Monday, August 17, 2009

Slogan: Obama Lies, Grandma Dies

Sarah Palin's "death panel" concept revisited:

The biggest problem with the Dem's health proposals is that they don't really try either to lower costs or to improve quality. Main point: no tort reform because the liberals are completely in bed with the trial lawyers, who extract a hundred billion-plus from our health system.

One fascinating development: hospitals in South America and India -- at least their top-tier hospitals -- are as good as MOST (not all) American hospitals. And insurance companies increasingly are flying people to New Delhi or Buenos Aires (and other sites) for operations. It turns out (rough numbers) that a heart bypass that costs $35,000 in the U.S. might cost $8,000 in India. Thus, the return flight tickets, the operation, and a short stay for recuperation can end up saving, say, $15,000 or more in costs.

The Economist had an article several months ago saying the number of Americans going to India or South America was nearly one million per year! They estimated the number could go to 10 million in the next decade or so. Start multiplying savings of $5 thousand or $10 thousand (or more) by ten million people, and the reduction in costs is immense.

If Americans see the numbers, which indicate they're not more likely to die in foreign hospitals, they are more inclined to take the trip. In some case, people are paying out of pocket (no health insurance) and saving money along with their lives appeal to them.

The Dem's health legislation is completely uncreative and basically will bring a meat-axe to medical costs. It will ration according to age and other statistical factors before it makes economic promises it will not be able to keep.

Thus, Dr. Thomas Sowell is correct: the Dems won't technically refuse care; instead, they will just refuse to pay for expensive treatments. The refusal to pay will not be a "death panel" as such, but it will have the same effects.

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