American Elephants

It Begins! by The Elephant's Child
March 18, 2010, 2:05 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care, Law | Tags: , ,

Seattle — Effective April 16, Walgreen drugstores across the state will not accept any new Medicaid patients.  Filling their prescriptions is a money-losing  proposition.  This is the latest development in an ongoing controversy over Medicaid reimbursement.

The company which has 121 stores in the state, says they will continue to serve existing patients, but will accept no new Medicaid patients.  The state, Walgreen says, reimburses at less than 95 percent of break even price on brand name medications.

Liberals who have never operated or worked in the private economy have a hard time grasping the most basic elements of business.  You can’t keep operating a business at a loss.

Patients may have problems now, finding a doctor who will accept Medicaid, and it is sure to grow worse, as reimbursements drop.  Forty three percent of doctors have said that they will leave medicine if ObamaCare passes.  Many states are already in trouble with their Medicaid programs.

Myths and Fables of Emergency Room Treatment. by The Elephant's Child

One of the prevalent myths out there is that the uninsured use emergency rooms for primary health care.  Once they have their own health insurance, they will have regular doctors.  Better care, costs will decline.  Unfortunately, it simply is not true.

Robert Samuelson writes in The Washington Post about “Obama’s illusions of cost control.”

One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving “universal health coverage.” The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the insured accounted for 83 percent of emergency-room visits, reflecting their share of the population. After Massachusetts adopted universal insurance, emergency-room use remained higher than the national average, an Urban Institute study found. More than two-fifths of visits represented non-emergencies. Of those, a majority of adult respondents to a survey said it was “more convenient” to go to the emergency room or they couldn’t “get [a doctor’s] appointment as soon as needed.” If universal coverage makes appointments harder to get, emergency-room use may increase.

Insuring the uninsured does not dramatically improve the nation’s health.  It results, according to the literature in modest health gains.  Claims that the uninsured suffer tens of thousands of premature deaths are open to question.

Obama based much of his Ohio health care speech on a woman who dropped her health insurance because of the cost.  She was then diagnosed with leukemia. Obama made much of her fear of an inability to find treatment and her fear that she would lose her home.  Yet she had already been accepted as a patient at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the great Medical Centers, and she was in no danger of losing her home and would get some of the finest care available.

Mr. Samuelson includes the following quotation:

“What we need from the next president is somebody who will not just tell you what they think you want to hear but will tell you what you need to hear.”

— Barack Obama, Feb. 27, 2008

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