Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Chart of the Day

Many lefties argue that the flaw in American healthcare is the instance on private, not government, funding. Yet, as I've written:
America does not have purely private healthcare: in 2004, government paid about 70 percent of medical costs for households earning below the poverty line, and about half of all healthcare expenditures.
Last week, WILLisms cited a late-2007 chart confirming the point:

source: Heritage Foundation

Expect the trend to accelarate. As Will Franklin says:
Sure, patient-centered and market-driven reforms would save consumers and taxpayers money while delivering higher quality care and generating more innovation, but it will take a conservative President, a strong conservative majority in the House, and 60 conservative Senators to accomplish that kind of reform.
(via Maggie's Farm)


OBloodyHell said...

> and 60 conservative Senators to accomplish that kind of reform.

Don't be daft!

It would take at least *80*, just to find *60* of them with the @%$#$@%$# BALLS to stand up to the remaining Dems when they threatened to hold their breath until they got their way.

This ain't your father's GOP.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., looking close at that chart, about half of it is "projected".

Proper information presentation should have had it do something slightly more obvious (i.e., a minor color or background change) that those numbers weren't "Now".

Not a big deal, but I don't like charts like that -- they beg to be misread. When the data transitions from statistics to guesswork, that's a time to call attention to that fact.

OBloodyHell said...

And no, adding the word "projected" at the bottom isn't sufficient, since that's not where your eyes are drawn to in the graph. Reading in those areas tends to be done by peripheral vision rather than conscious thinking.

Thai said...

Your readers comments suggest they do not understand the problem at all.

For those who are conservatives and are interested in an intelligent read along their own views, I suggest the following blog:


For those who use the word "progressive" a lot and like a read along their lines, I suggest the following blog:


The absolute truth is that this issue cannot be solved by either government or free market (unless you literally want to view people dying in the streets) as it is being caused by the behavior of Americans themselves. As long as we have third party payment systems which consumers can use however and whenever they want, whether these third party payers are public or private, we will have the same problem. Blaming either government or the free market for this issue is a little like blaming one or the other for our drug problem. Who is at fault? And patient free choice will not solve this either (again,unless you literally want to view people dying in the streets, in which case it will).

What is your aesthetic?

OBloodyHell said...

Thai, you need to actually present your arguments a bit more before I'm going to hare off to another blog to see your arguments or claims fleshed out further.

Don't hesitate to fill a screen with your arguments, we all do it around here. This isn't a one-liner blog for the most part.

No one around here would agree with an anarchist that no government is the ideal state.

We just realize that the Government makes a really lousy donkey to pull the Cart of Society where we want it to go. The Free Market donkey is much more flexible, much more robust, and faster to respond to sudden changes in conditions.

Government works better as the operator of the carrot and stick, (and that for general purposes only) to nudge the donkey "thataway!".

The claims made around here about socialist healthcare relate to an awareness of how absolutely lousy both the Canadian and British "health care" systems really, really are, and how both are now to the point where they are openly denying lifesaving operations, diagnostics, and treatments to people.

It says a lot to realize that, in 1990, the nation of Canada, a fairly wealthy nation on a per capita level, had all of FOUR CAT scan machines to serve 30 million citizens. The US state of Tennessee, a relatively poor state, also had four CAT scanners... to serve FIVE million residents.

As far as "dying in the street", While NOT protected by insurance I've gotten *two* CAT scans, an MRI, at least one EKG leading to a dye injection and a heart flow analysis. All pretty much immediately following/investigating back problems.

Not bad for "uninsured", is it?
(No, the hospital wasn't happy I couldn't pay the bill at the time, but that was the end of it)

Meanwhile, up in Canada, there are 40yo women with suspected tumors being defacto denied CAT scans ("18 month wait") which could (and did, since she went to Buffalo and paid for it herself) reveal a tumor needing immediate surgery (ALSO defacto denied).

Yet that's the system The Left holds up as a "model system" and wants to push towards.


I suspect we've got a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't around here, and if you think you can educate us differently, you're going to have to take the time to make a case for it yourself before we're going to trust your pointers-to-elsewhere which are generic and nonspecific in nature (i.e., a link to an article justifying a particular point is one thing. A link to a blog's main page isn't).

P.S. Avoid using the NYTimes, the LATimes, etc., as sources. They aren't well thought of as reliable.

Thai said...

Why would you write a lengthy response to someone yet not read their links?

As for your apparent view of private vs. government health care in America, which I assume are something along the lines : government "bad" while private "good", I might summarize your entire story as "it is always better to live in a rich country than a poor one".

But I might ask you to think about your confidence in this A, therefore B, therefore C logic path by simply answering the following basic question: "when you didn't pay your bill for all that expensive health care, who do you think ultimately paid the hospital for the uncompensated care?"

You response suggests how much you understand health care in America.

Understanding health care ALWAY requires first defining "whose point of view are you looking at it from?"

Thai said...

Sorry, I just realized I didn't actually state my point about health care.

My point is:
1. There is way too much of care that we do not really get all that much value from.
2. We need to start rationing care.
3. Whether the body that makes rationing decisions is public or private is really irrelevant.
4. If it was private, what kind of issues would male you trust their decisions when it came to life and well being of you and your family. (would you trust them if you found out they were risk managers for AIG?)
5. If we rationed care, and it is rationed on your family, what elements of a rationing system would destroy your trust in those decisions?

I might add that IF you trusted a rationing system and understood these things like most of us in health care understand them, I suspect NICE is exactly the kind of system you would want/trust (whether you are liberal or conservative).

But if it makes you feel safer to keep something like NICE private instead of public, fine. But I would suggest you are really making an aesthetic argument over a substantive one.

In fact, in many ways, I think it is very hard to be conservative and be anti NICE.

For the record I am most decidedly NOT an anarchist.

Carl said...


No one said America doesn't now ration healthcare. The questions are whether we're getting what we pay for and whether the alternative systems, which ration by queue or technology, are better.