Sunday, January 18, 2015

Response to free healthcare, free legal advice, free accounting

A couple of days ago, after it was suggested that all healthcare be “free” a “heart surgeon” friend responded. In its entirety, here is that response:

As an endocrine and oncologic surgeon (subspecialties of General Surgery), I did about 350-400 cases a year. Most full time heart surgeons probably do 200-250 per year. Don't know where you got your information that heart surgeons do fewer than 20 cases a year -- wouldn't even be able to pay for your med-mal insurance doing that number of cases. Also, that heart surgeon may actually save 150 patient's lives per year while the GP saves one or two. Which is more valuable when you consider that dynamic?

You can find countries where all of those services are provided free of charge-- North Korea and Cuba come to mind. Are you really going to trust someone from the Federal government to write your will, for example? Your family might be surprised to find out that your entire estate had been left to the IRS/ John Koskinen personal fund. Would those sent to provide those free services have your best interests in mind?

You are correct about there being no such thing as "free" health care. In those single payer systems, it is the government which is most invested in keeping costs down and they do that by rationing care. Reimbursement to physicians constitutes only about 8% to 9% of total health care costs in this country and is NOT the driving force or primary cause of rising health care costs.

NOTES/QUESTIONS: A couple of days ago, the reference to heart surgeons being able to count their cases on fingers and toes was not to belittle heart surgeons or the numbers of annual patients. John Koskinen is the current IRS Commissioner. What about the medical providers also being the insurers? Wouldn’t that keep healthcare costs down? And, in disagreement, we do not know how many GPs actually save lives a year, especially if they do all the things necessary to keep patients healthy. Usually, the heart surgeon is a specialist who treats the patients when the GP has done all he/she can do.
-------------------- word of the day
totidem verbis (latin) [TAW-ti-dem WER-bees; Eng . TOT-i-dem VUR-bis]: with just so many words; in these words

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