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The California Joint Replacement Registry collects data on device efficacy, surgical techniques, and patient outcomes for hip and knee replacements. A new report details how this CHCF-sponsored effort is faring.
Susan: You said, "Hopefully, our technical and human progress in caring for elders will improve and thus cost less."Costs for care technologies almost always increase, not decrease. The only way to lower the overall cost of care for government is to ration it, withhold it altogether, or make someone else pay for it, like employers. Usually, employers are government's favorite chump to stick with these costs, but that just increases inflation for everyone as employers have to pass on those costs in the form of higher prices. People have forgotten that there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you give or promise something to someone, you have to either pay for it yourself or have the power to take money from someone else to pay for it.
Susan: You said, "You said, "In addition, with greater longevity, people may not perceive dying as the enemy and may be more willing to forego the very expensive end-of-life care that many people receive today. "That's easy to say when it's not YOU or YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS who we're talking about. I take care of very elderly and sometimes very sick individuals in my work. I can tell you from experience that the majority of people facing their own end of life or that of their parents don't view the situation in the sort of "enlightened" way that you describe. Instead, quite the opposite is usually true: people facing death and their families treasure their lives and they cling to life tenaciously.
Susan: You said, "As we progress in treatment of many problems, we may be able to assume that the costs of those diseases/treatments may also be reduced."Unfortunately, the opposite is true. As we learn more and more about how to diagnose and treat people, there are more and more ways to spend money doing those things. We create more opportunities to spend, not fewer.
Jason: sounds like we pretty much agree. The idea that health care is an "entitlement" is a relatively new one. It was relatively easy (i.e. inexpensive) for politicians to make it an entitlement at first, but now that the true cost of doing so is so huge, they are looking for any way possible to shift the cost to others or to backpedal on how much care is actually available.
Yes, this finding does defy the principle that "prevention is cheaper than treatment." Longevity, however, may not be that much more expensive re: healthcare costs. As we progress in treatment of many problems, we may be able to assume that the costs of those diseases/treatments may also be reduced. In addition, with greater longevity, people may not perceive dying as the enemy and may be more willing to forego the very expensive end-of-life care that many people receive today. Hopefully, our technical and human progress in caring for elders will improve and thus cost less.
Tim, you have stumbled across one of my biggest problem with government payed health care. The money has to come from somewhere. The more people there are and the longer they live, the more outrageous the cost. Admin. alone becomes a nightmare. Also, how much "healthcare" is a person "entitled" to? How much does a person "need"? I have insurance. It has a $3000 deductable and will cover me up to $3 mil if something big happens. At that point, I can afford to pay that three grand off in under a year. I'm not rich. I'm self reliant. The stitches I've given myself scarred less than the ones doctors have given me and most of my injuries happen in where med. facilities are hours away (camping), anyway. When I get sick, I monitor and treat symtoms--I only see a doctor if ABSOLUTELY necessary for antibiotics prescriptions. Because of healthy living, it's been over a decade since I've had to and I don't think I should be taxed to support people who are less self sufficient.
Perhaps I misunderstood, but the tone of that reply sure sounded hostile, whereas I was merely making a factual observation.
"There's no such thing as a free lunch"By that I simply meant, if people live longer, and if the government has promised to pay for everyone's healthcare, then the government's cost for providing that care will be larger. That's all I meant. There's a simple logic to it.Do you somehow think that it's possible that the government's cost for providing healthcare will NOT go up if people live longer?
Tim C. Please explain "free." I haven't seen "free" anywhere in the ACA. Also curious how you access healthcare. Insured? Ever use your insurance? Perhaps your experience could tell us something about this problem of accessing affordable healthcare. So many cannot. Would you mind sharing?
There's no such thing as a free lunch, is there?
"...by 2085...causing the deficit to rise slightly." Knowing the misery caused by cigarettes,I say that's a slight rise worth having.
Kind of stating the obvious. Why be born at all? Really had a good chuckle at this one. Perhaps it's some left handed way to say we need a single-payer system for all so the risk pool is so huge, it wouldn't matter how long anybody lived. Best article of the day
As I have proposed many times in the face of analytical research such as this - shoot the sick and old people. It's cheaper. In fact shoot the smokers, drug addicts and motorcylce riders who don't use helmets, drivers who don't wear seat belts. They can drive the cost of health care up even faster than just getting older.
The most important word in this report is at the end of the 2nd paragraph above. If we want people to die off quicker,let's hand out meth in nursing homes!!What is the value of health and freedom from disease burden for an individual? How about societal costs of broken families,medical bankruptcies, disabilities?This CBO report is simplistically flawed--but that won't keep Philip Morris from using it to lie about tobacco taxes--just as they did in Europe and elsewhere.
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