A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-06-23 11:35 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 7282 references Ignore this thread
A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue
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Here it is:

"Notwithstanding any other provision in state or federal law, a person who presents themselves while uninsured to any provider of a medical good or service shall not be charged a price greater than that which Medicare pays for the same drug, device, service or combination thereof."

That's it.

One sentence.

If you want to add a penalty clause with it I propose the following:

"Any bill rendered to a person in excess of said amounts shall (1) be deemed void, with all services and goods provided as a gift without charge or taxable consequence to said consumer but not deductible by said physician or facility from any income or occupational tax and (2) is immediately due to the customer in the exact amount presented as liquidated damages for the fraud so-attempted."

It ends the "Chargemaster" ripoff game.

It ends the $150,000 snake bite or the $80,000 scorpion sting.

It ends the $500,000 cancer treatment.

It ends all of that, immediately and instantly.

I remind you that Medicare is required to set pay rates by law at a level that in fact are profitable -- that is, above cost by a modest amount -- for everything it covers.  Further, those pay rates are audited regularly to prove that they in fact are above cost.

Does this solve every problem?  No, and in fact that would leave alone the existing monopolistic pricing systems that many medical providers, whether they be drug makers, device makers, service providers or otherwise have in place.  It would do exactly nothing to get rid of the 10 paper pushers hired for every doctor or nurse, none of whom ever provide one second of care to an actual person through their entire time of employment.

But it would instantly end walking into an emergency room and getting hammered with a $50,000 bill for something that Medicare will pay $5,000 for.

I remind you that even quite poor people can manage to come up with $5,000 in a life-threatening emergency.  Sure, they might wind up paying 25% interest on the credit card, they might have to stop smoking their $5 pack/day cigs, and it might take them three or five years to pay it off, but they can probably do it.

It's not an answer to the problems the mediscam imposes on society, but it would sure as hell bring down costs for people instantly and permanently, and would make the decision to not carry insurance one that people could opt for while having a rational shot at paying cash -- at least for those in the middle class or better, for whom a $5,000 surprise would be bad, but bearable.

More to the point with the crazy deductibles today the $5,000 would actually buy care and eviscerate the insurance ripoff at the same time, because today you get to pay the $5,000 plus another $10k/year in "premiums" -- for exactly nothing.

This matters because most of the argument for so-called "health insurance" is actually about extortion -- either buy the product or be ruined with charges that are 5, 10 or even 100x what someone who has bought the product will pay.

Ending that will force health insurance companies to actually provide a product that is affordable and provides a reasonable set of benefits -- or people can simply stick up the finger and pay cash.

Pass that, which should take no more than 30 seconds to introduce and put on the floor of both the House and Senate and then we can debate this as a permanent solution.

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User Info A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue in forum [Market-Ticker] Item is pinned to the top of the forum
Mannfm11
Posts: 5387
Incept: 2009-02-28

DFW, Tx
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Chaminski, the men in Austin sit down to piss. Cousin from central Texas, where yellow dog would beat a Republican years ago. Texas didn't turn Republican until the 1980's and Austin was never Republican, as it is a University town and full of government bureaucrats. West of Austin is nice country, filling up with CA leftists, but I think the city is turning into a turd processor. 20 miles East and 40 miles west, the world returns to sanity.

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The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.---John Kenneth Galbraith
Nopenotbyme
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I like the idea, but I'm not in favor of the government limiting the rights of anyone. Including the right to charge what you feel your work is worth. With that in mind, I would simply adapt your proposal to apply to any provider that participates in Medicare.

Giving providers the option of working on the "private" or "public" system has several benefits. It will improve quality, it finances innovation, and it gives the government an incentive to maintain compensation at market levels.

With fixed pricing, the only variable that will determine how much or how little a provider earns is quantity. In large cites, where demand is high, fixed pricing encourages a "treat 'em and street 'em " attitude. The more you treat the more you make, so quality of care suffers. In small towns, where demand is low, you will have a shortage of providers because they will be no incentive to provide for small population areas.

In order to compete, private providers will have to provide higher quality care than public providers. This includes innovating new treatments that are not on the Medicare schedule.

The private and public systems will have to compete for labor. If the Medicare schedule is set too low, a shortage of public providers will occur. It will require that the pricing be maintained at a level that is closer to the fair market price for the service.

I'm 100% behind the idea of putting your conditions on providers that accept Medicare, but I do not think the Government should have the right to dictate how much your services are worth. Allowing the private options gives individuals in medicine the choice of working for the government controlled system, or working for themselves.
Tickerguy
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A True American Patriot!
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That's ok ONCE EMTALA IS REPEALED.

That's phase 2 -- in the link at the bottom of this bill.

As it stands right now any provider must treat ANYONE who shows up in exigent circumstance. This means you can (and will!) be shunted to the "nearest" ER, etc -- and that would allow providers to set up financial rape-rooms where they don't take Medicare in inner cities, ****ing people wildly up the ass.

No, no and no. In Phase 2 there is no such problem because we have level pricing and EMTALA is gone.

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