Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Exceptionalism, American Presidents, British National Health Service, Canadian Health System, Dependency, Economic Issues, Free-Market, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, Medicare, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Quotes from American Presidents, Uncategorized

Watch “Why Obamacare Doesn’t Work As Promised” on YouTube

Posted in British National Health Service, Economic Issues, FDA, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, outcomes, outcomes measurement, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Protocols, Quality, Technology, Uncategorized

Should access to life-saving medicines be determined by economic evaluations? | TheHill

“My opportunity finally came. In April 2018, I was one of a few hundred cystic fibrosis patients to dose in a pivotal phase III clinical trial to evaluate a new drug designed to correct CFTR, the dysfunctional protein responsible for CF. The medication, two pills in the morning, and one at night worked almost immediately.

Within a few hours, the viscosity of my usually thick, sticky mucus changed; within a week, the constant cough I had lived with for my entire life nearly vanished, and within a month, my pulmonary function tests skyrocketed. I could finally breathe.

Instead of heading towards end-stage illness, disability income, and an end to my fight with cystic fibrosis, Trikafta, as the drug came to be named, saved my life.

A disturbing trend is washing over the United States, though. Insurers are using economic analyses based on a discriminatory cost-effectiveness metric called Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY) as negotiating leverage to limit access to life-changing medications.

A 2018 article in Health Affairs said, “QALY calculations inherently privilege treatments that extend the lives of those who can be restored to perfect health, and disadvantage the many who seek life-extending treatments despite having a disability or chronic condition that is not curable.”

But, QALY is not adequately able to quantify what happened in my own life — my journey from near end-stage illness and no hope for a future to correctly managed CF and entrance into an elite graduate program. Living in a world where I would not have had the chance to dose Trikafta sends a shiver down my spine.

That world, however, has existed in countries where QALY has been used to justify not covering CFTR modulators for people with CF. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) makes QALY calculations to determine which medications are covered by the nation’s National Healthcare Service. In 2016, NICE decided that Orkambi, a previous CFTR modulator iteration, was not cost-effective for its citizens.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/477547-should-access-to-life-saving-medicines-be-determined-by-economic

Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, big government, British National Health Service, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Dependency, Economic Issues, Education, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Leadership, Medical Costs, medical inflation, Medicare, outcomes, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Reforming Medicare, Uncategorized

4 Questions for Politicians Claiming Single-Payer Will Lower Health Care Costs – Foundation for Economic Education

Unfortunately, outrage buys fewer tongue depressors than one might hope. The top health insurers averaged 4.1 percent profit in 2017 (per Yahoo Finance). That’s taken on half (at most) of spending for-profit insurers handle. Eliminating those profits would save about 2 percent. Since health care gets 4.5 percent more expensive every year, that would in effect roll prices back to last August.


The UK saw costs risewhen it launched the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. Health Minister Aneurin Bevan bought doctors off (“stuffed their mouths with gold”) to win support for it. Pent-up demand put it over budget immediately. In the first year, it spent 32 times what it had planned for eyeglasses. It had to raise salaries to attract more nurses. Prime Minister Clement Attlee pleaded over the radio with citizens not to overburden the system.

https://fee.org/articles/how-we-know-single-payer-wont-lower-health-care-costs/

Posted in Access to healthcare, British National Health Service, Economic Issues, Evidence-based Medicine, Free-Market, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

Bloomberg, Opinion: “Healthcare is a business, not a right.”

This piece by Megan McArdle is one of the best treatises I’ve read on the economic conundrums facing healthcare and the philosophical wars that rage on around it. Despite the altruistic disguises that insulate much of centrally controlled healthcare systems financed by other people’s money, the price tag is still a consideration; not to mention freedom of choice is largely absent in those top-down budgeted systems.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-08-23/health-care-is-a-business-not-a-right

THE DIRECT PRIMARY CARE JOURNAL

“The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.” That comes from the Twitter feed of personal finance writer Helaine Olen. But it could have issued straight from the heart of any progressive in the land. Subjecting health care to the sordid whims of the marketplace strikes many people as simply immoral.

opinionAUGUST 23, 2016 – “The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.”

That comes from the Twitter feed of personal finance writer Helaine Olen. But it could have issued straight from the heart of any progressive in the land.  Subjecting health care to the sordid whims of the marketplace strikes many people as simply immoral. Nor is this feeling confined to the left. Conservatives may be less enthusiastic about socialized medicine, but talk to one about the health care system…

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Posted in Access to healthcare, British National Health Service, Cartoons, Economic Issues, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Healthcare financing, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized, Wait times to see a doctor

The U.K.’s Government-Run Healthcare System Is Working Wonderfully…for Bureaucrats | International Liberty

Hundreds of NHS managers have amassed million-pound pension pots while presiding over the worst financial crisis in the history of the health service… As patients face crippling delays for treatment, A&E closures and overcrowded wards, bureaucrats have quietly been building up huge taxpayer-funded pensions. They will be handed tax-free six-figure lump sums on retirement, and annual payouts from the age of 60 of at least £55,000 – guaranteed for life.

Nearly 300 directors on NHS trust boards have accrued pension pots valued at £1million or more; At least 36 are sitting on pots in excess of £1.5million – with three topping a staggering £2 million; The NHS pays a staggering 14.3 per cent on top of employees’ salary towards their pension – almost five times the average of 3 per cent paid in the private sector…

Back in 2013, I got very upset when I learned that senior bureaucrats at the IRS awarded themselves big bonuses, notwithstanding the fact that the agency was deeply tarnished by scandal because of …

Source: The U.K.’s Government-Run Healthcare System Is Working Wonderfully…for Bureaucrats | International Liberty