The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

US Healtchare: subsidizing, outsourcing, profiting

Two articles on this issue. First is a brief piece from Time magazine on Americans having operations abroad because they're too expensive at home.

Why bankrupt yourself to pay $90,000 for a surgery you can get for $10,000 in Bangkok? The availability of high-quality medical care in India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have led to a steady stream of uninsured and underinsured Americans boarding planes for care. We're not talking just tummy tucks...this is the real deal - hip replacement, heart surgery, etc.

Next, a piece by OhioDem1 on the soaring cost of medications. With their prescription drug law, the GOP has effectively ensured high prices and undermined free market capitalism by denying Medicare the right to bargain with industry. They name the price and we pay it, end of story. But OD1's analysis highlights the disturbing fact that this means we're not only paying more for our own healthcare than any other industrialized nation, but subsidizing foreign consumption of American pharamceuticals-- foreign governments negotiate drug costs (I'm sure you remember busloads of seniors going to Canada to fill prescriptions, and Republican attempts to stop them), and their savings become our costs. Fortunately, he has a solution. Good stuff, although the complexity makes choosing an excerpt difficult.