stockingfull wrote:I don't want to go back to the pre-HMO days because people didn't get preventative care back then.
And preventative care is no "Cadillac system," it's nothing more than the basic, immutable logic of the Fram filter guy: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It may not be 1/16 of the cost but there's no doubt that it's the key to fixing the system. Managing people's health minimizes the obscene expense of acute illness.
Of all the debates we have here, this one's the easiest. HMO's have proved that preventative care is the way to keep the population healthy -- and to do so economically. And we see that proven over and over in every population that's monitored, from HMO patients to executives to astronauts.
"preventive care" = deferred costs. Terminal illnesses, are where the massive costs occur. These illnesses are not prevented they are deferred. Cancer is the big problem. If you prevent all the rest of terminal illnesses, you will probably get cancer, a huge and costly part of hcc.
In the case of heart disease, another huge contributor to hcc, early detection=early treatment. Early treatment=frequent re-treatment and lots of drugs. It all ends with the same massive expenditures in the last year of someone's life who's dying of a terminal illness and the heroic measures they take to prolong life.
As for prevention, there aren't any known preventive measures not being employed. There is nothing more you can do short of putting a gun to people's heads to stop certain unhealthy life-shortening behavior. Oops, but shorter lifes incur less cost. It's a catch-22.
No savings there. No proof to your argument either. Lots of lipservice, no comprehensive numbers. Health care costs were unchanged by HMO's and their "preventive care". That much is documented.
The point is, health care costs money. We need to pay the bills out of our pockets; not with a credit card, neither ours nor the federal government's.