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ACA Fail Fractal
ACA Co-Ops Dropping Like Flies
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  • theresanursemom

    We waste a fortune on end of life treatment and procedures that have little benefit for the patient but allow doctors and hospitals to make money with little real benefit to the patients or public at large. For example, the 90 year old dementia patient who breaks a hip and then undergoes major surgery only to die in less than a year anyway, but incurs six figure medicare bills in the process while not being able to enjoy any real quality of life after the injury. I’ve seen this happen myself lots of times in my profession. we spend a killing on treating symptoms of various disease processes but virtually nothing on the prevention end of the spectrum. Certainly the drug companies love it when seriously debilitated elderly people with dementia are given 10 to 20 different prescriptions that will do nothing to enhance the quality of what remains of their lives, but will cost the taxpayers billions as well. The legal profession and deluded-by-emotion family members play a part in this problem as well, as they force the doctors to practice defensive medicine that pulls out all the stops and spares no expense in staving off the inevitable for a little while longer and almost always prolongs the misery of the patient in the process. I suspect that fully half of the government money spent on medical care is outright waste in terms of real beneficial effect. Until this situation is addressed seriously, the sinkhole will only grow larger.

    • Dale Fayda

      The operative sentence in your post is “…government money spent on medical care is outright waste in terms of real beneficial effect.” Every major aspect of human endeavor controlled in part or in whole by any government (Democrats, Republicans, anarchists, fascists, space aliens from Mars – doesn’t matter) will end up in shambles. Everywhere, every time.

      Moreover, when you say “We waste a fortune on end of life treatment and procedures that have little benefit for the patient…”, who is “we”? The patients who want to live or their families who want their loved ones to live? Whose choice should it be when to pull the plug on you or on one of your family members – yours or the government’s? My life is my own, how and when I chose to end it is up to me and my family – no one else, least of all to the zombies of the vicious administrative state. Would you like to be written off and wheeled into a “death ward” when some government paper pusher decides that his quarterly bonus is more important than your last few weeks on this earth, a la the VA? Not me, sister!

      Government doesn’t belong is health care at all, with a possible exception of states/municipalities providing emergency medical care for the truly indigent. And even that point can be debated.

      More to the point of the title of this article, however. I really came here to gloat over how reality always kicks liberalism in the face. “It’s working! Forward!” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha….!

      • theresanursemom

        When I say, “We” I am referring to the taxpayers who pay the bills. It’s one thing to pay for a patient’s various medicine if that person has a reasonably sound mind and has some function and quality of life remaining. It’s another entirely to do so for someone who has advanced dementia and is completely dependent for all aspects of their existence. It’s easy to accept all kinds of heroic and expensive, yet futile, effort when someone else is paying for it, and if someone wants that for their loved one and they are willing to pay for it themselves, then by all means let them do so. In long term care I see all too many families who barely ever come to see their family member, but still want no expense spared to keep them alive or the lawyers will get involved either out of a sense of guilt or cynical financial opportunism. That’s no way to run a healthcare system either. The government shouldn’t tell someone whether they can live or die, but also shouldn’t blindly waste resources on patients who have nothing to gain but the endurance of more suffering. Why in the hell are the taxpayers paying for Statin drugs and a feeding tube for a 92 year old who lingers in a semi-vegetative state? I could give hundreds of examples of outright foolishness like this after 21 years as a nurse, but you get my point.

        • Dale Fayda


          So the logical solution to “government waste” is to remove the government from the equation, right? If you have a problem with “taxpayers”, i.e. the government wasting their money, which they have arbitrarily confiscated from the taxpayers, then the only way to go is have parties other than government pay, right? Either the government pays or it doesn’t, right? If the government pays, then it calls the shots on who lives or dies, right?

          Once again, would you volunteer yourself to be “put out of your misery” when some government hack decides that enough of “taxpayers’ money” has been spent on you?

          Whatever the families’ of individual’s motivations are for keeping their loved ones alive (or not), they’re not of yours or anyone else’s business, ESPECIALLY the government’s. If the government is not in the payment equation, then it has no say; it it is, it does, with demonstrably horrible results (see the VA).

          Which do you prefer?

    • Jim__L

      This is why a noticeable fraction of the costs of medical treatment have to be covered by the beneficiaries of that treatment — cost-free decisions cannot be rational.

    • Kevin

      To be fair much of this end of life treatment is demanded by patients and/or their family, not just or even principally health care providers trying to pad their income.

  • Jim__L

    Come on Via Meadia, join in the chorus. You’ve earned this!
    Sung to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, first movement… Allegro con brio, everyone! =D

    I told you so
    I told you so
    I told you so, I told you so, I told you so
    I told you so, I told you so, I told you so
    I told you so (I told you so)
    I told you so (I told you so)
    I told
    I told!

    If you think that would be beneath the dignity of the august American Interest, you could instead sing those words to the second movement (Andante con moto), whose gentle, well-measured, and majestic strains reflect the sort of patient and profound grandeur to which TAI aspires. 😉

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