-OK, let's bury the hatchet.
-On (C), that's the idea, somehow, behind any path forward.
Absolutely. But not by just "patching", by "real" cost cutting measures that will be permanent.
-But a massive success in cost cutting of 10% would only be an improvement of less than two -years of cost growth.
Not if there are permanent closings of the holes that bleed the system and force costs to go up.
-The legal cost was recognized 20 years ago, and a lot has changed in that area.
Yes it has. Too many holes have been opened up that allow the bleeding to increase. Have you seen all the "lawyer" commercials on TV? "Have you or a loved one taken the (FDA Approved) drug (name one here)?, then call us! We'll get the money you deserve." Or, "did a doctor save your life, but this drug (FDA Approved) cause side effects?, Call us! We'll get the compensation you deserve". Come on! You would have been DEAD otherwise! These "lawyers" are costing the health industry Billions! Class-Action lawsuits are a JOKE! The lawyers get millions, while each "victim" gets a check for a whopping $10 for their "share". And if You or I would want to bring a suit against some drug company, or doctor, for that same reason, we can't because that "issue" had already been "settled with". We were never involved in that class-action suit, but our right to sue had been taken away arbitrarily just so one or two lawyers can make out like bandits. Lawyers should be penalized for every frivolous, or otherwise, meaningless lawsuit they attempt to bring to the courts. It not only drains the health system, it also drains the "legal" system. The lawyers always win, even when they "lose" the case! Not to mention the loss of the hopes and dreams of their "clients", and the draining of their wallets. That needs to be addressed immediately. But why doesn't it? Hmmm, let's see, the Congressmen are mostly, yep, Lawyers! And if it were addressed, you'd see an immediate drop in medical "costs". And if it were addressed permanently, those cost reductions would perpetuate way into the future. And the drop would be more than a mere 10%. Doctors wouldn't be so afraid to "mis-diagnose" for fear of going bankrupt. They wouldn't need to run a "battery" of expensive tests just to cover their butts "legally", but rather be able to "specialize and concentrate" on the most likely diagnosis. Which leads to reduced costs. Doctors charge less because their insurance is cheaper, the drugs are cheaper, and the testing is cheaper. And guess what? People can afford to get their "checkups" regularly and get preventative medicine to help prevent the more expensive "emergency" treatment down the road.
That is only part of it, of course. The "legal" side can be a large chunk of the expense. Taming the legal side can have a domino effect on lowering costs since so many things depend on it, or are affected in some way by it.
Other ways, of course, are the "normal" operating costs of the hospitals and follow-up rehabilitation centers. Just the cost of "environmental control" (heating and air-conditioning), and electricity can be astronomical. Tame those costs by lowering energy costs. Yes, another thing that shouldn't be in the Government's hands. But that's another issue. ;-). Then the costs of labor in wages and salaries needs to be addressed. Sure, people like to make money, and who wouldn't? But when the Government forces people to pay a "higher minimum wage", how do they think that is compensated for? Yep, by higher costs to cover it! So the message is there are many ways to tame the costs. Many are so interrelated to other aspects of life that if one of them is less costly, it will affect another and reduce those costs as well, and so on. If you can get 1% here, and 3% there, and 2% over there, it will all add up to more than a mere 10% total reduction.
-It won't matter if the case is hopeless and the only treatments options are an expensive -waste of time. It would be Terri Schiavo all over again, where it got pressed, even though -after she died it was shown there really wasn't anything left to save.
Well, that was mainly more "legislation from the bench" and a media frenzy where Terri's wishes were stripped from her by some judge. A case of "expert against expert", but the "experts" were just a prop for the misguided judge to lean on. Sure, I felt bad for the whole ordeal. It's like a tug of war that you can't win. Nobody won there, but everybody paid dearly.
-but because we have collectively bought into the the legend of the miraculous last-minute -cure.
That's something one just has a hard time giving up... Hope! But there comes a time when all the hope in the world isn't going to change anything. And like Terri, I have a wish that if there is no "hope" for me, just pull the plug. Save the resources for someone that can be saved. What good is being a vegetable? I've lived my life contributing as much as I can. I don't want to "take it back" just because I can. But hey, that's me. Obviously others have a different outlook. That's a virtue of being a Free nation. You *can* be different!
-And it's the saying "No" to expensive and futile treatment has to happen to control costs.
But that isn't a large part of the overall costs. Maybe 2% at most, and in extreme cases. It's the reasons I spoke of above that make up the largest % of the costs.
-There can't be a lawsuit if it was correct.
You'd think that, wouldn't you? But the "legal system" has deemed "There is always someone to blame", no matter what..
-And everyone needs to pay their share of the system costs.
And how do you determine what one's "share" is? Is it fair that some people may only need 1%, while paying 10%, and some will use 50% while only paying 10%. But while using 30%, that cannot pay in their 10% because they are now incapable of doing so? Does their % debt add up? That's not going to be easy to figure that one out and be fair to all.
I still say that if the costs are tamed, people can pay their own way. We still have the Welfare system for those who just can't do it. As well as the generous donations and "fund raisers" that happen all the time.