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2018-02-17 17:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 123 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh Nos, it's all been a lie!

The idea that spending more on preventive care will reduce overall health care spending is widely believed and often promoted as a reason to support reform. It’s thought that too many people with chronic illnesses wait until they are truly ill before seeking care, often in emergency rooms, where it costs more. It should follow then that treating diseases earlier, or screening for them before they become more serious, would wind up saving money in the long run.

Unfortunately, almost none of this is true.

What we've been told is that forcing primary care coverage -- which has resulted in ridiculous ramps in overall cost for same -- would do several things, including less emergency room care (and cost), less catastrophic care (and cost) and better health outcomes.  Oh, and less overall cost.

Unfortunately that is all false.

ER visits didn't go down.  Why?  Because ER visits are covered too and those are expensive.  So, since they're more convenient guess what happens when you don't have to pay out of pocket for them?  Yep.

Alleged "wellness programs", which either provide incentives to do good things (e.g. go to the gym) or penalize you for not, or for doing bad things (e.g. being fat) don't work either.  They don't decrease costs -- unless you start throwing people out entirely, at which point they may decrease cost for the insurance firm (or the employer) but not for the system as a whole.

This doesn't mean that trying to help people be healthier is bad.  But it does mean that doing so doesn't save money.

What would save a lot of money?

Throwing all the monopolists in prison and thus demonstrating to the remainder of those in health care that they can either cut that crap out or they will be joining the first bunch in a nice set of orange striped jumpsuits.

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I have often written on the known, and intentionally ignored (and in fact the explicit derogation) of using carbohydrate restriction as a means of improving insulin sensitivity and reducing or eliminating the need for Type II diabetes drugs, never mind what should be a near-complete elimination of all the co-morbidities that come with Type II diabetes (gangrene, blindness, amputations and ultimately dialysis and death, to be specific.)

Note that the American Diabetes Association specifically recommends carbs in the diet for sufferers, chasing same with drugs and/or insulin.  That's outrageous and in my opinion that "association" should be put out of business tomorrow with everyone involved in it charged with involuntary manslaughter for every person who follows their "recommendations" and winds up dead, never mind being sued to beyond the orbit of Mars for the outrageously insane costs imposed on the medical system and taxpayers as a result.

Now we have an open but controlled study out that backs up what I've been saying.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a new care model with very low dietary carbohydrate intake and continuous supervision by a health coach and doctor could safely lower HbA1c, weight and need for medicines after 1 year in adults with T2D.


After 1 year, patients in the CCI, on average, lowered HbA1c from 7.6 to 6.3%, lost 12% of their body weight, and reduced diabetes medicine use. 94% of patients who were prescribed insulin reduced or stopped their insulin use, and sulfonylureas were eliminated in all patients. Participants in the UC group had no changes to HbA1c, weight or diabetes medicine use over the year. These changes in CCI participants happened safely while dyslipidemia and markers of inflammation and liver function improved.

In other words those who followed the "control" recommendations, which is the so-called "traditional" approach pushed by doctors and the American Diabetes Association, had no improvement as a result of their protocol.

However, those who greatly restricted carbohydrates dropped their A1c, lost 12% of their body weight, 94% were off insulin which is very expensive and all of those who were on sulfonylureas -- which have substantial safety concerns along with being expensive were off them as well.

Even better 83% of the people were still in the study at the one year mark which is insanely good; nearly all of those who started the protocol were able to keep with it for a year.  Almost nobody adopts a "diet" and sticks with it, but this is a lifestyle change that people both can and will stick with, and the results speak for themselves.

Now let me share with you an anecdote:

This is the reading from an individual I know who about a month ago called me freaking out because during a routine physical he scored a 300 on a random glucose test.

He asked for my links to articles I've written on low-carb eating, I sent them, he adopted it and this is the result.

In one month.  He sent me that picture via text message last night.

Now go read this again.

Then tell me why, if the government won't impose this paradigm immediately and start indicting those in the medical and "association" worlds that have "advised" otherwise at ridiculous cost to both the public and private medical systems, on purpose, never mind all the deaths that have resultedpeople who are in this category of sufferers shouldn't erect the middle finger, adopt a low-carb lifestyle and find the pitchfork and torch that appears to have been long-forgotten in America today, enforcing the demand that this crap stop right damn now.

Everyone in this category, which is 10% or more of the American public today from the statistics I've seen, is not only being abused to rob public and private parties for unnecessary and extremely expensive medical treatment they are also having their health destroyed through the lie that Type II diabetes is an inevitably progressive disease that always comes with ever-more expensive drugs and medical procedures, and both will and must inevitably end in a miserable death after extracting tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per person.

That is just flat-out not true and these brigands not only are killing people they're making well north of a half-trillion dollars a year running that crap, never mind being directly responsible for the majority of the federal budget deficit besides in the form of Medicare and Medicaid spending, almost-none of which is actually necessary or, for that matter, improves outcomes.

Where the **** is President Trump, never mind CONgress along with all the State Attorneys General and Governors (who absorb a large amount of this via Medicaid, never mind state and local pension medical costs) on this outrageous scam?


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2018-02-04 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 183 references
[Comments enabled]  

.... broke, if not just plain dead.

It's one of the intractable financial boondoggles of the U.S. health care system: Lots and lots of patients get lots and lots of tests and procedures that they don't need.


ProPublica has spent the past year examining how the American health care system squanders money, often in ways that are overlooked by providers and patients alike. The waste is widespread – estimated at $765 billion a year by the National Academy of Medicine, about a fourth of all the money spent each year on health care.

May I remind you that with the Federal Government being about one dollar in three of medical spending ($1.2 trillion last year, roughly) nearly 40% of last year's deficit was wasted on this alone.

Let me be perfectly clear: That's about $250 billion last year, or almost $700 million per day, of government spending that went into the pockets of people in the health care "industry" for exactly nothing of value.  They stole it, to be precise, in what is the largest ever heist perpetrated against anyone, and that theft occurs every single day.

That, may I also remind you, could be fixed instantly without addressing one cent of the monopolist pricing and business practices of the medical community, all of which are rather clearly illegal under 100+ year old anti-trust law.

I have often said that it is not a fantasy-land belief that we could whack 80% of health spending off were we to simply enforce the law and, through doing so, essentially return medical care to a cash-basis system.  Wasted procedures and dollars such as documented here would almost entirely disappear if you had to pay for them in cash at the time service was provided.  You simply wouldn't allow that to happen any more than you'd drive your car with a hole in the gas tank that spilled one gallon in three on the road for any longer than it took you to find some chewing gum and plug it up until you could get it replaced.

The evidence keeps mounting that I'm right -- and America's refusal to take this on, head-on, and demand that it stop is going to kill this nation and its people if it's not addressed -- first economically and then literally.

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2018-02-01 07:40 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 132 references
[Comments enabled]  

Encourage Democrats, eh?

DENVER (AP) — Republicans on the campaign trail this year will be eager to tout the potential benefits of their tax cut plan.

Voters like Jeanine Limone Draut, a freelance technical writer in Denver, have something else in mind: health care.

Oh really?  Said freelance technical writer actually makes money?

I say this because the "benefit" of such plans disappears starting right near the $20,000 (gross!) income level, and for a single person is completely gone by the mid-$40k level.  This results in an effective tax rate of well over 50% for that $20,000 in earnings for most people if you want actual, usable "insurance."

Indeed for many people (where there's a state income tax as well) the effective tax rate on that chunk of money for a self-employed person can easily reach 80%.

Why would you want that unless...

Safeguarding the Obama-era health care reforms is essential to Colorado voters such as Draut, 45, who said her state exchange policy gives her peace of mind that she’ll be covered if she becomes ill, and Caleb Jackson, a 27-year-old graduate student at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Jackson was covered until last year on his parents’ policy, which allowed him to receive a $200,000 bone marrow transplant that stabilized a debilitating neurological condition. Now treatment-free, he has taken advantage of the law’s Medicaid expansion while he pursues an advanced degree in public administration and urban planning.

Well, yeah, I suppose if you can bill someone else for $200,000, you'd be in favor of it.

Especially if you're too stupid to collapse the pricing to $20,000 or $30,000, which getting rid of the monopolist games would do, at which point the $20,000 cost in cash would be LESS than the confiscated amount via the Obamacare tax benefit phaseout if you made more than $40,000 a year!

In other words you'd pay the $20,000 (for the treatment, in cash) once instead of paying every year through the crazy-expensive "insurance premiums" you're required to buy.

That requirement, by the way, disappears next year.

Bonne chance to all those who ripped off everyone else for $200 large instead of demanding an end to predatory pricing and actions in the medical system as starting 1 January 2019 those of us who aren't interested in robbing people and aren't stealing that $200 large from others will opt out.

Myself included.

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2018-01-30 10:36 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 158 references
[Comments enabled]  

So supposed healthcare is now going to get "amazoned".

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday announced a partnership to cut health-care costs and improve services for their U.S. employees. The announcement slammed the shares of multiple companies in the health-care sector.

Uh huh.


Without breaking the monopolies, which requires law enforcement to start arresting people the only impact of this will be to try to steal some of the monopolist money for these firms and cost-shift the rest back onto everyone else.

Of course there's not one word from the Confusing Neophytes with Bull **** network about that, or that simple application of 100+ year old law would collapse health care costs by 80% in an afternoon, never mind cutting the hospital-acquired infection and complication rate by a factor of 20.

The latter not only costs everyone tens of billion annually it kills a crazy number of people (the third leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease and smoking!)  and the providers get paid for every one of those dead individuals that they killed.

So instead of actually addressing the issue we have three firms trying to steal a piece of the scam for themselves.

They ought to be put out of business and their executives imprisoned.

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