Is Collapse The Only Real "Fix" To Our Healthcare And Legal Systems?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

If structural reform is impossible as a result of political capture by vested interests, collapse is the only "fix" left.

A few days ago I discussed the overlap of two bankrupt systems: Healthcare (a.k.a. Sickcare) and our legal system--malpractice. Today we hear from two correspondents on possible fixes to malpractice: Ishabaka (M.D.) and Randy, who combines both legal and medical expertise in his family: he is an attorney and his wife is a physician.

First up: Ishabaka (M.D.), a physician who has practiced medicine in both Canada and the U.S. and served an an emergency room doctor for many years.
My solution would be - first - a no fault system, where anyone who suffers an injury as a result of contact with the health care system is compensated a REASONABLE amount - like the workers compensation system.
 
One side of the story I didn't mention is I have seen a case of clear malpractice where the suit was WON by the two doctors who prescribed naproxen to a patient for gout, when it was known he had a giant stomach ulcer. Every third year medical student knows naproxen can cause ulcers to bleed. The man woke up in the middle of the night with a massive bleed from his ulcer, and died. The thing is, there is an alternative treatment for gout - colchicine - that is perfectly safe in stomach ulcer patients, and should have been prescribed.
 
The second half of the system would be a really good review mechanism - I'd base it on the F.A.A. - that reviews what happened when a patient suffers injury due to contact with the health care system. I think in many instances, it would be found nothing could have helped - people get sick and die. I had a friend give a woman with no history of penicillin allergy a shot of penicillin for gonorrhea and she had a severe allergic reaction and died at age 21 - in spite of textbook treatment for severe drug allergy. Stuff happens.
 
In some cases, doctors WOULD be found to have practiced below the standard of care. I find these docs fall into three groups - one - the ones with an inadequate knowledge base who want to be good docs - these docs can mostly practice safely with some supervised training and study - two - the addled docs - drugs, alcohol, mental illness - Alzheimer's disease is becoming a real concern as our doctor population ages - some of these docs can be rehabilitated and some can't - and a small proportion of sociopaths who just don't give a damn - who should permanently lose their licenses.
 
Lastly, people have to realize that not every condition is diagnosable. I had a relative who was a doctor involved in the Apollo moon program. One of NASA's biggest worries was an astronaut getting sick during a (VERY) expensive mission resulting in the mission being aborted. Now, to get into the astronaut program, you have to be almost Olympic athlete healthy - I know, a doc friend of mine who was a super athlete and a multi-talented genius applied, and didn't get in.
 
Next they spent a FULL WEEK getting examined and tested by every specialist known to medicine. To make a bad pun, the cost of their physical exams must have been astronomical - and STILL - one of the astronauts developed an irregular heartbeat while on a mission - luckily it wasn't serious enough to scrub the mission. We simply cannot afford to do an "astronaut physical" on every patient with every complaint.
Next up: Randy:
I wanted to offer my perspective on your recent blog entry on malpractice. I am in my mid 30's, and have been practicing exclusively Plaintiff's personal injury law for the last 9 years. I handle only automobile accidents, and don't have any first-hand experience with medical malpractice. My wife is a physician, as are many of our friends, so I like to believe I have a fairly objective view.
 
I'll speak to what I know best, which is the average automobile accident case. You are correct in that many people believe being involved in an automobile accident is akin to a winning lottery ticket. I believe some of this mentality stems from the overall degeneracy of the culture, some from hard fiscal times, and some from aggressive lawyer advertising. I am self-employed, and have the luxury of practicing law as a profession.
 
Most personal injury cases are handled by medium size firms that are set up like factories, with little regard for professionalism. Those firms offer mediocre wages and long hours to associates (No partnership track usually), and make the partner/owner very wealthy.
 
There are indeed quid pro quo relationships between these firms and doctors (often chiropractors) that seek to over-treat people who may or may not be injured, but who have a viable insurance claim.
 
Sometimes deception is used to solicit such patients/clients (Hello Mr. Jones, I'm calling from the insurance company, and we want to have you checked out right away, I am sending a taxi to pick you up!). More often the client / patient is a willing participant. Often times medical bills are outrageously high when the doctor or chiropractor finds out an auto insurance claim is involved. Even the innocent patient / client is unknowingly socked with excessive charges and services by unscrupulous doctors and chiropractors.
 
Now here is the other side. Perhaps in response to the above abuses, and perhaps in a desire to increase the stock price, most insurance companies have completely abandoned their fiduciary duties to both their insureds and to injured parties. Every single claim is treated as fraudulent. The discretion of the individual insurance adjuster has been largely removed, and they have a rigid set of guidelines set not on the actual injuries, but on a desire to maximize profit.
 
Before someone has retained an attorney, Adjusters will try to offer injured people a quick settlement ($250 or $500) to resolve their claim, even though they know the cost of an emergency room visit will likely exceed that amount, and they leave the injured party responsible for the rest of their own bills. Often times it is the elderly that get preyed on in this way.
 
If a lawsuit is filed, no matter how clear the injury is, they will hire an "Independent Medical Examiner" to examine the plaintiff, and/or review the medical records. Doctors that give objective opinions don't receive repeat business from the insurance companies. Doctors that toe the Defense line do.
 
Some of these doctors make more money per year doing these insurance company examinations than they do practicing medicine. One particularly prolific fellow I have had the displeasure of deposing made well over 1 million dollars doing these exams over the course of 4 years. I have had Defense attorneys threaten to notify my client's creditors (so that they could place a lien) of the potential for a judgment, so as to force the client to settle without going to trial. The average Defense attorneys conduct is just as immoral / unethical as Plaintiff attorney.
 
The point of all of this is that yes, the legal system is badly flawed. I would dare say the "sickcare" system is even more so. Both pale in comparison to the Corporate, Governmental, and Military industrial complex excesses. I don't believe there is an answer or solution besides collapse. I run my law practice in as ethical a manner as I can while continuing to remain solvent. I feather my own nest with an eye towards personal resiliency for me and my family. I know I cannot save the world, and seek to instead save myself and mine. That's all any of us can do.

Thank you, Ishabaka and Randy, for your experientially informed commentaries. In general, insiders don't criticize other insiders, and this pressure to hide the sector's dirty little secrets and avoid the blowback of ratting out the rotten wood dooms the system to collapse. This dynamic is scale-invariant and functions in every broken system: politics, finance, healthcare, law enforcement, the war on drugs gulag, the military, the military-industrial complex, the national Security State--the list is endless.

If structural reform is impossible as a result of lobbying (i.e. the political capture of governance and regulation) by vested interests that profit handsomely from these broken systems, collapse is the only "fix" left.

Kerry Lutz--an attorney by training and founder of the Financial Survival Network--and I discuss malpractice and related issues in this podcast: Our Bankrupt Healthcare and Legal Systems.

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Freedom In Your Lifetime's picture

The existing system is becoming more and more taxing on human beings and that also means it is also becoming more and more noticable how irrelevant it is. This means more and more people are finding ways to step outside the control of fascist fuckhead pyschopaths that try to rule humanity. Throughout history there is a cycle of people fighting for more freedom and then the psychopath fucktards taking back more control. With the knowledge of this available to everyone via the internet now there is a chance the cycle is broken. Not sure which side wins though.

Skateboarder's picture

The less apathetic side wins. Thus far, it's been 'them.'

22winmag's picture

Just you wait until the 3 percent finally roars to life.

philipat's picture

You lost at "the thing is, there is an alternative treatment for gout - colchicine - that is perfectly safe in stomach ulcer patients, and should have been prescribed".

Which century is this physicain living in? The standard treatment for gout and gouty arthritis is Allopurinol which actually stops the production of uric acid in the body.

Given such medical garbage, can we really believe anything else this person says?

Freedom In Your Lifetime's picture

I'm not sure about that. They use banks, perpetual war, etc. to fight against the people wanting personal freedom. People in turn use the permaculture type movements, crypto currencies, all the current podcasts exposing the retarded system, etc. to make the establishment tactics irrelevant. I'd say that there are very small percentages of people on either side of this fight, but as things keeping getting further and further into batshit insane territory, they will be falling into one side or another quicker and quicker.

I have the feeling it seems way more one-sided than it actually is.

sgt_doom's picture

In order to change anything or any system due to inherent problems (such as healthcare under capitalism) one must first identify the primary problem and cost drivers.

First and foremost, the two major cost drivers of the American healthcare system:

(1) Hedge fund speculation across the entire healthcare sector; and,

(2) private equity/leveraged buyouts across the entire healthcare sector.

With a for-profit private health insurance setup, this will always be the case.  We in America have been sold a bill of goods that superior healthcare derives from capitalism, while modern history and financial history dictates the exact opposite.

For anyone still ignorant or clueless on these matters, an outstanding book of essays was published in 2010,

Morbid Symptons

http://www.amazon.com/Morbid-Symptoms-Capitalism-Socialist-Register/dp/1583672036

Suggest the author of this blog studies them.

And a very good resource on American healthcare:

www.pnhp.org

 

Trogdor's picture

Suggesting that we have a "capitalist" healthcare system because it's "for profit" is pretty ridiculous. The system we have in place is Fascist/Corporatist. People do NOT have a choice of where they go and who they see outside a very narrow set of parameters - thanks to government and insurance company collusion. To see what happens in health care when government and insurance companies aren't involved, look no further than Cosmetic Surgery and eye procedures like Lasik. Over the past 15 years, quality of care and technology have skyrocketed, and costs have plummeted. This is because there is a profit motive, but it's not profit for a third party (government/insurance). Insurance companies are the primary driver behind skyrocketing costs and plummeting quality of care - their business model is to absorb as much wealth as possible while paying out as little as possible - they're the fat parasite sitting between the care giver and the patient. Turning the system to a socialist one will make this problem orders of magnitude worse because now the insurance parasite will have a buddy: the government parasite. Just ask the people in the UK how that's working out for them.

Quality healthcare would be relatively simple - just look at the model of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma where they don't deal with insurance - costs are 1/4th to 1/6th, and quality of care is higher than the parasitic system. Have insurance for catastrophic illness only, allow people to determine their own treatments, get the parasitic bureaucrats out of the way, and health care - in a *truly* capitalist system - would prosper and we would reap the benefits.

malek's picture

People like you are the ones effectively blocking reform.

"Look it's all <pick villain of the day> fault, ignore all the other excesses"
is the typical dumping-the-baby-with-bathwater approach, brushing aside all the details the author exposed.

ebworthen's picture

"Is Collapse The Only Real "Fix" To Our Healthcare And Legal Systems?"

YES.

Jumbotron's picture

Collapse is ALWAYS the way to fix anything that has overshot its natural limits.

It's called nature.  Every man-made object...from buildings to bureuacracies will collapse when their natural limits have been overshot to a certain degree or the energy needed to keep them afloat decreases or fails.

Even man-made systems must follow basic rules of nature.....seeing as how they are all designed and operated by organic creatures called humans who need natural resources to keep things running.

Period....end of story.

doctor10's picture

The nation did just fine with a very minimal "healthcare system" until the 1930's or so.

Jumbotron's picture

Nope.  Just a more natural state of affairs with people dying off younger before things like cancer, Alzheimers and the such kick in.

If you think we did better....then I suggest you read up on the Spanish Flu Outbreak of 1918.

yellowsub's picture

Can't compare, they didn't have so much process foods as they do now...

Stuck on Zero's picture

Yes ... abolish the AMA.  Like other such associations it lobbies Congress to put the interests of big expensive medicine ahead of the interests of the patients. 

 

Yellowhoard's picture

Designed flawlessly to fail.

Looks like Single Payer is the only solution.

Who woulda thunk it?

LawsofPhysics's picture

What "legal system"  what fucking rule of law?

 

John Corzine is that you?

Seasmoke's picture

Change healthcare. To housing. 

El Vaquero's picture

 

If structural reform is impossible as a result of lobbying (i.e. the political capture of governance and regulation) by vested interests that profit handsomely from these broken systems, collapse is the only "fix" left.

Yes, we all must suffer so that everybody feels the pain caused by the bullshit that is going on throughout our entire society. 

 

/not-sarc

dirtyfiles's picture

yes collapse is the fix

Citxmech's picture

I'm not sure if a collapse with fix anything - but the system sure is fuck is broken right now.

Oldwood's picture

The healthcare system is entwined with everything else. One cannot fail without bringing the whole thing down. Most understand this at least subconsciously and that is why we resist change. Change at this point will bring the whole thing down, and opposite of what many here believe, I think it will end up for the worse for the indefinite future.

JailBank's picture

Not sure if anyone is familair with Mike Duncan's podcast Revolutions, but he had an intersting sign off yesterday on the topic of the start of the French Revolution. He said that French nobility knew something needed to change, but did nothing about it, well not until they found out the Crown was completely bankrupt.

We are probably going to have the same thing here. Nothing is acutally getting done. Everything is just papered over with the newest short term fix. Nothing will really change until they realize we are already bankrupt.

Vin's picture

With regard to Healthcare, you're making the same stupid mistake as all the statists out there.  The systems that other nations have are completely irrelevant.  Our nation is different than others in that our national govt can only excercise any power only after it has been given authority via the Constitution.

We operate in a system that says, 'If it doesn't say the govt can do, it can't'.  It's a system which attempts to stop all overreach by the feds.  The fact that these criminals in DC ignore it doesn't mean they now have the power.

Therefore, under our current Constition, the fed govt has absolutely no authority to create any kind of national healtcare system (or social security & medicare for that matter).  Arguing about what changes to the "current healthcare system" is not only irrelevant but plays right into DC's hands.

El Vaquero's picture

 

We operate in a system that says, 'If it doesn't say the govt can do, it can't'.  It's a system which attempts to stop all overreach by the feds.  The fact that these criminals in DC ignore it doesn't mean they now have the power.

So long as they have the guns and oil along with the will to use them in the face of no real opposition, they do have the power, the Constitution be damned. 

 

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

- Chairman Mao

Which is why any free populace must always remain armed, and even being armed is not a guarantee of being free.

kchrisc's picture

"So long as they have the guns and oil along with the will to use them in the face of no real opposition, they do have the power, the Constitution be damned. "

Not really. Freedom is a mindset, and attitude, that is backed up by the gun--"Don't tread on me."

That was evident at the Bundy ranch and at Waco. At the Bundy ranch they stayed free and at Waco they died free.

An American, not US subject.

 

The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying, quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: The guilty must answer for their crimes against the American people and the Constitution.
Restoration: Restore the American people, country and Constitutional republic.

kchrisc's picture

"Therefore, under our current Constition, the fed govt has absolutely no authority to create any kind of national healtcare system (or social security & medicare for that matter).  Arguing about what changes to the "current healthcare system" is not only irrelevant but plays right into DC's hands."

Someone that gets it.

"If it isn't allowed, it's not allowed."

The 10th.:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The 9th.:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

El Vaquero's picture

The ninth and the tenth are good ideas, but at some point, we're going to have to get up off of our asses and enforce them if we want them to mean anything.

kchrisc's picture

Correct, but the American people need to be reminded constantly that THEY are not the criminals, but that the pols, crats, funcs, thugs and banksters of the DC US are.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

-- Declaration of Independence, 1776

An American, not US subject.

Jumbotron's picture

"Therefore, under our current Constition, the fed govt has absolutely no authority to create any kind of national healtcare system (or social security & medicare for that matter).  Arguing about what changes to the "current healthcare system" is not only irrelevant but plays right into DC's hands."

 

Pssstt......Vin.  Wake up. 

 

"The Constitution is nothing but a goddam piece of paper ! "  George W. Bush.

"I......ahhhhhh......second that, folks ! "  Barack Hussein Obama

" We have to pass the bill to know what's in it ! "  Nancy Pelosi

"It's not a mandate.....it's a tax.  Congress has the Constitutional authority to levy taxes.  Therefore Obamacare is Constitutional. "  Justice John Roberts

kchrisc's picture

Pssstt......

My guns and guillotine say otherwise.

An American, not US subject.

 

"Mom, what is Article 3, Section 3 treason?"

Jumbotron's picture

No time like the present to roll the guillotine.  What are you waiting for.  Ferguson, MO would have been a good trial run.

Where were you ?

Accounting101's picture

Nothing to see here folks. Lots of words but useless drivel. I'm sure Vin is a healthcare insurance industry troll. He wants you to pay 50% to 66% more for your healthcare than anywhere else in the world and receive equal or poorer results. Vin's salary depends on it.

Jumbotron's picture

Obamacare is NOT the disease.

It is the natural symptom of the disease of a corrupt insurance and medical industry.

The symptom....like most symptom of diseases.....are very nasty.  But none the less....they are just symptoms.  The disease must first be addressed.

And schemes like diverting a certain amount of your income to medical expenses so businesses don't have to pay for decent healthcare for workers is NOT going to work.....and IS NOT working.  You are just saving depreciating dollars to feed into a wholly corrupt and broken sick care system.

Like it or not.....single payer is an inevitabilty.....if for nothing else but to even the playing field for American businesses.

Suck it up and accept it.  And it's coming sooner than you think.  All these illegal aliens come from places that have socialized medicine and / or single payer.  They want it here in the states.  And they will vote for liberal facilitators to get what they and the libs want.

And there is nothing you can do about it.  Well.....there is.....but you guys have proven the gun and revolution are off the table.

malek's picture

Government to Vin: what is that "constitution" thing you mentioned?

fzrkid's picture

Yes, collapse is the way to go..

 

I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to get a prenatel check-up for my wife. I call and explain I do not have insurance and I will pay cash. I called 4 different hospitals and non of them knew how to handle it. Most transferred my call to billing.

 

Most adivise us to sign up for Maine Care as they will pay for everything. I tell them we are not going to accept welfare from anyone.

 

We finally got an appointment with a doctor through the hospital. They offer a 40% discount if you pay cash..

 

What ever happend to private practices?!?!?!?!

Uncle Remus's picture

They don't respond well to public policy.

hidingfromhelis's picture

As with many other sectors, competition is suppressed.  Large "sick care" providers have on staff legal teams, full time staff for collecting from insurers, and the ability to hire lobbyists.  A private practician simply can't afford to do any of that, and will be burdened with trying to compete in that environment.  Having all that, the rules are written to favor large institutional providers.  By the time a private practice attends to all the bullshit, it won't have time to see patients.

p00k1e's picture

‘we are not going to accept welfare’

Two comments – consider accepting the 'free medical care' for the unborn child.  GM and FIAT autoworkers received 'free pensions'.  George Bush 'lost' pallets of $100.00 bills.  Save your cash for the kid’s I-phone 17.

We should all use as many government services as possible.  If we all call the fire department for kittens in trees, that’s added (unnecessary) expense to the system.

p00k1e's picture

The system must collapse from its’ own weight.   Here’s a prime example –

‘Danielle Wolf was not having a good night at the Kroger grocery store in North Augusta, S.C., where she moved with her family just three weeks ago.

She says her husband kept squishing the bread in their cart by putting frozen pizzas on top of it, and Wolf expressed her displeasure at the situation.

That's when her night got really bad. A fellow shopper approached her and accused her of using the F-word in front of her kids.

"I'm like, 'When did I say this to my kids?'" Wolf tells WJBF. "I said that to my husband, that he was smashing the bread."

But somehow the police were called, and Wolf ended up getting arrested in the incident late Sunday.’

dizzyfingers's picture

"What ever happend to private practices?!?!?!?!"

The first thing that happened is that in 1972/1973, costs for medical malpractice insurance skyrocketed, some physicians receiving 800% and 1000% increases year after year as the costs to insurance companies, caused by the growing trend of suing doctors. The larger mandated settlements became (courtesy of lawyers who got rich on founded and unfounded claims awarded by juries) the higher malpractice insurance went. In some specialties, the costs of insurance (and the never-ending increase in government reporting) drove doctors to close their practices. So, that was part of the beginning of the problems we have now.

 

 

22winmag's picture

Short answer... yes.

 

Burn it down.

kchrisc's picture

"Is Collapse The Only Real "Fix" To Our Healthcare And Legal Systems?"

Funny how the further the DC US gets from the Constitution, that is, the more criminal they become, the worse things get and the more previously functioning things breakdown. http://mises.org/daily/4186/

Restore the Constitutional republic, guillotine the Fed and their treasonous puppets.

An American, not US subject.

 

The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying, quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: The guilty must answer for their crimes against the American people and the Constitution.
Restoration: Restore the American people, country and Constitutional republic.

lunaticfringe's picture

Yes. Next question.

silentboom's picture

Time to reboot the matrix.

Pumpkin's picture

There is a very simple solution to all this.  Lawyers only get paid minimum wage.  There.  Fixed.