are not common. Most are position statements and many are outright propaganda no matter how many citations.

A Canadian analyst wrote a popular article in the LATimes:

Unfortunately, many Americans won’t get to hear the straight goods…

American democracy runs on money. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies have the fuel. Analysts see hundreds of billions of premiums wasted on overhead that could fund care for the uninsured. But industry executives and shareholders see bonuses and dividends.

Half of the insured population uses virtually no health care at all.

The 80th percentile uses only $3,000 (2002 dollars, adjust a bit up for today).

You have to hit the 95th percentile to get anywhere interesting… but except for pimp actuaries and insurance executives, conditional probability is tough for the human brain.

There is one key difference between the insurance companies and Madoff: Madoff’s players were accredited investors.