Bitter Pill: The Exorbitant Prices Of Health Care

Tyler Durden's picture

Instead of asking the endless question of "who should pay for healthcare?" Time magazine's cover story this week by Steve Brill asks a much more sensible - and disturbing question - "why does healthcare cost so much?" While it will not come as a surprise to any ZeroHedge reader - as we most recently noted here - this brief clip on the outrageous pricing and egregious profits that are destroying our health care quickly summarizes just how disastrous the situation really is.  A simplified perspective here is simple, as with higher education costs and student loans: since all the expenses incurred are covered by debt/entitlements, there is no price discrimination which allows vendors to hike prices to whatever levels they want. From the $21,000 heartburn to "giving our CT scans like candy," Brill concludes "put simply, with Obamacare we’ve changed the rules related to who pays for what, but we haven’t done much to change the prices we pay."

 

Via Time,

The $21,000 Heartburn Bill

One night last summer at her home near Stamford, Conn., a 64-year-old former sales clerk whom I’ll call Janice S. felt chest pains. She was taken four miles by ambulance to the emergency room at Stamford Hospital, officially a nonprofit institution. After about three hours of tests and some brief encounters with a doctor, she was told she had indigestion and sent home. That was the good news. The bad news was the bill: $995 for the ambulance ride, $3,000 for the doctors and $17,000 for the hospital — in sum, $21,000 for a false alarm.

"Giving out CT Scans like candy..."

The costs associated with high-tech tests are likely to accelerate. McKinsey found that the more CT and MRI scanners are out there, the more doctors use them. In 1997 there were fewer than 3,000 machines available, and they completed an average of 3,800 scans per year. By 2006 there were more than 10,000 in use, and they completed an average of 6,100 per year. According to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the use of CT scans in America’s emergency rooms “has more than quadrupled in recent decades.” As one former emergency-room doctor puts it, “Giving out CT scans like candy in the ER is the equivalent of putting a 90-year-old grandmother through a pat-down at the airport: Hey, you never know.”

 

Selling this equipment to hospitals — which has become a key profit center for industrial conglomerates like General Electric and Siemens — is one of the U.S. economy’s bright spots. I recently subscribed to an online headhunter’s listings for medical-equipment salesmen and quickly found an opening in Connecticut that would pay a salary of $85,000 and sales commissions of up to $95,000 more, plus a car allowance. The only requirement was that applicants have “at least one year of experience selling some form of capital equipment.”

When you follow the money, you see the choices we’ve made, knowingly or unknowingly.

Over the past few decades, we’ve enriched the labs, drug companies, medical device makers, hospital administrators and purveyors of CT scans, MRIs, canes and wheelchairs. Meanwhile, we’ve squeezed the doctors who don’t own their own clinics, don’t work as drug or device consultants or don’t otherwise game a system that is so gameable. And of course, we’ve squeezed everyone outside the system who gets stuck with the bills.

 

We’ve created a secure, prosperous island in an economy that is suffering under the weight of the riches those on the island extract.

 

And we’ve allowed those on the island and their lobbyists and allies to control the debate, diverting us from what Gerard Anderson, a health care economist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says is the obvious and only issue: “All the prices are too damn high.”

The health care market is not a market at all.

It’s a crapshoot. Everyone fares differently based on circumstances they can neither control nor predict. They may have no insurance. They may have insurance, but their employer chooses their insurance plan and it may have a payout limit or not cover a drug or treatment they need. They may or may not be old enough to be on Medicare or, given the different standards of the 50 states, be poor enough to be on Medicaid.

 

If they’re not protected by Medicare or protected only partially by private insurance with high co-pays, they have little visibility into pricing, let alone control of it. They have little choice of hospitals or the services they are billed for, even if they somehow knew the prices before they got billed for the services. They have no idea what their bills mean, and those who maintain the chargemasters couldn’t explain them if they wanted to.

 

How much of the bills they end up paying may depend on the generosity of the hospital or on whether they happen to get the help of a billing advocate. They have no choice of the drugs that they have to buy or the lab tests or CT scans that they have to get, and they would not know what to do if they did have a choice.

 

They are powerless buyers in a sellers’ market where the only consistent fact is the profit of the sellers.

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Anusocracy's picture

Use the the term free market economy.

It's harder for them to destroy its meaning.

miker's picture

Had a basil cell skin cancer diagnosed on my back.  No big deal but needs to come off.  Dermatologist group doesn't DO surgery so they would refer me.  Get a call from a practice that does Moes.  This is high priced where they do the pathology real time to avoid having to take off any more skin than necessary.  Nice service if it's on your face but I don't give a shit on my back.  Moes costs big bucks.  Typically 2-3K for one small skin cancer.  And you have to lay around for 3-4 hours while they go back and forth, shaving/analyizing/shaving, etc.  I said bullshit on this and asked my first doctor for a reference for normal cutoff.  She said that's all I should have been referred for so I asked her why I was referred to a Moes specialist.  She didn't know and him/hawed around. 

So normal cutoff is still outrageous...around 6-700 bucks for a quick 10 minute surgery and stitch up.  And I can't just go in and get it cut off; have to have an initial appointment so the doctor can ask me a few questions and charge me another 150 bucks, I'm sure.

20 years ago I had one of these things on my back and the dermatologist took it off with liquid nitrogen.  Seems like the cost was around 150-200 buck.  Can't even find anyone doing that anymore. 

If you read the literature, Moes approach is 99% effective against recurrence, normal cutout about 95% and liquid nitrogen high 80's.  But this is basil cell which is nowhere near fatal.  Worse that can happen is it grows back down the road and you have it taken off again.

The system is broke!!

realitybiter's picture

Versante has a machine which they sell for $30k.  It optically (skin cancer) detects.   Of course the corrupt   FDA, in collusion with all service providers, won't allow this in the USA until your basil cell has metastisized to your brain and were buried 2016.  or 19...

 

Sounds to me like agood excuse for ski trip at Whistler...

Abolish the FDA.    or change the name.

f' dem Americans

future drug (co) Advocates

 

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Have your vit d level checked. Anything under 30 is definitely deficient and if you have recurring skin cancers I would shoot for greater than 50. Low vit d levels are correlated with skin cancer. 25 cents a day is well spent if it can prevent a recurrence. Vit D regulates cell death. Check it out and give the medical field less money.

Miffed;-)

Parrotile's picture

Along these lines, the following are interesting too - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706171500.htm and http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204172437.htm 

The question is, is endogenous better than exogenous?? Should we really be "popping another pill" or just being sensible with sun exposure, especially in the Winter months?? OUr current fear of the sun is having really bad consequences especially in Australia - the mindset "if you go out in the sun you will get cancer" has led to a major problem with osteoporosis - along with the calcium and magnesium deficiencies associated with our generally less than great diet!

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/the-great-aussie-paradox-vitamin-d-deficiency-rates-soar-20121023-282kg.html and

http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/stories/2012/01/16/vitamin-d-deficiency-strikes-one-third-of-australians

Tom_333's picture

Basal cell. Basal cell. Basal cell cancer.

ShrNfr's picture

Actually, its even worse than that. Now with the great "economies of scale" that are occuring, the docs are having to do a standard, one size fits all, batch of protocols. You present with A. That means you get test A1. Test A1 shows that there is some sort of asymptomatic condition B that used to be just watched. Now you require test B1. Guess what B1 shows C. You get the idea. I have had more useless rads in the past 24 months than I have had in the rest of my lifetime. Oh yeah, two more useless and expensive tests next week too.

lynnybee's picture

My mom still has the hospital bill from when my little sister was born.    in 1968 it only cost $361 to have a baby.    in the mid-1970's the family doctor charged $7 for the office visit.   

Seasmoke's picture

just got charged , with good heath coverage, $75 for cough medicine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (after paying $30 copay for Dr. to spend 4 minutes with me and write the note)

i dont know how most of the country is going to be able to hang on ???......i dont see any way

harami's picture

$105 for some Nyquil?  Fuck.

Seasmoke's picture

yeah some special cough medicine.....and i try also never to go to doctors.......but 31 days of severe sinus infection and drip is ENOUGH !!

 

OT Now people can see why i do not like public employees , mainly teachers, who think they should not even pay $5 for co pay and anything medicine for life !!

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Netti Pot. Changed my life, good likelihood it will help you. In use for a few thousand years.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8KOsNtpV8w

ceilidh_trail's picture

I am a direct provider with 30+ years critical care behind me. A big driver of costs are federal rules that we have to follow as well as inane, wasteful JCAH practices. Whatever these two push on us, private insurers follow. If we do not, we are heavily penalized. You would not believe the $$$$$$$ being thrown at EMRs. It is sickening when you look at benefit vs cost. Don't get me started on the suits that parasitically feed on the system. Most CEOs and other upper management are waaay overpaid even as us who give the care are constantly moaned at to do more with less. As stated, the supplier prices are also a joke. A hospital grade electrical receptacle costs us aprox $25-30. Why? Because they can. Also, way overengineered due again to CMS and JCAH. Gotta love CMS.gov....

TheLastMan's picture

It's an Austrian thing - hot money originating from unfettered government spending (beginning in the 60s) and federal reserve printing deflates the currency, inflates the applicable asset class, destroys price discovery and creates malinvestments. 

Take your pick  - Medicine, Housing, Military, Education, Sugar, Food, Munitions, Commodity1, Commodity2, Commodity3, et al.

So - let's add another 20 million Obamacare participants to the system and shake it up.

The result of these distortions is as much a natural law as anything, because physical resouces of value are being exchanged for intangible values. 

This will be corrected not by a god, or the God, or by any government official - cause and effect will eventually enforce it's own morality.

 

 

LetsGetPhysical's picture

Short term memory lose much? Did you already forget about the backroom deal that was cut between the whitehouse and drug companies to pass Obamacare? They don't oppose it and in return they're allowed to raise prices indefeinitely. Isn't facism grand.

realitybiter's picture

Liz Fowler wrote most of this POS called obamacare.  She is now fatass exec at J n J.  Transparent my ass.  No lobbyist - right.  The only thing more retarded than his policies are the idiots that voted for him and STILL defend him.  Pull your head out, clean off your ears and think!

realitybiter's picture

tell your drug pusher NO MORE!"

quit going to ER cuz you have the flu

 

somehow, for decades, we survived and thrived, with little more than common sense, mercury laden merthiolate and aspirin.

 

boycott modern medicine.  break it.  reset.  no patients.  they go broke.

riphowardkatz's picture

why wouldnt they go?  its free, right.

Praetorian Guard's picture

Had a major accident a few years ago, in ICU for many weeks. At the end of the day my bill was $120K. Insurance, based on contracts, settled for $5,000.00, of which I owed $1,200.00 bucks. Aspirin was being charged at $7.50 a pop just to give an example of the insanity...

silvereye's picture

ICU for "many weeks" for $5000......maybe $50,000?  But you do make the point people dont understand that CHARGES and PAYMENTS are far far apart....

If the ins only paid $5000 for "many weeks" of ICU then they got a fantastic deal.  I would not keep a healthy person in my spare room at home for less than that!

Z''s picture

Recently I required a special shampoo, and having used the same years ago I knew exactly what to buy.  In Thailand this shampoo (2% Ketoconazole) is commonly available.  I looked it up online, could buy it from an online retailer in Canada for around $8cad, but they won't ship to the U.S.

In order to get the shampoo, I had to go to the doctor to get a prescription.  Upon picking up the prescription, I paid $9+ for the shampoo... but the pharmacy kindly noted for me that "Your insurance saved you $22".  So the pharmacy price for this generic shampoo, as a prescription, is $31 and insurance picks up the $22 difference.  If that isn't an FDA scam I don't know what is.

silvereye's picture

What does the FDA have to do with it?  Is it not RX in Canada either?

Sometimes over the counter meds are actually more than scrips on a per pill basis..or the same.

In Thailand you can get anabolic steriods just by asking for them too...haha

 

Z''s picture

What does the FDA have to do with it?  How uninformed are you?  Here are just two examples:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047934/Price-ancient-remedy-Colchicine-goes-2-600-FDA-gives-approval.html

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=17&articleid=20110331_17_A11_Oklaho390983

The FDA creates crony market monopolies by limiting suppliers of Rx drugs in the United States.  Adding insult to injury, drug companies seeking approval are allowed to use GOVERNMENT FUNDED studies in their FDA proposals, so they aren't even having to fund all of their own studies, and they are seeking FDA approval for remedies that have been used for decades and longer.  It is a scam to limit competition and enrich the FDA-favored few against the drug consumers.

As to to Thai medical care, I have spoken with several US medical professionals who have expressed a very positive view of Thailand's medical system.  In fact, it is my understanding that they are a favored destination for 'medical tourism'.

I haven't been in the market for anabolic "steriods".  Maybe you have taken too many?

alfbell's picture

 

 

I know lots of folks don't like Wal-Mart, but this is fascinating.
This is spot-on.
... PLEASE, READ THIS TO THE END. IT IS VERY INTERESTING!!!

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March
17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco

K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private
employer, and most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and
keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought
bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are
Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur
at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground
work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart
to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans… Democrats,
Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,
it is now official that the majority of you are corrupt morons:

a. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234
years to get it right and it is broke.

b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to
get it right and it is broke.

c. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get
it right and it is broke.

d. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it
right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to
"the poor" and they only want more.

e. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44
years to get it right and they are broke.

f. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get
it right and it is broke.

g. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our
dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of
$24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get
it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our
throats while overspending our tax dollars.

AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED
WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end
up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' (they never read anything)
and their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.

AND

I know what's wrong. We have lost our minds to "Political Correctness"
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone please tell me what is wrong with all the people that
run this country!!!!!!

We're "broke" and can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless
etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now
Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do
they get any breaks.

AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children
going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill
without treatment, etc.

Imagine if the GOVERNMENT gave U. S. the same support they give to
other countries. Sad isn't it?

*99% of the people receiving this message won't have the guts to forward this.

*I'm one of the 1% -- I Just Did
BEING UNITED SAVES AMERICA!

Umh's picture

While I do agree with your thoughts it will help if you state your points perfectly to decrease arguements.

It should be "2. This works out to $20,928 revenue every minute!" instead of "2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!"

 

Phoenix_Rising's picture

If this country doesn't burn to the ground from second amendment issues this summer

Obamacare will finish it off once it's fully underway

riphowardkatz's picture

and now it will only cost a family of four $2700 penalty if they do not have insurance and they will not be able to be denied for prexisting conditions. unreal. 

world_debt_slave's picture

Ah, soylent green is the answer!

barroter's picture

MEDICAL TOURISM!

razorthin's picture

Inflation is bursting at the seams everywhere the official assholes refuse to look and refuse to include in the metric.  Afterall, what is Medicare but printed fiat?  What is that fiat the self-pay shovels out for his scripts worth?  Less.

I am in the health care IT industry.  Yes reimbursement models are complicated and regulatory compliance is expensive.  But let's not over-complicate the cause of the price trends, and let us not get distracted from the central issue: Artificial demand created by government.  How?  Borrowing and printing.

It's what ails us.

MedicalQuack's picture

Let's not forget the money insurers and all the other software folks make selling data.  Walgreens made short of $800 million selling data in 2010, and I'll give you a link to what I say aobut it, license and excise tax them.  I'm a healthcare blogger and write this stuff all the time.  United healthcare makes more money managing care than they do selling policies, all about analytics.  They sued DOD to get the big Tri-Care Contract and the former HHS executive given credit for writing the healthcare bill sits over at United at the Optima division as big VP.  That company has so many for profit subsidiaries from Can Reg that presented a device or a drug to the FDA all the way down to what the doctors get paid.  This is part of why the cost of healthcare is so high.  They drive it up through complexities with contracts, etc. and then come out and cry poor, and we know better than that. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2013/02/time-has-come-to-license-and-tax-...

The complexities of contracts is what does it.  Talk about how doctors have been squeezed..look at what the AAFP found, United paying doctors in some areas of the US less the Medicare..pulled off by a complext contract.

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-aafp-confronts-united-healthc...

Hospitals have beens squeezed too and you see them going out of business.  They want to keep it complex so they make money. 

That all being said we litteral No Brainers running HHS too.  A few months ago HHS and she even got Holder to sign the letter stating that doctors and and hospitals were cheating on their billing, brilliant Sebelius that doesn't understand a bit out IT infrastructure and how it moves money, unliked like United heatlhcare.  With medical record technologies doctors and hospitals can bill for their actual time now.  Of course there are fraudsters out there to be caught but most are not. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/09/hhs-and-doj-send-letters-to-hospi...

Then a couple months later this big annoucement about all the money they recovered. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2013/02/government-recovers-42-billion-in...

Next they come out at HHS and say hurry up with Health IT...it's a complex world and they don't understand how long sofware development takes in complext times, so what do you want to do, waterboard developers to get the code out of them sooner?

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2013/02/speed-up-rate-of-change-in-health...

Bottom line here it is IT infrastructure complexities that allows companies to play the government and they do it well sadly and we all pay.  There's no reason in the world that insurers and device and drug companies can't negotiate better to keep the consumer out of having to pick up big parts of the cost.  Medicare can't negotiate direct with drug companeis and they should be able to. 

I'm in the OC and there are specialists doing ok, but it's the family doctors getting hit with income and time.  I chatted with an ER MD and they are groups that contract with hospitals, the corporate ones and the group lost a contract so now she's running all over the country to work a week's shift here and another place next week as another ER doctor group got the contract and she has kids to take care of, so Vermont this week, California next week and who knows where after that, called Locum tenens in medical language.  It's sad and corporate USA is doing all of this for profit. 

Now witht their flawed data and analytics and shady reports they create they are using data out of context for risk assessments.  Since when did a credit score mined and combined with data mined off the web have the credibility to tell if you will be a patient who will take your prescriptions?  FCIO sells that crap to insurers and to pharma, so here we go, more cost for analytics that is BS and that runs up the tab a lot too.  There's good stuff but garbage too for the anaytics that are done to just make a buck.  They keep rolling data bases with others and selling to the next highest bidder and when the first data base is flawed, well you know how that goes.

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/11/big-dataanalytics-if-used-out-of....

Licensing and taxing the data sellers would be a good step to begin an algorithmic process (at that is what it is going to take) to begin moving some money from the 1% back to us 99%ers. 

Aunty Christ's picture

Amazing that nobody has mentioned one of the MAIN reasons why healthcare costs in this country are so much higher than anywhere else in the world: the US TORT system.

besnook's picture

there are certain basic components necessary for a functioning pricing mechanism. a for profit health care system doesn't have elasticity of demand, marginal utility or substitutes or complements. any human is willing to give their last dollar for life therefore the industry can charge whatever that last dollar is and have a willing consumer. a cash system can be abused just as much as an insurance model but there is more money in an insurance model(which is why obamacare will not be repealed).

the rest of the developed world and much of the undeveloped world have realized this simple economic fact with a single payer type system which simply has less flaws than a for profit model, is much more effective in a cost benefit analysis in terms morbidity and mortality per dollar and to prevent the industry from being a blood sucking(yuk, yuk) parasite on the economy.

besides that, universal healthcare would have let my nurse wife and i retire several years ago. we can't because i can't afford the out of pocket on an uninsured heart attack or cancer. from what i understand, the out of pocket on an insured heart attack or cancer is now pretty big.

steve from virginia's picture

 

 

 

" ... any human is willing to give their last dollar for life therefore the industry can charge whatever that last dollar is and have a willing consumer."

 

If this were so there would be no armies.

 

If you don't think the 'system' doesn't keep people alive past their due date, you haven't had any elderly relatives die within the system. The system is the America version of the Soviet gulag.

 

Living vegetables are good business for the healthcare system: there is a large and growing cadre of 'final year' enlistees who gain the system the bulk of its money. Vegetables cost little to manage, easy to cure (kick the can) at inflated cost and undemanding. End of life illnesses are nightmares for inmates and their families, the best of all possible worlds for the system.

 

To check out, elderly starve themselves ... if they can avoid the almost inevitable feeding tube ... stop eating, which is what my mother did.

 

 

formadesika3's picture

-a for profit health care system doesn't have elasticity of demand, marginal utility or substitutes or complements.

That is complete horseshit.

Waterfallsparkles's picture

Anyone tie this into the Health Insurance Company's themselves?

The higher the cost of care the more you are forced to buy Health Insurance for fear of losing everying.

They discourage many people from going for care because of the high co pays.

The more the Insurance companies will pay for care the more they can charge for premiums.

ect., ect., ect.

billwilson's picture

Single payer baby! Fuck the US health destruction industrial complex

riphowardkatz's picture

that will lower costs for sure.

do you have any good example of single payer systems where there are 300,000,000 people with a huge diversity of personal health standards and a giant border  adjacent to a third world country?

is single payer working out great for them? oops thats right that doesn't exist, anywhere at all.

 

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

I remember the emergency room charged me $75 for an Ace bandage. But it wasn't really an "Ace" bandage. It was some POS that stretched out after the first use and could not be reused. So, I ended up going to the drug store and bought a real Ace bandage for $15 or $20, and I still have it.

gooey center's picture

My current health plan is the same as my retirement plan.

I play Megamillions twice a week.

And I don't smoke or drink.

(I regret everyday that I took statistics in college.)

dolph9's picture

Ah.  So many theories.

Why don't you people take a look in the mirror?

Only in Amerika do people believe that "healthcare" can make them 22 years old and live forever.  That's providers and patients alike.

And to prove that, we will go into infinite debt to make it happen!  We will bankrupt every last one of our children.  And don't you dare criticize that, otherwise you are part of a "death panel."

Well, let me clue you in.  If there is such a thing as a death panel, that thing is the universe, nature, God, whatever you want to call it.  And no, Americans aren't immune.

JMT's picture

My ZeroHedgers, I am scared about going to get a full checkup by primary doc.The thing is that I have been seeing a psyc doc for the past year or so sort of like 'drive thru' psyc care (which is what my insurance pays for). I see him for 15 minutes (every four weeks) and get refill for my scripts -- Prozac, Adderall, Risperidone, Gabapentin & the generic of Ambien..  Some days I feel great, other days the slightest problem sends me into a hysterical panic...  Doc keeps raising the dose of the non controlled meds  but I have been taking some extra addies with an energy drink to get thru the day.  I workout or otherwise exercise for at least hour every day but I know heartrate & BP is likely out of wack.  I pay $290 a month for really a bare bones 'bronze' policy under 'Commonwealth Choice' (MA version of Obamacare for those of us who 'make too much money' to qualify for the full state subsidized plan - I am an absentee business owner and I work temp jobs now and then -- all three sources of income (plus unemployment insurance for around 15 weeks in 2012) put me over six figures but I feel completely impoverished and stressed out. 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Holy crap that's a lot of psychotropic meds you are taking.

bunnyswanson's picture

Making a point that the rich have the nerve to use their benefits when they are saturated with cash?  Because they are.  Try to tax the over 500,000 income bracket with SS tax and you'll find tens of thousands of suits, rolling on the floor, crying for their mama.  Medicare...same thing.  Never have enough money, ya know.

But joking aside, i see the comment section is saturated with snide remarks, bordering on enjoyment of the cruxifying right up to buriel of the "peasant" class. 

You boys, a few girls possibly, are right to laugh.  Laughter does come easily.  But in the end, it will be the weak, the old, the sick and the children who will pay the price of the lacksadaisical approach to governing you all relish.  The thieves have a map and the old are on it.  The girls are on the street, looking embarrassed and humiliated, out of place or in the pawn shop selling their belongs.  Grandmothers are giving their adult children all their money to help keep a roof over their had  (once again...it's the men who are on their knees, begging for a portion of grandma's social security check for a payment on that new truck that was never afforadable in the first place).  All the adults I know are waiting for an inheritance, one acquaintance pulled the plug on her 96 yr old daddy because she was sure the money spent to keep him alive for another year would be wasted (in spite of the fact he was alert and oriented, able to eat and carry on a conversation about the economy).  "Bye Daddy, now give me that money I've been waiting 5 long years for.  Die Already Die.  A few others, when I ask them "what do you think of this economy?"  "When my dad dies, I'll be alright."  That is what they say.

So fuck you all.  Fuck you men who have done nothing to prevent the decade's long decline, because your investments were doing so well.  Fuck you all who have the nerve to laugh at a time when 3 women in my field have posted on forums they've planned their own suicides because in this job market, it's the only door open.  Fuck you for being so pathetically weak.  Fuck you for caring less about the people around you than your income.  I hope you all, when you end up 6 foot under, turn in your graves when your great grandchildren who happen to be "American" are to pay for the reckless abandonment of rational decisions.  Fuck you politicians for selling out the country to globalization when you have known that this is a religious meme, a conquest, a monopolization of the planet under the FUCKING BANKERS.

All the experts---fuck you too for giving report after report of what will be the demise of great nations in a blow-by-blow description and then going back into your comfortable homes to count the money you made off the books.

No one will be spared except the chosen ones.  Your best blow job will not keep you alive when you are a witness to murder.  The 2 minutes from your lose consciousness before the lights go out and death becomes your companion is said to be the longest moment in your life...and as your mind receives flashes of images, depicting you as the real person you were, that will be the moment when devious to diabolical comes back to haunt you as you enter, I can only hope, and embark on an eternity plagued with frustration and regret.

BigDuke6's picture

Read this rambling shit
And you people expect medical science to help this sort of verbal diarrhoea

There is a limit to what can b done
And y'all would b disappointed to know
There is clever shit with medicine but when your time is up your FUCKING time is up
I'm not scared of death and never have been

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

add .gov to a good system (pay for service with non gov charity) and 60 yrs latter we get what we all see in USA.

o bum a's plan (written by K street) just adds millions of young healthy adults to add premium dollars to the pot,

and sets up a system for rationing care..I do think it is evil but I guess some here don't recognise the word evil.

BigDuke6's picture

Yeez pads, this is my last time trying to write this

I keep pressing ads and I direct off to some fitness singles thing

Anyway rationed medicine

Wtf?
Don't u yanks understand a divide and rule double edged sword phrase when u see one?

For example you may think its important to keep your 80 ur old mum/granny alive with icu or expensive chemo...but I don't
Understand?
20 people,waiting on 1 person hand on foot.... Is pricey
I include cleaners, cooks etc
Yeh didn't think of that?

Doctors rationed best and the system worked
But some people didn't trust them and they were 'playing god'
And now it's insurance and big business