HEALTH CARE $$$$: Charlie Rose viewers, misused and misled!

THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2017

Part 3—Nothing should change, they are told:
Let's imagine a situation which could never exist.

Briefly, imagine this:

On average, Americans are paying $30,000 for mid-sized four-door sedans. Through BREAKING NEWS on some "cable news" channel, we learn that consumers elsewhere in the developed world are paying $10,000 to $14,000 for the very same set of cars!

The channel reports that the over-payments in this country have been caused by a previously undisclosed set of surcharges. The looted money has been doled out to a range of high-income elites.

You're right! That situation could never occur. No "cable news" channel would blow the whistle on a scam like that! Dearest darlings, use your heads! It simply isn't done!

It's also true that this situation could never develop to begin with. Word would spread that U.S. consumers were getting screwed compared, let's say, to their neighbors in Canada. People would hear about his scam and they'd be plenty mad.

The situation we've imagined could pretty much never exist. That said, a similar situation seems to obtain in the realm of health care.

To all intents and purposes, American citizens are never told about the size of this massive scam. The size of the scam is captured in the following data—in this remarkable data set, which is constantly disappeared by our "mainstream press:"
Our most persistently disappeared data:
Per capita spending, health care, 2015

United States: $9451
Canada: $4608
Australia: $4420
France: $4407
Japan: $4150
United Kingdom: $4003
Finland: $3984
Italy: $3272
Spain: $3153
South Korea: $2488
Performing as real journalists would, we've omitted Germany, the only large developed nation which spent even half as much, per person, as we did Over Here. For fuller data, click here.

The Germans spent $5267 per person that year. We're including little Finland for the obvious reason:

Over the past fifteen years, we've been told to emulate the miraculous Finns—but only when doing so serves the interests, and supports the policy outlooks, of major U.S. elites.

We aren't encouraged to notice the fact that the Finns spent 42% as much as we did on health care in 2015. In fact, very few Americans have ever been exposed to that or to any similar fact. Within the mainstream American press, it simply isn't done!

This situation isn't a perfect match for our imagined situation involving those overpriced cars. These data show total spending on health care, not the price which is being paid for some specific product.

Still, the effect is largely the same. For unknown reasons, Americans spend massively more for health care than anyone else on the face of the earth. And uh-oh! As we noted on Tuesday, this overspending explains two major public policy problems which we pretend to discuss:

That massive overspending on health care explains why it has been so hard to achieve universal health coverage in this country. It also explains our annual federal deficits, which we've pretended to discuss for the past forty years.

As far as we know, Americans don't pay more than twice as much for the typical four-door sedan. We do spend more than twice as much as everyone else for a year of health care!

You'd almost think that American journalists would want to examine that startling fact. But if you thought that, you would of course be completely and majorly wrong.

We Americans spend more than twice as much as everyone else for health care! The data which illustrate this fact have been posted above—but those utterly remarkable data never appear in the mainstream press.

By apparent force of law, these utterly remarkable data are constantly disappeared.

All our journalistic elites know that these data mustn't be proffered. For a prime illustration of this practice, you should review the discussion which transpired last Thursday night on the Charlie Rose show.

Right there on PBS!

Rose spoke with Ezra Klein and Peter Orszag, two people who actually know what they're talking about. Within the first ninety seconds of the discussion, Klein had said that no one else does health coverage as poorly as we do.

"You could almost not do it worse than we do it," Klein cold-bloodedly said. He proceeded to say, as others have done, that France most likely does it best. (For links to the tape, see below.)

Klein said nobody does it worse—and he proceeded from there! After Klein announced that we're the worst, he and Orszag quickly agreed on the reason for our inflated health care spending:

Unlike the governments of all other developed nations, our government doesn't establish fixed prices for medical procedures and products. That's why we're the worst in the world, or so Klein and Orszag both said.

Already, just ninety seconds in, this was a very unusual discussion. We don't think we've ever seen a high-profile discussion in which the cause of our inflated medical spending was pinpointed in such a definitive way.

Were Orszag and Klein actually right in their shared assessment? We aren't even judging that! We're saying that, within the realm of the upper-end press, discussions of this type are rarely allowed to exist.

At any rate, we'd been told that we are the worst, and that France is the best. We'd also been told that we spend too much because our government has failed to perform a function which all others perform.

The discussion seemed to be cooking with gas. Then the collapse occurred.

Instantly, Orszag made the statement shown below. It followed directly on the material we quoted in yesterday's report.

Ezra is right, the gentleman said. Also, we can assume that nothing will ever be done!
KLEIN (6/25/17): The thing that every one of these countries has in common, every single one, is that in one way or another, in one way or another, they set prices centrally. Every single country that is a developed democracy—just a developed country, except for the United States, the—

ROSE: They set prices on—

KLEIN: The government says, "Here is how much, here is how much an MRI is going to cost. Here is how much a Xanax is going to cost." No matter how they do it—and that is the key thing that makes all of them cheaper. And when it's cheaper, then you have a lot more room how you design insurance.

[...]

ORSZAG: First of all, Ezra is absolutely right. The reason that U.S. health care costs more than other countries, it's not, as is often repeated, that we do more here. It's that what we do, the prices are much higher.

And so, if we take for granted that we're not going to intervene directly in some big way just to set the prices because we have a different history and what have you, there is still so much we can do to try to get more efficiency out of health care that we're not doing.
Say what? Just like that, we were told that we can "take for granted" that our government isn't going to do what everyone else has done. According to Orszag, we can take that for granted "because we have a different history and what have you."

Just like that, Orszag announced this decree. Through the rest of the nine-minute discussion, his assumption was never challenged, examined, critiqued, perused, poked at or discussed.

As if that decree wasn't striking enough, the discussion moved downhill from there. Before they were done, Klein and Orszag had agreed that every other developed nation is "free-riding" (translation: "freeloading") off the medical innovation we pay for through our over-spending.

Consumers in every other nation are "free-riding" off our inflated spending! But so what? The pair were in agreement again—this massive American over-spending is the way things should be done!

The fellows agreed that nothing (much) will change; they even seemed to agree that nothing (much) should change. And do we have to tell you this:

No one made the slightest attempt to define the size of our overspending! No one posted, described or mentioned the remarkable data we've posted above. As if by rule of Hard Pundit Law, those data were disappeared.

Tomorrow, we'll run you through the steps we've just outlined. We'll see Rose's PBS viewers told that nothing major is going to change, even that nothing major should change. We'll also see them kept from knowing the size of this ludicrous problem.

By the time this discussion was done, our youthful analysts were moaning and tearing their hair. This was upper-end discourse at its worst. Skillfully, Charlie enabled.

The data we've shown you were of course disappeared last Thursday night. Even worse: at one point, Klein cited a familiar statistic—a statistic which massively seems to understate the size of our overspending.

Orszag kept saying how "optimistic" he is about the attempt to control health care spending. But wouldn't you know it? He never told those PBS viewers how massive the problem is.

By law, "news consumers" can't be told about the size of the looting which assails us in the realm of health care. Last Thursday night, three major insiders adhered to this well-known law.

Tomorrow: Seduced, misled, abandoned, left clueless

Tale of the tape: To watch the videotape of this discussion, you can just click here.

The full segment ran 21 minutes. The discussion of our health care spending starts at the 12-minute mark.

9 comments:

  1. This is silly! That situation does exist with respect to many consumer items. The extra surcharge occurs as a tariff and it goes to our government. No one is upset about it, although some people do go buy their cars in Europe and have them shipped back to the US (and even with shipping pay less for their cars). What world does Somerby inhabit that he doesn't know about export/import fees and tariffs?

    It would be nice to pay less for healthcare. We would pay less if we lived in another country. But then we would also have to adjust to the many other things that are different in those places. Some of those things affect health care costs. Others do not. But we pay what we do because we run our country differently and our economy is different and our culture is different. You can tinker with some of those things (and probably should) but writing silly columns like this that scream that we are being looted because other countries pay different amounts is just plain stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Bob is right and you are wrong. Please read Dean Baker's book about how we can pay less for our healthcare and end the looting by special interests using the government to distort markets to line their pockets with our healthcare dollars:

      https://deanbaker.net/books/rigged.htm

      Delete
    2. Anon. @ 12:27: I take it that you are comfortable with the high salaries of people like Rick Scott while head of United Health Care, a period in which Medicare overcharges (fraud) were a regular phenomenon?
      A great deal of the money of which Bob refers as "a massive scam" goes to the CEOs of the insurance companies, as well as the bureaucracy of those companies. Do you feel that those salaries are justified, that that bureaucracy is needed?

      Delete
    3. What is silly is comparing healthcare to just another consumer item.

      Delete
    4. 12:27 PM,
      This stuff doesn't just "happen". It's baked into the game.
      There is a reason factory workers have to compete on a global scale, while professionals don't. Most of it starts on K Street (where the lobbyists who work for these professionals write our laws).

      Delete
    5. THIS IS GENUINE. NO SCAM. Hi! My name is Myriam Boyer. I want to tell my testimony to the whole world how this great and powerful man called great baba helped me to bring back my partner. My man left me for another lady for five years. I almost gave up until my friend advised me and introduced me to this great man whom she met on the internet. I never believed at first but she encouraged me and i tried to believe and contacted him on his email. I told and explained everything to him and he assured me that he will help me and that i should not worry too much. I believed him and i did all that he asked me to do which i did and it work perfectly and my husband came back to me begging for forgiveness. I am so happy and excited now. I discovered that when my husband came back he even loved me more than the way he used to love me before he left me. great baba opened up his eyes to see how much i love him and how much love we ought to share together as one. This is not brain washing contact great baba now on his email: Highersolutiontemple@yahoo.com

      AND YOU CAN ALSO CHECK HIM ON:

      Greatbabaofsolution.blogspot.com

      Highersolutiontemple.blogspot.com

      Delete
  2. Hey guys, I'm so excited of getting my husband back after he left me and our 3 kids for another woman. After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
    you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
    his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com ,
    Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey guys, I'm so excited of getting my husband back after he left me and our 3 kids for another woman. After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
    you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
    his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com ,
    Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA .

    ReplyDelete
  4. my name is Mark Godwin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his website http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com} if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com

    ReplyDelete