Kliff could produce important work!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2020

But would the Times permit it?:
Sarah Kliff joined the New York Times a bit more than one year ago. Unlike others at the Times, she lacks the twin excuses of incompetence and ignorance.

Today, at the very top of page A1, she suggests the way a person like herself might perform some large-scale, major health care reporting.

In the bulk of today's report, Kliff reports price gouging by certain concerns who are performing coronavirus testing. Along the way, as she starts her report, she places this apparent gouging within a much larger context:
KLIFF (6/17/20): How can a simple coronavirus test cost $100 in one lab and 2,200 percent more in another? It comes back to a fundamental fact about the American health care system: The government does not regulate health care prices.

This tends to have two major outcomes
that health policy experts have seen before, and are seeing again with coronavirus testing.

The first is high prices over all. Most medical care in the United States costs double or triple what it would in a peer country. An appendectomy, for example, costs $3,050 in Britain and $6,710 in New Zealand, two countries that regulate health prices. In the United States, the average price is $13,020.
The United States government doesn't regulate health care prices, Kliff reports. One result "is high prices over all"—massive overcharging for medical care, as compared to the cost of health care in other developed nations.

"Most medical care in the United States costs double or triple what it would in a peer country," Kliff reports. The gouging Kliff describes in this way is paid for by Americans across the board—by red and blue voters together!

This is the basic story newspapers like the New York Times have long refused to report or discuss. Kliff understands the basics here—the basic facts concerning the looting of every American by the various entities which comprise our "heath care system."

Kliff understands the basics of this relentless looting. But will she ever report this topic? Would the New York Times permit her to? Will she simply knuckle under, as all good "journalists" do?

Also this: Your cable news favorites never discuss this. Can you explain why they don't?

22 comments:

  1. "The United States government doesn't regulate health care prices"

    The US government doesn't regulate a lot of prices for goods and services. Are we to believe that we pay a lot more for sandwiches, writing implements, clothing, haircuts, and all of the other things we buy? My understanding was that competition was supposed to regulate the market to produce lower prices for consumers. Why is the health care market any different than these other unregulated markets?

    Somerby cannot blame health care prices on lack of regulation unless he can explain why health care is different and needs to be regulated when food and other necessities are not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My understanding was that competition was supposed to regulate the market to produce lower prices for consumers.

      My goodness! But isn’t that just adorable?

      Here’s a couple of hints:

      How much a month do you pay for sandwich insurance?

      When you need critical medical care, including emergency care, do you shop around for the best price?

      Have you ever seen a price board for medical procedures like the one they have at Subway for sandwiches?

      The ER doc says you need an expensive emergency tracheostomy. You’d like to find out which, if any, of a retromolar, a submental, or a submandibular endotracheal intubation would be cheaper and as effective. How do you find out?

      (For extra credit, compare and contrast with the decision of which Subway sandwich is the best — Black Forest ham, chicken & bacon ranch melt, or the classic tuna. Assuming of course that if you choose the wrong sandwich or don’t choose within three minutes, you’ll die. But, then, you’re eating at Subway: how much is your life really worth anyway?)

      Delete
    2. deadrat, is your name Somerby?

      And, congratulations on missing 4:58’s point.

      Delete
    3. Another hint - if a test costs $100 from one provider and $2200 from another the free-markets system (which we are supposed to have) is not actually regulating prices.

      Delete
    4. So, then, the reason we have no regulation of health care pricing is because Republicans won't let Democrats implement anything beneficial, just as they have intransigently opposed ACA and other health care improvements.

      How does Somerby propose to change Republican minds by carping about NY Times articles?

      Delete
    5. Is my name Somerby? No, my name is deadrat. I can’t prove that I’m not Somerby, but if we’re to be taken at our word, we hold opposite opinions on some things. For instance, Somerby says he doesn’t like to see people locked up. And, of course, I can’t prove we’re both to be taken at our word.

      But I can offer up some more evidence that we’re different people. It should be obvious that I understand a modicum of mathematics. Also, I read the TDH comment section.

      Have I missed 4:58’s point? Possibly, if you think that TDH must explain the blindingly obvious to Anonymous Ignoramuses like 4:58.

      Delete
    6. How does Somerby propose to change Republican minds by carping about NY Times articles?

      Do you think TDH is aimed at Republicans?

      Delete
    7. “Do you think TDH is aimed at Republicans?”

      Who knows or cares what audience Somerby is aiming for? Nobody reads his fricking blog, so it has zero influence over anyone. Why he keeps launching entries into the vacuum of space about “nobody is discussing this issue that i’m also not discussing” is beyond me.

      Delete
    8. I read him because I find it useful to consider ideas not entirely congruent with my own.

      What you're doing here is what's beyond me.

      Delete
    9. "How does Somerby propose to change Republican minds by carping about NY Times articles?"

      This is why he carps at the NYT:

      Most people, Democrats and Republicans, don't know how much our medical care "system" rips them off, every single day. They don't know b/c major media, like the NYT, have never told them.

      If the NYT told people that we pay 2x more per capita for health care than the rest of the world, even Republicans are going to ask "where the hell is all that money going?"

      Our health care system is a giant fraud, and if the mass of people, D and R, understood that, then the system would change, no matter how corrupt the GOP is.

      Delete
    10. It costs many more times to live in the Hamptons than to live in Detroit. Where is that extra money going? How can people tolerate getting ripped off like that?

      It costs many more times for a sandwich in NYC than in Albuquerque. If people understood how much they are getting ripped off would they tolerate it? Where is that extra money going?

      Health care in the US costs more because there are many differences between health care here and in other countries. The extra money goes to pay for those differences. One difference is that people here are allowed to choose their own treatment, and to refuse treatment. Another is the general lack of preventative care here compared to elsewhere. Another is the widespread use of "alternative" medicine, until cases become too serious to treat inexpensively. Another is the insurance industry and the lack of a coordinated national health service, but places such as Switzerland manage to have an insurance-based system without charging as much. People in Europe laugh at how fat Americans are. So there are cultural differences in the underlying population that exacerbate health conditions.

      Somerby ignores all of this and suggests that we make straight-across comparisons and then ask why. In no other situation would we do that. Cars and gas cost a lot more in Europe than here. Health care is much cheaper in Mexico and more widely available to people. Why does Somerby only compare with Europe?

      Somerby does nothing to advance any serious discussion about health care. It is just another stick to beat the "fake news" media with, so that his buddy Trump can get reelected and papa Putin will be happy.

      Delete
    11. Some of what you write makes sense, and some of what you write is absurd. People here are allowed to choose their own treatment or refuse treatment? Do you suppose that people in the US really have a “choice” to get treatments not approved by insurance companies or that people in Europe can’t refuse treatment?

      But beyond that is your whining that TDH doesn’t “advance serious discussion of health care.” Here’s a blog right here on blogspot.com: http://hailtofantasyfootball.blogspot.com, with a tagline that starts “A blog by someone completely obsessed with fantasy football….” He doesn’t seem to get many comments, so I’d guess he’d welcome some attention. Why aren’t you over there haranguing the blog owner about why he doesn’t discuss knitting?

      Maybe TDH should be discussing what you want to discuss, but he doesn’t. Isn’t it time for you to find a blog amenable to your interests or start one on your own?

      And TDH’s “buddy” Trump? TDH thinks that Trump is possibly insane. Some buddy.

      Well, at least you think that TDH only wants Putin to be happy. Or do you think TDH is on Putin’s payroll?

      Delete
    12. Somerby's blog sin't about healthcare.
      It's about repeating right-wing gripes.

      Delete
  2. "the basic facts concerning the looting of every American by the various entities which comprise our "heath care system.""

    Indeed. But you know, dear Bob, it could've been over by now.

    The system was collapsing under the weight of its own greed, when your Demigod Barry shored it up with his infamous 'obamacare'; adding more taxpayers' money in it, and forcing - by law! - individuals to feed the beast.

    And that's exactly how your liberal cult does it: singing your sweet, sweet songs while shaking money out of your pockets.

    ReplyDelete
  3. “Kliff understands the basics of this relentless looting. But will she ever report this topic? Would the New York Times permit her to?”

    She just did that, and the New York Times permitted her to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. “she suggests the way a person like herself might perform some large-scale, major health care reporting.”

    She has written 127 articles on healthcare at Vox over the past few years, and has been reporting on healthcare for over a decade.

    Also, “Prior to joining Vox, Sarah covered health policy for the Washington Post...She has also covered health policy for Politico and Newsweek magazine.”

    Despite all that, apparently only the New York Times is a “major” venue for such reporting.

    And it’s certainly not clear if Kliff is one of those liberals who doesn’t really care about healthcare, despite her years of reporting on it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somerby apparently knows that there is looting in our health care system. How does he know that? Where did he get his information? From writers like Kliff perhaps?

    Why will he not share those sources with us? It could be of vital importance. Instead, he tells us no one discusses the thing he already somehow knows.

    ReplyDelete
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