More Thoughts on Events the Week of March 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 30, 2020

In my latest blog, I mentioned some long-term neglects that we are feeling the effects of acutely at this time. Here’s another one, perhaps the most important one.

Our sickcare system sucks: Despite all the happy talk from both political parties (Senator Sanders and a few others excepted), we have a crappy healthcare system. It is the most expensive in the world and it produces only average outcomes. And for all of this, our system doesn’t even cover all our citizens.

And don’t even get me started on Medicare Part D – the prescription drug portion. The doughnut hole was supposed to shrink to zero in a few years; it hasn’t. And generic drugs, the ones supposed to keep costs down, keep getting more and more expensive. This is Dubba’s fault. He supported the idea of drug insurance, but he was too craven to ask people to pay for it with a tax increase, or to let Medicare, the world’s largest drug purchaser, to negotiate prices, which is insane.

I have Medicare and a supplement (why?), so things work pretty well for me, though someone needs to explain to me why my supplemental insurance, which covers 20% of my costs, is more expensive than my Medicare premium that covers 80%. It’s a rhetorical question; I know the answer. It’s one of the reasons our system is so expensive.

Still, I have problems. The paperwork is voluminous. I get the occasional unexpected bill from some doctor who did something for me that is not covered by the insurance. Usually, I don’t even recognize the doctor’s name. I could be getting scammed for all I know.

We need a better, less expensive, more comprehensive system producing better outcomes. And we could have one, if the insurance industry didn’t have our legislators by the short and curlies. Let’s elect some braver ones.

We need a War Production Board*: When I was getting my MBA at Indiana University, I was fortunate that one of my professors had been a member of the War Production Board during WWII. Authorized by President Roosevelt, the WPB took control of much of our manufacturing capability, goosed it up and focused it on producing war material. We turned out astronomical numbers of planes, tanks, ships and much more over the course of the war, and this was on a much smaller industrial base than we have today. They got it done.

So, why are we struggling to produce ventilators, masks, gowns, etc. by the millions now? Don’t answer; it’s a rhetorical question, and we all know the answer.

*And another president. Or both.  

Sudden thought: I sense my blogs are getting edgier and angrier, but I seem to be getting less feedback.

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