Kunstler Exposes The "Financial Ass-Rape" Of American Healthcare

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

If you seek to know why this country is in so much trouble, check out the lead reports about the health care reform bill in today’s New York Times, WashPo, and CNN. You will find there is no intelligible discussion in any of them as to what’s actually ailing US health care. All you get is play-by-play commentary about which political tag-team is “winning,” as if this were a pro wrestling match - with an overlay of gloat that the Republicans fell oafishly out of the ring in the early rounds.

Of course, an issue even larger than the health care fiasco is this society’s tragic and astounding inability to discuss anything coherently in the public arena, and that might possibly be traced to the failures of education in our time and its effects on the current crop of editors and news producers — people who grew up hearing that reality was just a constructed “narrative” and that one narrative was as good as another.

So, you would surmise from reading the papers (or their web editions) that the health care problem was simply a matter of apportioning insurance coverage. That is what the stage magicians call misdirection. Any way you cut the dynamics of health insurance, as practiced in the USA these days, it is nothing but racketeering, literally a conspiracy between informed players to swindle uninformed “patients.” The debate in congress (and the news media) is just about who gets to be swindled.

This is almost entirely due to the hocus-pocus of pricing for services. For an excellent dissection of all this, I urge you to read Karl Denninger’s comprehensive manifesto, How To Permanently Fix Health Care For All, which he posted one month ago. You have to wonder whether anybody in congress happened to read this, because the debate has been devoid of any of the crucial points that it addresses.

The way it works now, the so-called “providers” (doctors, hospitals) refuse to post the cost of any service, and then charge whatever they feel they can extract, subject to an abstruse and dishonest ceremonial “negotiation” with the insurance company. The result: hospital and insurance executives get paid multi-million dollar salaries, doctors get to drive fine German cars, and the patient gets financially ass-raped, kicked to the curb, and eventually stuffed into the bankruptcy courts.

ObamaCare did nothing to fix this. It just added more victims to the rolls and upped the price of admission for a personal financial ass-raping, so that an insured individual could go to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy and end up getting dunned for thousands of dollars — or even more if one of the hosptial’s favorite cute scams is applied, such as calling in an out-of-network anesthesiologist to knock you unconscious (in which state you are unlikely to inquire whether he/she/zhe is in-network or out).

Under the current system, a hospital can bill you $5,999 to stitch up a cut finger, mitigate a bee-sting, or wind an Ace bandage around a sprained ankle, and you’re sure not to learn the cost-of-treatment until the postman drops off the incomprehensible “explanation of benefits” from the insurance company that states in bold print on top “This Is Not a Bill,” but actually is a report of your own incipient financial ass-raping.

But judging from the news reports this day, none of these issues is actually on the table in the congressional debate. I don’t believe the editors of The New York Times are necessarily “in bed” with the overpaid hospital CEOs and the insurance company fraudsters. They are simply putting up a defense of their previous psychological investment in Democratic Party ideology — in the shibboleth that ObamaCare was unquestionably a great thing because it was created under the magically empowered 44th president.

I can believe that both Democratic and Republican law-makers are not only in bed with the medical fraudsters of all categories, but are performing a particularly odious form of sadomasochistic bondage-and-discipline sex in exchange for payoffs. Note, too, that none of the aforementioned major media have reported what the medical and insurance lobbyists have paid to their rent-boys and doxies in the US capitol. Wouldn’t you like to know?

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SubjectivObject's picture

Denninger has these long years exposed the financial assrape of the sick care industry.

 

NotApplicable's picture

Good thing Kunstler voted for Obummer twice so that he can understand his own complicity!

NoDebt's picture

"an issue even larger than the health care fiasco is this society’s tragic and astounding inability to discuss anything coherently in the public arena,"

Do you think this is by accident??

 

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

Good thing Kunstler voted for Obummer twice so that he can understand his own complicity

 

That's why he considers himself an 'EXPERT' on ass raping.

Consuelo's picture

 

 

So did highly-educated, street-smart, market-savvy Karl Denninger, by the way ---

FireBrander's picture

!. Bust the fucking monopolies!

!. Seperate having a job from having access to care.

!>BOOM! Trillions back into peoples pockets and the economy takes off.

~~~~

Oh, yeah, the "Health Industry" takes it in the ass dry...boo, hoo.

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

U supri i speek ur ranguage but u fohgeh i were ehucadah @ UCRA!

davinci7_gis's picture

This whole fiasco was all intended in order to bring about a single payer system.  I said this way back in 2011 when they rammed it through congress.  In the future there will be the "shitty" public health system and then, if you are rich, you can pay for great healthcare out of your own pocket to doctors that are outside of the single payer system.

Creative_Destruct's picture

Yes. The classic government "Expansion by failure" phenomenon. O-care is blowing up and failing  and at the same time it has changed the terms of the debate. No longer is either party talking about Market approaches. The emphasis is TOTALLY on ensuring coverage for all. And the tear-filled stories of how people will loose their coverage are spreading in a viral wild-fire.

Entitlements and "free shit" are addictive:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/05/krauthammer_i_would_predict_that_in_less_than_seven_years_we_will_be_in_a_single-payer_system.html

 

BennyBoy's picture

 

Denniger's piece on Medical racketeering saves hunderds of billions a year and makes sense.

 

Creative_Destruct's picture

Thanks for highlighting that. YES it makes sense. Everyone, especially our idiot representatives, should read it.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I have lived in a country with single payer (Australia) for the last 10 years after abandoning the Good Ship USA.

My comment: anyone who is against single payer is a certified moron who has absolutely no friggin' idea what they are talking about.

And if you're against "socialism" then go after the biggest socialists in the country: the Wall St Industrial complex, the Military Industrial complex, the Pharma Industrial complex, the Surveillance Industrial complex, the Prison Industrial complex, and the Energy Industrial complex. Get a friggin' clue: they've got Socialism, you've got Capitalism.

Shockwave's picture

Enlighten those of us who have never lived in a single payer system. Not sure Aus it the best example for the US tho. Youre the size of the US with the pop of Cali.

Britains system seems like itd be more parallel to ours.

My only experience was when I spent several weeks in Germany and spent a lot of time with our sales rep from Switzerland. He said they have single payer in both places... and both places many people buy private insurance just to have the peace of mind that they'll have immediate access to surgeries and complicated procedures that have long wait times in the public system.

Canary Paint's picture

The supplementary insurance is for paying the percentage the universal plan does not pay.

And the supplementary insurance is cheaper than our basic healthcare, usually by far.

And the bill before the universal plan even pays is still significantly less than the US.

And to get to the point that you need super specific, state of the art care, you probably need to be shot in the face or something.

Emergency care in the States is likely the best in the world by far.

Eng7's picture

Yanks have an irrational fear of socialism.

Western countries with good health care systems have government run health care (not single payer, just taxpayer funded) that are supplemented by a smaller private system to allow faster service for non life threatening issues.

I think the only way for the USA to reform itself, is to have the states start government run hospitals that provide basic primary care for free..... but no mericans think its a sin to pay more tax in case some single mother on crack might get free health care she didn't deserve.

Canary Paint's picture

Thank you for this comment. I love the fuck out of what ZH does, but the confusion here between regulation and socialism annoys the fuck out of me.

Single payer (and the many variations between such as mostly universal, just a few payers) healthcare is the product of tension between the public sector, the private sector and the citizen. This tension allows a regular joe like me to go to a doctor when I am sick without spending some ridiculous portion of a week's pay just because I needed antibiotics.

It is funny in a trying-not-to-cry kind of way when I see Americans talking about somehow shifting our situation, which is not exactly a monopoly but is dominated by small numbers of influential players, to a free market. Do you mean giving unlimited power to the already ridiculously dominant players?

Great idea...

And folks... It is not about if healthcare is a codified right or not. It is just about consistently getting people to work in the morning while allowing them to have weekend BBQs with their families and friends. More medical debt, less BBQs... You all are probably smarter or more idealistic than me. Give me BBQs without dropping bombs on others and I am happy.

Yeah... I am dumb. Fuck off.

HopefulCynical's picture

This tension allows a regular joe like me to go to a doctor when I am sick without spending some ridiculous portion of a week's pay just because I needed antibiotics.

Prior to government jumping into health care with both feet, that didn't happen.

Canary Paint's picture

There is good regulation and bad regulation. This is a function of many things far beyond just if it came from government or not.

A completly government-free market would still end up having regulations to attract traders.

So... Good or bad regulation goes beyond if its source would be private or public.

Saying government = bad and private = good is s shortcut from thinking abotu what good regulation would be.

Creative_Destruct's picture

Great amount of truth in what you say.

There is socialism for the rich and elititists and the deep statists and the large coprporate interests.

And a  stiffled, restricted, half -assed form of "capitalism" for the rest of us.

 

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

I doubt that will ever happen. They'll never grant their permission via a license to practice medicine outside of their "system". 

lil dirtball's picture

Speaking of launguage ...

Our language reflects the coarseness that our culture has become. I see it all the time in regular news - shit, ass, fuck ... etc. And, here, in this article - 'ass-rape'.

I understand that smart people use 'colorful' words. I understand that severe words reflect severe circumstances. But at some point, we lose civility ... and I'm sure that's already happened.

MillionDollarButter's picture

'ass-rape'  Betcha $5 this fool kunstler has an ICP tattoo and drinks 4-loko every night.

EDIT: Ok, maybe not.

unsafe-space-time's picture

Welcome to Sodom. Where your ass is public property.

MalteseFalcon's picture

There are government granted monopolies all over the American economy.

The "Crown" needs to rescind their charters.

Over to you, President Trump.

yrad's picture

Kunstler?? I cant even make up a joke.. it's too fucking easy.

Potato Farmer's picture

Yeah, I think Kunstler needs a girlfriend or something.  What's with all the lurid sexual language?

Twee Surgeon's picture

They used to say the Cream rises to the top. Now it's mostly just Scum.

Maltese Beagle's picture

Cream rises; scum floats.

Scum eats cream.

Smufty's picture

Assuming you want the best and brightest to be cutting and curing you and your children, and understanding they do not start making any money until over 30 years old with significant debt accumulated, what do you think is a fair income for physicians who will have less than 40 years to accumulate wealth? Just curious... 

Dabooda's picture

Better read Denniger's article.  Under his plan, doctors get to set their own fees -- not insurance companies or .gov.   Doctors with better records, more expertise, more willingness to work weird hours will, in a free market, be able to charge more than those with fewer competitive advantages.  How much money you or I think a doctor should make is irrelevant; doctors are not our slaves.  You're free to find the best one you can afford -- as long as they tell you what they're going to charge, before they start cutting on you.

booboo's picture

Right, Denninger voted for Obummer and all he got was a eight year cock ride on Mr. Mom Jeans.

NihilistZerO___'s picture

Just when you think ZeroHedge is going mainstream you get an article with Financial Ass-Rape in the title. Wonder if it will affect advertisers decisions???

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

Need moar web hits? Put a porn tag in the title for your fellow tribe at Google (who 'DO NO EVIL') to get on page one of the search

Playtime's Over's picture

I don't listen to the Cunt slur since he is complicit in the ass raping.  Start by getting on your knees and beg forgiveness for your stupidity in voting shit stain.

meditate_vigorously's picture

Kunstler wants to blame the behavior of the Jew controlled media on the public at large? I always hated this prick.

We can't have the discussions on the national level, because the media won't let us. Plenty of people have the discussions at the local level. But, elections no longer control anything. Our polity is captured by the oligarchs.

BullyBearish's picture

symptomatic of everything that is financialized...

Consuelo's picture

 

 

 Yes, and unfortunately the solutions he provides - albeit comprehensive and well-thought-out, still involve Government.   And unless people are willing to come to grips with the fact that you cannot 'compartmentalize' government inefficiencies, graft, bribe, lobbyists, etc., then it doesn't matter how great the 'new & improved' solution is, it remains Government-run by any other name.

alangreedspank's picture

Denninger knows full well the cartelization is helped by government intervention, I would think.

adanata's picture

Ah, so much more than rape; behold murder; Genocide Inc, if you will. Ocare was meant to fail so now comes step two as Sheeple are acclimating to .gov control of "health care". Young "doctors", having been fully indoctrinated in "medical school" are still relentlessly monitored by .gov data mining. Sooner than you might expect, mandated "vaccines" will morph into mandated medical "protocols" controlled by guess who...as "doctor's" opinions/judgement are removed from the equation altogether.

The word eugenics has been replaced with "bio-ethics" but the population control/reduction agenda grinds on as they use drugs and procedures to rob you blind while killing you softly.

Cancer appears to be one of the most potent assassins... and it can be delivered in so many ways....

JRobby's picture

Now here is some real news!!!!

Nutsell: "Any way you cut the dynamics of health insurance, as practiced in the USA these days, it is nothing but racketeering, literally a conspiracy between informed players to swindle uninformed “patients.” The debate in congress (and the news media) is just about who gets to be swindled."

Zorba's idea's picture

A fucking right! whoever thought Blackbeard and fellow pirates would become landlubbers..

Countrybunkererd's picture

I am about to cut my plan off pay the fine and die off if i get really sick.  Use the 20K each year to enjoy life.

JRobby's picture

The fines are likely gone for 2017 tax year.

Countrybunkererd's picture

Excellent!!! i will be throwing a 22,000 dollar party every year somewhere in the world.  cost of travel included in that amount of course.

Countrybunkererd's picture

if i invite you then i would have to invite everybody and then... but if we all do it we can meet in marfa or the caymans and call it business to write it off or something.

cossack55's picture

Would rather go to Alpine than Marfa