The Deception of So-Called 'Health Petitioner' Weissman
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-01-05 09:26 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 861 references Ignore this thread
The Deception of So-Called 'Health Petitioner' Weissman
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There's been zero major media coverage of this, but it has shown up on the web:

Steven I. Weissman, sent President-elect Donald Trump a petition to end predatory pricing in the healthcare industry. The petition, signed by more than 104,000 Americans, was delivered Wednesday evening to Trump Tower in New York City. It is the first petition of its kind, and the first one the president-elect has received regarding healthcare.

Weissman became the president of a Miami hospital when a friend, who founded the hospital, passed away. During his tenure as president, Weissman was able to get an inside look at how healthcare operates in the U.S., and, in his own words, it was “sickening.”

“The biggest problem in healthcare is that there is no pricing at all,” Weissman tells The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is not a coincidence that the only product or service permitted to be sold in the U.S. without legitimate pricing, is the one which has imposed tremendous financial hardship.”

All of this is already illegal.

It is illegal in the State of Florida under 501.001 - 501.213 to engage in any sort of deceptive practice when it comes to any good or service offered to consumers.  There are additional particular provisions related to seniors, but the general framework is valid for everyone.  There is no exception in that law, nor in similar laws in other states, for any part of health care.

Not actually having a price or varying same based on method of payment without prior disclosure is a per-se and blatantly deceptive act.  Try it when offering oil changes to the public for their cars and see how long you stay out of jail.

Further, these practices are illegal under the entire body of 15 USC Chapter 1.  It is not possible for such an industry to maintain these practices without collusion and yet collision in fixing prices is per-se illegal under 15 United States Code.

It is further illegal to discriminate in pricing of commodities (that is, physical goods) sold, manufactured or used in interstate commerce between buyers of like kind and quantity.  This means drugs, medical supplies and hardware of various sorts, all of which are manufactured and shipped in interstate (and international) commerce cannot lawfully be priced differently between consumers of like kind and quantity of same.  That, once again, is long-standing law (Robinson-Patman) and part of 15 United States Code!  For what it's worth I shoved a several hundred thousand dollar purchase order up a major vendors ******* on exactly that basis when I discovered they were engaged in discriminatory pricing during my years in running MCSNet.  They folded and gave me the same price they had charged others for like kind and quantity.  I had to cut a purchase order with a committed delivery schedule that was rather larger in quantity than I would have preferred, but it was very worth it.

In point of fact this "petition" is amusing but in a non-funny sort of way on several levels.  First, it's hardly new; you can read my Ticker on this point, which in fact was the first that was put in the "Health Reform" category on the Ticker immediately after it was created in 2009.  Or, if you prefer, click here and start reading backwards on the timeline among those articles that remain available.

Second, you can read the voluminous set of articles I've written on this point both before and since in which I have clearly delineated that these practices certainly appear to be in rank violation of both state and federal law and yet nobody goes to jail nor does the government at any level give a damn about you being raped blind by these firms. In fact they not only cheer it on they allow their court systems to be used in your pursuit if you don't knuckle under!  This is not small-ball either -- it constitutes almost one dollar in five spent in the economy today, or somewhere north of $3 trillion a year that is extracted with roughly 80% of it happening due to these practices.  If it's not worth prosecuting at a state or federal level when at least $2 trillion is stolen from you every year exactly how much has to be taken before it will be?

Third, you can contemplate whether passing another law will do a damn thing when nobody will insist on the enforcement of existing law that speaks to the same issue, the same point, and contains not only monstrous civil but felony criminal penalties as well.  This is a body of law that has been on the books in many cases (15 USC) for over 100 years and yet exactly zero hospital administrators have been charged nor have any of the so-called "networks", despite it being clear to anyone who has read said law that these practices are already illegal.

Finally, if you think Trump is going to do one damned thing about any of this you need to get your mouth off his Johnson because he not only won't he will actively make it worse.  We know this to be fact because his HHS appointee is one of the architects in Congress of the existing system and has attempted, in the past, to shove balance-billing, which is an artifact of said system, down the throats of those on Medicare -- that is, Seniors.

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