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The Cancer Death-Panel App Is Here

Tyler Durden's picture


Originally posted at Economic Policy Journal,

When government gets involved in a sector, it distorts the sector. Corporations are not incentivized to strictly serve customers. This is now occurring in the healthcare sector--and is only going to get worse. A "cancer app" is an example of where medical personnel will play god to advance government and crony corporate interests instead of patient interests.

Robert Goldberg writes:

The latest innovation in cancer care isn’t a medical breakthrough but an app to ration new drugs. It’ll measure care in terms of what it costs health plans, instead of what it means for patients’ lives.


That it’s being developed under the auspices of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, the world’s leading oncology association, is a grim warning about the state of organized medicine.


The app will use an algorithm like those many health plans apply to limit access to innovative treatments. Wellpoint Inc., for one, measures cost-effectiveness by comparing the benefits, side effects and costs of various treatments for specific types of cancer. The ASCO app uses the same benchmarks...


The app’s biggest problem, though, is that it’s one-size-fits-all: It treats all patients as the same, ignoring the genetic variation in patient response that a new class of “targeted” cancer drugs will soon address.


Dig a bit deeper, and it’s clear that ]Dr. Lowell Schnipper, who heads ASCO’s Value in Cancer Care Task Force] and his allies have a more ideological motivation. He talks of limiting spending on new treatments as a way to make “the health-care system, not just the cancer system, more rational and just.”


And this line of thinking does away with the Hippocratic Oath. No longer is the doctor’s first obligation “to apply for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required.” Instead, Schnipper believes three months of added life “is not a large enough benefit to trump the greater benefits to many that would have to be foregone to provide it.”


In fact, he regards the premium that Americans place on life as a character defect, observing, “Other cultures do not seem to view the postponement of death by a few months” the same way we do.


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Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:35 | 4974297 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

On a long enough time line...

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:00 | 4974443 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few; or the one."


Spock would approve...


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:22 | 4974569 daveO
daveO's picture

Right. Unfortunately. This is part of the plan to cull the herd of retiring baby boomers. I've read at least two stories, in the last year, about baby boomers writing living wills. Time and CNN, I think. That tells you all you need to know. This stuff keeps on coming. Who needs concentration camps when you can get them to agree to die, voluntarily? Most are so brainwashed, they'd jump off a cliff if they got a pink t-shirt. Which would actually be an improvement over their current 'pink t-shirt' treatment.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:28 | 4974628 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

If it's software, it can be hacked and/or manipulated by a willing 3-letter agency (or some 25 y/o living in his mom's basement).

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:01 | 4974767 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Medical care costs are how the elite are going to trasnfer all the savings of the weathiest generation of middle class americans to themselves.

Everything else is just song and dance for the masses.

Don't believe me? Save your whole life, then have an emergency health problem in a public place, and whether you like it or not off to the local hospital you go. They will do whatever they think they can get away with, with an eye on billing as much as possible. If your insurance doesn't suck it all up, then those costs will come home to the piggy bank. This is the leading cause of bankruptcy with older folks.

So, to recap, everyone gets old, most people get sick, so might as well send costs into the stratosphere so the insiders can kick back and cash the checks.



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:10 | 4974821 pakled
pakled's picture

You may be right CC (may I call you CC?). BUT, obeying the basic "follow the money" law, I would like to see how a dollar bill flows thorugh the system and what portion of it lands in the pocket(s) of the 'insiders'.


Just sayin...

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:00 | 4975092 Stackers
Stackers's picture

The UK's N.I.C.E. board has been doing this for a long time. Hello Death Panel.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:48 | 4975304 long-shorty
long-shorty's picture

There are several thousand things wrong with Obamacare, but is ZH now suddenly of the belief that there is a constitutional right for each of us to consume as many health care resources as we possibly can?

Why should society pay for interventions that cost $100k, $500k, or even $1 million per quality-adjusted life year saved?

Whether or not we ration health care is no more of a real choice than whether or not we give everyone prime rib for dinner each night and a TESLA to drive. We don't have the resources available to pay for unlimited health care. Either we ration care in a way that makes sense and has some thought put into it (e.g. if an intervention costs more than $200k per life-year saved, the government won't pay for it), or else we just ration care willy-nilly where the state pays for hugely expensive interventions for some folks while others can't even get basic preventive care.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:09 | 4975369 Stackers
Stackers's picture

First the government shouldnt be paying for everyones health care - just like it is not buying everyone TESLAs and prime rib already.


I'll go out on a limb and speak up for Mr Durden in that he doesnt believe it is a constitutional right to consume health care any more than he believes there is ANY constitutional authority for the FEDERAL government to be messing with ANY of this in the first place.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:11 | 4974852 Miggy
Miggy's picture

I cannot disagree about the medical costs. Right now insurance is so high because of all the narcotics this country is taking so your theory is already happening.

2 immediate things in my opinion:

1. Find out how to make small scale cannibas oil. There is a woman on youtube who gives a great explanation. Too many verified cancers cured coupled with it being made illegal in the 1930's and classified as a class 1 drug is all you need to know. If I had cancer cannibas oil is the first thing I do. See video below.

2. Liposomal Vitamin C. Again youtube. I personally have verifiable experience as to the healing qualities of massive vitamin C and the Liposomal method is better than an an expensive IV even. Couple the fact that the recommended dosage by the FDA of Vitamin C is so low its a joke which is again the all you need to know moment.


John 3:16



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:37 | 4975624 mc225
mc225's picture

in a normal world, we would just grow weed, opium, mushrooms, and peyote right out in the open. it would be everywhere, and no one would think anything much of it. as it is, we eschew the plants, yet go running to the 'doctor' for some pills.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:54 | 4974722 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Can you say DEATH PANEL, Bitchez. -Sarah Palin 2009.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 22:07 | 4976229 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

The good news is that your elected corrupt ruling political elite turds have voted and passed to exempt themselves from this...    WTF? Wake up!


"Politiicans and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason."   Robin Williams

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:00 | 4974449 Hugh G Rection
Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:06 | 4974476 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

People worried about cancer should DEFINITIVELY check out Rick Simpson Oil (>75% cancer cure rate, established from curing THOUSANDS):

TPTB want to make money while they poison you with cancer causing 'cures' (chemo + radiation).  Who is still dumb enough to play along?

The best part of the RSO cure is that all the info for making it is publicly available, which means the shitty Man can't stop anyone from curing themselves (or their pets)!  FUCK YOU ILLUMINATI FILTH!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:11 | 4974515 daveO
daveO's picture

'Who is still dumb enough?' People with more insurance than brains. If they were required to pay out of their own pockets, they'd do some research before jumping in blindly.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:54 | 4974735 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

If peeps had to pay cash for their family’s cancer treatments, the “Death Panels” would be moved to the kitchen able.

I urge you to go to any ICU. 

Medical peep - “Your so & so needs this treatment, do you approve?”
So & so – “Does insurance cover it?”
Medical peep – “Yes.”
So & so – “Of, course I approve, nothing is too good for my so & so.”


Medical peep - “Your so & so needs this treatment, do you approve?”
So & so – “Does insurance cover it?”
Medical peep – “No.”
So & so – “Is there any free aid?”
Medical peep – “No.”
So & so – “I’m sorry, we can’t afford the treatment.”

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:44 | 4975464 iamrefreshed
iamrefreshed's picture

How did this not get like a zillion upvotes?


True story...I had a stroke, then surgery. Great insurance in a great hospital. Guy in the room next door is near death, must have been 90, suffering and all. Heard his family bitching to the nurse that they had to keep him alive (and continue torturing the poor soul) because they had Medicaid and the government owed them (yes they were brown). Had they had to fork it over great-grandpa probably have met his maker that night. But then again the hospital brought meals to visitors! Had I a weapon I would have offed the "family".

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:24 | 4974876 Miggy
Miggy's picture

I replied above before reading this. You are 100% correct.


Rick Simpson shows how to make it with a pound of cannibas but there is another video here where a woman makes small amounts and its much safer and easier to make. Very good video.


John 3:16

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:55 | 4975062 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

FWIW, in Rick's latest book on 'the protocol', he explains that it is better not to shred the plants before using the solvent to draw out the THC & cannabinoids, because by doing so you actually free the chlorophyll and other stuff that you don't want.

I was surprised by that, but it makes sense when you think of it: the THC & cannabinoids are actually on the outside of the plant (as a form of pollen to attract pollinators), so shredding the leaves is counter-productive.

Nonetheless, that lady's video is excellent and no doubt produces a very high quality oil - she definitively does a good job of making it even simpler and easier to make.

I am in fact planning on making myself a small batch to try to clear some vitiligo (loss of pigment), which is one of MANY 'incurable' conditions apparently cured by this oil. 

I can't wait to try it out!!!  :)

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:44 | 4975462 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

I would bet you will see results. The more exited you are about this experiment of yours the better the results will be.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:29 | 4974936 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

And after you die from their chemo & radiation the death certificate will say that you died from cancer!

The lying fucks.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:04 | 4975351 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:42 | 4975633 mc225
mc225's picture

there's a friend/longtime-client of my folks'. he's a renowned doctor. the doctor recently got cancer, and he's getting chemo for it. it's really odd; the sorts of things each of us believes in.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 20:01 | 4975866 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

The doctors HAVE TO BELIEVE, otherwise they wouldn't be able to enjoy killing so many people.

In the end, they end up killing themselves too, since that is actually preferable than to dare doubt the system (which as a doctor, would mean losing your license and all the 'prestige').

Doctors are brain-washed morons who are made to think they are 'special' and way above the common folk.  What a bunch of assholes.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:50 | 4974724 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

sarah palin right again

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:23 | 4975400 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Just as long as you keep that bitch out of my Elysium.


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:39 | 4974308 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Obama, and death panels followed close behind him. They were given power over the American people to kill by sword, famine, plague, and the Federal Reserve.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:39 | 4974310 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Schnipper will be known in the future as an app that "schnipps" off three months of your life to keep insurance companys' profits high.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:01 | 4974454 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yep, you will have to reverse mortgage your house to afford the treatment, and then once the docs are signed, 'Schnipp'.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:08 | 4974502 daveO
daveO's picture

With a name like Schnipper I don't have to speculate. 

On the plus side, the industry has now 'Jumped the Shark'. People will now look for alternatives, like eating properly and getting the right nutrition. I get disgusted everytime I see those pink ribbons from the Susan 'Gestapo' Komen foundation. There are a bunch brainwashed people in this country who willingly sacrifice their goyim relatives on the altar of false hope.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 22:32 | 4976291 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

there's cures for all this shit...all of it...

under lock(s) and fuckin key(s) - in vaults....encrypted....

never to be used....the discoverers long bought off/killed...

no money in cures...only in the bullshit "foundations"

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:31 | 4974949 Ariadne
Ariadne's picture

schnipper score = (asset$/(legal shield devices + connections + popularity)) * (# politicians + # bloodsucking ambulance chasers)


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:57 | 4975342 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

I see this as a continuation of earlier plans to get peple off defined benefits retirements (1974 ERISA), extending the age of retirement (but you can still get fired early), SS pmts reducing, etc. The TPTB have spent that money on other things, and have plans for existing money to be used on shiny new space weapons (or other such items). So those folks dreaming of years of golf village retirements w/no out of pocket on medical aren't gonna get it. Also those dreaming of Medicare sponsored convalescent hospitals for their last 6 mos also ain't gonna get it.

Now, having seen surgeons get lots of practice on patients at end of life, I can see insurance co's wanting to limit that. Should you really have 2-3 surgeries (or chemo) over 75 and still end up dying a month later? Maybe some Americans really think Drs can fix anything (in no time). I've watched people methodically plow themselves in by drinking, smoking, not exercising, lousy diet for 20 yrs or more and still *every time* be surprised that they had a heart attack, cancer etc. It's like it's a big mystery. I think we do need to (as a group) take way better care of ourselves. However, the govt's actions are not altruistic in the least. Wonder how Herr Dr Schnipper will feel when he's diagnosed with the Big C.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:38 | 4974317 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

The ACA makes sure that patients have no other options other than back-alley treatments.  Funny how some things never change.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:59 | 4974441 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

yet it was begged for.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:48 | 4975652 mc225
mc225's picture

it was helped along by the media, politicians, and schools pushing the idea for 40 or 50-odd years beforehand. there was an incessant cry for 'healthcare as a human right'. people bought into it because they heard it over and over again. most people never stopped to think of things like a) if healthcare is a right, why not housing and transportation? surely housing and transportation are more important to a person than healthcare. b) why only state-sanctioned treatments? why not allow any treatment a patient might choose for themselves? c) etc.

so, we've been told for quite a long time that we have a 'right' to this bogus 'medicine' they've been peddling. in truth, we'd be better off going back to the snake-oil salesmen of yore.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:41 | 4974331 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

I fail to see why people that champion less government would be upset, it is using an algorithim that was developed by the private sector, and those Ayn Rand championing megaphones all say that private sector is always right.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:46 | 4974354 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

one big correction




Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:53 | 4974402 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Markets are never right, they are and have always been manipulated to make one's view "right".

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:16 | 4974544 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

So are you saying free markets are not possible?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:02 | 4974786 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

If a free-market existed WHY haven't the smart-n-savvy sociopaths manipulated it?   Where did the smart-n-savvy sociopaths GO?  What kept them away?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:14 | 4974540 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

This is correct.   The only problem is the worthless Trash Class won't die of cancer graceful without complaining.  They always run to the government and bitch about how it's not right that something like inherited wealth should be a determining factor in who lives or dies.   

The Trash Class ruins everything.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:03 | 4974784 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

Technically, didn’t the ‘free market’ take us to this point? 

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:51 | 4975326 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Nope money from the FED got us to this asinine point....NOT a free all.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:02 | 4974459 Matt
Matt's picture

Because mandatory health insurance is part of the free market?

Do patients have the option to pay for additional treatment above and beyond that covered by the health insurance?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:02 | 4974463 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

So much fail in this comment.  Enable individuals to CHOOSE their own therapy; get the FDA out of the way, and let the price mechanism sort out the shape of the demand curve.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:42 | 4974337 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture


ZHs newest offer under every post

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:48 | 4974362 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

I was getting an ad with an NYPD mugshot of Zooey Deschanel.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:49 | 4974382 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Russian Girls make the best wives is the one I am getting.  I clicked on it just to help pay for ZH.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:55 | 4974417 pods
pods's picture

I get a combination of Boca Bearings, Russian/Chinese bride ones, and ways to shrink your manhood in order to make others feel better about themselves.



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:03 | 4974464 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yep, pods, after years of NOT reading the penis enlargement spam e-mails, the bots got you all figured out.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:09 | 4974508 pods
pods's picture

The cops always ask me why I have a CCW but no pistols.

I told them I'd get arrested for open carry.



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:50 | 4975658 mc225
mc225's picture

i get the ads for asian chicks...

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:45 | 4974352 pods
pods's picture

Cancer is a chronic metabolic disease that isn't going to be "cured" by any patent medicine.



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:53 | 4974407 Otto Zitte
Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:04 | 4974470 Matt
Matt's picture

HPV is one of many things that can cause cancer, but it is not cancer itself.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:23 | 4974493 pods
pods's picture

I have researched that theory, it has been around for quite some time.  Royal Rife was a big proponent.

The HPV connection I have spent a lot of time looking at due to it affecting someone I know. I went over her diet, habits and such.

So, I suggested she stop birth control pills (biggest factor), stop smoking, and eating a diet that is good by real standards, not US ones.

Guess what?

Dysplasia (precancer) went away.



Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:46 | 4974710 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

The hollistic approach is mainly discounted here even though it is probably very effective on some/many


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:13 | 4975714 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

By here do you mean ZH? Because there are a whole lot of posters who espouse a holistic approach. A good number of us advocate exercise, non-processed foods, stress reduction etc. Removing oneself from the economy (aka rat race) as much as possible is also a part of good health, physically and mentally. For many of us who try to grow our own food, walk to work, reduce our impacts on the planet, ZH is an essential part of a holistic way of life!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:22 | 4975746 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

ZH is an essential part of a holistic way of life!

Except for that stress reduction part...

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:32 | 4975771 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I agree there is an ongoing roller coaster of news here that can jerk stress up and down, but acting on what you know is coming down the pike will be a stress reliever in the long run!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:16 | 4974860 pakled
pakled's picture

+1 on the Royal Rife reference. Derivitaves (to use a well understood word) of the "Rife machine" abound today. I have seen them put a patient's cancer in remission (being conservative here).

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:52 | 4975666 mc225
mc225's picture

it's been said that chili peppers also help. the idea is that the alkaline in the chilis prevents the body from being too acidic. 

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:52 | 4974397 Otto Zitte
Otto Zitte's picture

I really need to get a nonprofit NGO website up to recruit sick people denied treatment to take out the bar association and teflon psychos.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:55 | 4974408 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Since my son had cancer when he was 3 (yes, the bad kind- Stage IV Rhabdomyocarcoma, which I still can't spell correctly), this kind of stuff makes my skin crawl.  He was not expected to survive, let alone have any quality of life.  Thanks to A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital, some good docs and a couple just-out-of-experimental-stage treatments, he's alive and well today.  He takes no life-sustaining medicines, has no dietary, physical or medical restrictions and is basically as healthy as a horse, now at age 10.

I wonder if he would have been given approval for some of those treatments according to the algorithms in this app.


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:05 | 4974487 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I am so glad. What a beautiful thing.

If your screen name is accurate, you are doubly blessed. He is not permitted to go into debt, educate him on this issue and you will have stopped even more cancer on this earth! Even though I am joking, I am serious. Best thing I have done for my son is educate him on this economy.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:00 | 4975512 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

You can check out any time you like, but you can...never leave [insert guitar solo here].

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:00 | 4974446 Atlantis Consigliore
Atlantis Consigliore's picture

somethings up:  Northshore Health Care and affil. Mayo clinic  holding Chicago suburg meetings   new study group?  I dont think so....

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:00 | 4974450 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

This was a logical outcome, given the criminal Administration that is dictating policy.  This will accelerate the development of cash-only healthcare markets, as well as accelerate therapeutic offshoring.  The US healthcare system is looking like the US auto industry, circa 1970.  Too little innovation, too much bureaucracy, too much political involvement.  Over the next 30 years, I predict the Us healthcare market will experience a decline in quality and quantity of care rendered.  Rationing (like Canada) will occur, and everyone with connections will head abroad (or underground) for their care.  Healthcare M&A suggests that companies know innovation is less important that government clout and cost-cutting. 

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:05 | 4974453 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Wow.  Pursue your banal nightmares, boys ... I will not pay an ounce of thought as to this wreckage.  As Hemingway reminds us, all men must walk through the same gate.  

We can discern by studying living cultures, such as the Samurai, that it is possible to bear a much different attitude to death than what is prevalent in a walking dead culture such as Amerika's.  Not easy to do, with the pressure of all those wailing and gnashing their teeth around you; but do-able.

The cowardice around us serves to distinguish finished men from the adult children proliferating on this God-foresaken land.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:27 | 4974612 Marco
Marco's picture

Are you in the situation where you would have to send your mother out to walk into the forest if you couldn't pay for her care without medicare, and you're still fine with removing it? Or do you simply have enough money so it wouldn't be an issue for you?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:42 | 4974690 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

I'll secure what I can for my circle.  Personally, I could care less.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:01 | 4974455 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

'Deatlh panels' thing is BS and cancer patients in the US and elsewhere have died in large numbers while being denied of accessive to experimental/very expensive drugs for a long-time already.  New cancer drugs in the US are typically $100k/yr and up and yeah it is a value legit question to ask if a treatment which may only have a marginal increase in effectiveness on average for a few more months of life (especially with a reduced quality of life) is a valuable use of limited societal resources for healthcare. 

If anything in the US, we massively overtreat cancer patients especially those on Medicare and generally needlessly expose to suffering through unnecessary surgeries/radiation/pharmacetuical treatments. 

There is a good reason why the old morbid joke 'Why did they nail the cancer-patient's coffin shut?' has the punchline 'So they can make sure they keep the oncologist out.'

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:04 | 4974477 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  those on Medicare

Git yer socialist hands off my Medicare you goddamn libertarian hippy,  I'm entitled to all the hip-replacements and cancer treatments I can get!   Why don't you cut some of the socialism that "those people" are living off of, huh?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:12 | 4974518 pods
pods's picture

My almost 80 year old MIL just got a new hip. I was amazed that they would perform that surgery.  It was like a 2 day turnaround. WTFF?

Medicare is one gigantic feed trough for the healthcare industry.


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:22 | 4974583 Marco
Marco's picture

So they have optimized the process to the point where it takes very little time (and thus money) and they significantly improved your MIL's remaining years ... and you think that's a bad thing?

You REALLY hate your mother in law don't ya?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:31 | 4974636 pods
pods's picture

No, I don't hate her at all. I pity her.

She grew up at a time where having a big ass hunk of meat on the plate was a show of wealth. And potatoes and other carbs were plentiful. Meals might be natural, but they sure as fuck will kill you as will crack, albeit slower.  Between the two of them, they are probably on 10-15 meds.  

A lifetime of eating like that has ruined her body, and now she is a big cash cow for the Medicare milkers.

Last year it was a spinal fusion (not lying, lumbar region even), and maybe next it will be a knee replacement.

If they have optimized the time (and thus money) than why do they charge so much for these procedures? Lemme guess, liability insurance?

I am in the pharma industry, so I understand the process about approval, and costs associated with it.

But the 3 way (patient, doctor, insurance) model is broken.  Toss in the ponzi (medicare) and you cannot fuck something up more than this if you tried.


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:51 | 4974725 Marco
Marco's picture

"why do they charge so much for these procedures?"

I have no idea ... but I wasn't really interested in the big picture, just the concept of a two day hip replacement for a 80 year old somehow being a bad thing ... as far as cost/benefit that seems a pretty reasonable treatment. Not the best diet in the world is going to fix the injuries I'm accumulating due to repetetive manual labour, I'm pretty sure I'll "need" some joints replaced eventually (of course if I can't afford one at that time I could always just live with the pain and stay in bed too much until bed sores and complications prematurely end my life as well, there's always alternatives).

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:00 | 4974773 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Doesn't change the fact that she's benefiting from SOCIALISM.    We hate socialims here, even if it keeps all the old-farts alive forever.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:26 | 4975755 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

So it would surprise you that most people here at ZH are sicialims...?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:59 | 4974761 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

The healthcare bubble is about to break as the boomer bubble enters the market. Anyone who thinks they will get the care that the current geriatrics get is unaware of the facts. And you are right about taking care of your personal health. Its our best bet. The medical issue is picking up steam and the VA is what you're looking at. I went to a buffet yesterday and I lost my appetite watching the hogs at the trough. Sorry but it is true

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:18 | 4974868 Marco
Marco's picture

Most of the care cost is labour (of course a lot of that labour is in administration, but that's an orthogonal problem). We aren't short of people, not even short of people capable of being doctors and nurses. Automation is easily outpacing demographic change.

If modern man weren't assholes we could easily continue providing the current level of care ... but alas, we are.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:10 | 4974513 toady
toady's picture

All this death panel stuff kills me.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:13 | 4974528 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Your argument 'we massively overtreat cancer patients' would be more credible with some statistical support.  While the stats indicate many treatments "only" extend mortality for a period measured in weeks or months, who am I to judge whether this is 'worthwhile' for another human?  Cancer survival stats have improved since 1970, but not by the same magnitude as cardiovascular survival rates.  What is provable is that somewhere between 7-13% of patients receiving all/any types of experimental therapy experience a complete remission 'CR'.  That means the docs can no longer detect cancer.  If I have this disease, I'm likely to want every shot at that 'CR' outcome, even knowing the odds are long.  I propose the enabling of insurers to offer a range of plans at various price points, including some that cover MAX cancer treatments and some that only include palliative care for cancer.  Let the individual decide which they prefer for themselves.  And bend the cost curve of therapy down by enabling informed patients to select an experimental therapy BEFORE it has been "cleared" by the FDA.  On average, it costs $1 billion dollars for a drug company to move a therapy through the FDA trial process to approval.  Internationally, the same cost of European approval is a small fraction of $1 billion.  That's why companies choose to seek approval for new drugs and devices in Europe FIRST, BEFORE attempting FDA approval in the US.  Congrats Americans, this means we get new innovative therapies LAST.  <Golf clap>

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:01 | 4974456 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Limited resources and a survival-of-the-fittest society will determine who gets medical care.  


Survival-of-the-fittest is a bitch when you realize you're not on the top (or near the top) of the food chain. 

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:44 | 4974701 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You don't need to be near the top, just above the majority of the masses ;-)



You can't change reality, so you might as well start learning how to stay alive.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 18:00 | 4975507 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

The quote was "Those best able to survive" NOT FITTEST.
If you get hit by a car it doesn't matter how many situps you can do or hand stands. Same in nature. Luck matters and was accounted for in the original quote.
Fittness has nothing to do with evolution, if it had we would all be supermen.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:06 | 4974472 surfsup
surfsup's picture

All the way back to Franz Mesmer, the right brainers were on task to take down any Health Knowledge related to alternative modes...   With the mind virus firmly implanted in colloquial "university" science it was a clear step to extreme levels of generational tom foolery.   Palmer, Rife, and many other extremely successful Health innovators were clear cut by the dope dealing lawn mower of the petro theme park -- predispositioned to function on the merits of profit with cursory nods at the "Bernays Burlesque" of plastic form altruistic pop fantasies .   Medical [doctors] personel kill on avarge 750,000 people a year from errors in the US alone!  Thats a jumbo jet every week.   People say they would no longer fly Malaysia air -- what if there were one a week from another airline?  Who would fly?  Better question: if such a figure became even remotely common knowledge, who would "buy"?   hmmmm....      getting the picture... 

Please monopolise the living crap out of this Carnval of a certain portion of black magicians -- the effects on the propagation of Alternative Modalities and True preventative Health Knowledge will be greatly appreciated by future generations...   Dont let the door hit you in your ass on your way out!

fkin monkeys


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:05 | 4974488 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  All the more reason to grow your own food, exercise daily, and have control over your life.(no debt) 

    Most importantly a good sense of humor...

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:07 | 4974499 viator
viator's picture

Unless you are connected, then none of this applies. Cronies will be cared for, no death panels for them.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:20 | 4974570 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

If they keep it up, there may be death from other causes to be concerned about. Heightened levels of lead in the environment can have extreme health impacts for cronies. 

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:11 | 4974516 what's that smell
what&#039;s that smell's picture

the wealthy will be sold life extension treatments while the poor will be put on a waiting list.

the cancer app probably checks credit rating, family wealth, and bank account first.

(dear randroids, while picking your nose and playing with your shit remember this: government is bad but capitalism, profits, insurance companies, health care companies, wall street, usury, and free-market death panels are good)

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:17 | 4974552 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

I bet that app also routes through the NSA and IRS, so that the indivdual's voting record, online commentary, political donations, and gender/ethnicity are carefully checked and considered as part of that 'algorithm'.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:17 | 4974558 Marco
Marco's picture

If government doesn't pay for the drugs charity will step in right?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:17 | 4974559 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

I call BS on this statement ...

And this line of thinking does away with the Hippocratic Oath. No longer is the doctor’s first obligation “to apply for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required.” Instead, Schnipper believes three months of added life “is not a large enough benefit to trump the greater benefits to many that would have to be foregone to provide it.”


Triage is the application of the Hippocratic Oath with real life circumstances. It requires evaluating and MAKING JUDGEMENTS about who to treat first, others may die as a result of a choice. Doctors have always been limited by real life limitations. That money is also a limitation, is REAL life. It is stupid to spend millions of dollars to save one persons life and then let others perish for lack of a $10,000 procedure. Unless you are the one guy, then it is totally cool </s>. Frankly the hippocratic oath demands that the medical system save as many as possible not save one guy with great insurance. Here is the original translated from the Greek:

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher's sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:12 | 4974800 conspicio
conspicio's picture

Ok sport, game on...

1) the hippocratic oath is first and foremost - DO NO HARM.

2) Prioritization is ingrained in everything every physician does on a daily basis. That you trumpet triage as violating the oath is to have sorely misunderstood the practice of medicine in the first place.

3) The major shift that is going on is to apply the practice and science of medicine to the lowest common denominator of society, not an individual. Think of it as a common core curriculum for doctors. They must comply, or they will not be paid by those covered with government funds (the numbers of whom are increasing dramatically every day).

4) Back to the oath and tying it to government directed solutions...Your government will decide the course of treatment, your government will decide the level of care, your government will dictate your survival or death. This is how the oath is violated as the physician is no longer exercising the due care to DO NO HARM.

5) "hippocratic oath demands that the medical system save as many as possible" No, actually is does not. The practice of medicine is focused on INDIVIDUALS. The oath demands the DOCTOR be able to provide the best care for the PATIENT. What you are parroting there is a great talking point from the depths of socialized single payer playbooks. But, coming from a Canadian in your case...I would expect a strong defense of socialized medicine.

But hey, you call BS, I call BS back.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:04 | 4975690 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Nice retort. Some one close to me won't take govt. insurance in his practice for this reason-- do no harm. You'd have to lie to get paid (gosh if we bill it under that code they won't reimburse), short the client on services, or eat the cost for doing the right thing-- bad choices. And honestly it is too much trouble in many instances to even get paid by the gov. There are a lot of docs making this choice. I personally know of three, one who won't take any insurance at all. He is a bad ass and can get away with it. They are not the richest docs I know, but they are very satisfied with how they make their living.

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 02:41 | 4976501 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

I am Canadian and to be fair without the Canadian system we could have been bankrupted when our son got flesh eating disease and was in the hospital for months and had surgeries for years later. So yes I am biased. But, I think after some research, you are right. Don't let it go to your head =).

You are right the doctor needs to always be putting the patient first. But the government can, and I believe should, limit the millions of dollar treatments in order to make sure that no one dies waiting for a 10K treatment. But that is my socialism showing.

So you seem like a smart guy, why do Americans think that health care is not a necessity for all? I don't know if I am asking the exact right question but I have heard of circumstances where a guy loses his job and his kid gets sick and he loses everything. Sometimes including the kid. What if it was you? How can you explain to your kids that somehow you are more worthy of life because your insurance is still valid? I don't think socialized medicine is necessarily the complete answer but I sleep better knowing that people are treated by doctors no matter who they are and what they do.


Sun, 07/20/2014 - 21:05 | 4981822 conspicio
conspicio's picture

Sorry for the late reply, hoping it still makes it's way across your screen. I do have rental property in Calgary and Banff, but that only makes me an honorary Canadian, lol. Health care is indeed a necessity for all, we just seemed to have missed the mark on how to bring this animal to life. My company teams with Canadian companies so my exposure to the Canadian system is through them, and honestly, no different from what I hear from the majority of Canadians I come in contact with on a regular basis. The Brits, well that's a different animal all together...The main issue with American healthcare is that the majority of people have failed to distinguish healthcare from health insurance. A person with poor health insurance is at risk, while nearly all people are capable of receiving some form of government sponsored healthcare. While the nuances are many and the issues are complex, I am a big fan of massive health insurance reform, while the healthcare part still is among the best in the developed world. Why we are headed toward single payer is just tragic, since the partisan implementation of the system we are under is doing nothing it was promised (lower costs, insurance for all, etc) and has complicated the entire system unnecessarily. So no easy answers, other than I would prefer improving a partially socialized system we have (medicare, medicaid) and reforming insurance to correct the problems you indicate. Cheers mate.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:22 | 4974585 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

I can come back and add more later, but it's the models and whether you like it or not you have to see how Medicare has been sleeping with United Healthcare for years.  Don't believe me, look at their annual report, same stuff you see CMS coming out with and now the former CEO fro Ingenix is now the #2 man at CMS reporting to Tavenner...and by the way look up his house and see where he lives and you can certainly tell he needs this job and of course it was a pay cut..but it's not about that we know.

Let us not forget that United I think still holds the record for the biggest derivative fine from back in 2008 where the CEO and current CEO were back dating stock and HHS and CMS just loves this company..right.  They have all kinds of stuff going on with tons of subsidiaries and link below has link to SEC reports too.  As I wrote, congratulations to the US government for creating the most complex healthcare system that nobody can trust.

They have some real exciting programs being expanded like hospice for profit which that does not mix with insurance.  Old Tavenner is not data mechanic logic savvy and will be doing exactly what old Andy Slavitt tells here to do.  We shall see if something comes out of this as I have had a bit of a steady stream of a NY Times journalist just combing through a lot of my stuff and some of the posts on this I see in my stats are being read at the US Senate. 

Here's one more where WellPoint is paying oncologists $350 a month per patient to use "their" oncology treatment plans..very scary..who by the way is a reseller of IBM Watson technologies and their chief scientist left and now is working at a hedge fund.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:27 | 4974610 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

How's about $303408 per year from Medicaid (or not) for a cystic fibrosis remedy?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:33 | 4974643 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

eat carrots, take iodine

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:37 | 4974661 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

I was at the doc the other day and a blood screening showed some elevated levels, so I ask what can I do to reduce these levels. She says, well, I'm in the business of prescribing meds, so I should tell you to take A), B), or C), OR you cange these couple of things in your lifestyle and we'll recheck you in 6 months.

Starting to like that doc for her candor - at least she was honest about what business she is in.

Do doctors get kickbacks from pharma companies or some other incentive to prescribe?


Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:42 | 4974688 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

It's called fellowship dinners, paid consulting work, and ability for the doctor to take part in clinical trials, which is both prestigious and lucrative.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:43 | 4974695 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Anyone attempting to distort, limit, deny or alter the availability of the proper nutrients, natural treatments or cures is committing a crime against humanity. Codex Alimentarius and Agenda 21 are parts of the bigger picture and will eventually lead to something like Elysium (Movie).

As long as the current structure of control and manipulation continue the eventual outcome is that 92.4% of us will be eliminated through any and all means necessary in the near future. Death panels are already in existence through wait lists for limited resources. (e.g. Liver transplants). Death panels are just being mainstreamed now to position them for the acceptance by the masses as the pace starts picking up.

These two gentlemen quoted below are stating the obvious to some. However, their credentials and notoriety will add credibility to those that have been effectively brainwashed by the death cult in power or have little or no ability to think critically. Please share them or quote them elsewhere.

"You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral (nutrient) deficiency," Dr. Linus Pauling

"For every drug that benefits a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect." — Pfeiffer's Law, Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., PhD.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:58 | 4974751 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

Here's a post I did last week too on how the ACA changed the social security law too, and it's money making operation now for doctors to be board certified.  That is not a prerequisite for practicing medicine as some MD has never been certified and there are 28 government agencies that can fine or shut a practice down.  This is group who held a conference on that topic and I think it takes place in a couple of years to where only board certified doctors will get paid by Medicare and Medicaid, so by the algorithm, even narrrowing down the access to doctors we do have.  By the way hospitals also require doctors to be board certified to be on staff. 

Doctors are living in hell right now too as most of the ones in network with United in the OC get paid at rates less than Medicare and United owns the big MD physician groups here and even own the the management company that runs the doctors group at Cedar Sinai.  I keep telling everyone we have an insurer a bit leveraged and becoming too big to fail.  They also operate a big custodial bank too.

Late last yaer I wrote death panels have not gone away, they just came back as algorithms and software and apps are just a bunch of algorihtms that work together, Bill Gates said that one.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:15 | 4974847 Hohum
Hohum's picture

Sure, health care costs are ridiculous.  But markets would ration health care, too  So what do you say: more money, more healthcare and no money, no healthcare?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:10 | 4975142 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

In a free market, your value is measured by your contributions to your fellow humans. We use currency as a measure of the value we place on goods and services. If you provide more goods and/or services to your fellow humans, you can use currency as a tool to get those services you desire/need.
In short, get off your arse and provide things for your fellow humans if you expect them to provide same to you.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:19 | 4975731 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Furthermore, in a free market, a doc can choose to charge less to someone in need if they so desire. Or I can choose to help a deserving friend or relative who needs it, financially. It is interesting to see what a doc charges when they don't take insurance (hint, they can charge a lot less).

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:21 | 4974878 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

Keep it simple - GREEN.


"Get Rich Everything Else is Nonsense"


- Gucci Mane

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:07 | 4975129 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

I like to have a little preventative treatment every weekend. It's a shame it's such a long way to Colorado.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:15 | 4975175 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Economic Policy Journal = all contributing columnists are right wingers.  Typical for, "no red/blue" ZH, always a spot for never ending winger red meat.




Fri, 07/18/2014 - 19:47 | 4975810 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

Congratulations To The US Government - You Have Successfully Created a Complex Healthcare System Built With Little Or No Trust Where Nobody Wants to Engage With Your Current Broken Model..

This stuff started back in 2010 with United Healthcare, unsolicited by doctors sending them all a report on how United assessed them with adherence to Cancer treatment rules, compiled by Ingenix, which is now called Optum.  The did a re name after the AMA sued Ingenx/AMA for their algorithmic formulas for short paying doctors for 15 years, and Blue Cross, HealthNet and Aetna all jumped in and licensed it...besides the AMA there are still tons of Ignenix lawsuits out there.  So about 3 years ago United hired the former US Assistant Attorney General in Minnesota, where their headquarters is located to be their General Counsel.  This will show you where all of this began with Cancer treatments, none other than United Healthcare, a very dangerous corporation.

So with your post today, see how this evolved over 3 years?  If you buy their stock you should be shot in the head by all means:) Now for more good news, United is going to particiapte in up to 24 insurance exchanges this year, lot of good links here so they can go after some more Medicaid contracts, they like those.


Sat, 07/19/2014 - 10:41 | 4976841 Herdee
Herdee's picture

Is the U.S. Government still against SATIVEX?(Cannabis Sativa)God forbid that an old drug used for centuries for multiple purposes would help against cancer.Already proven to be effective.Kills cancer cells dead.

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