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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 03:07 PM
Number of posts: 9,704

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The stunning truth about healthcare pricing

Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM PDT
The stunning truth about healthcare pricing
by Deep Harm

A story in today's LA Times describes in rare detail why US healthcare is insanely expensive. It's not due to malpractice lawsuits, patients who expect too much, high-tech medicine or burdensome regulations. No, it's the result of insurance industry bureaucracy and greed. While many consumers have long suspected that, hard evidence has been elusive. Now, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has turned up that hard evidence.

Evidence shows that healthcare costs are arbitrary and capricious.

The LA Times article, "Healthcare's High Cost: Many hospitals, doctors offer cash discount for medical bills," [link:]http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-medical-prices-20120527,0,4627745.story provides data showing that healthcare costs are neither realistic nor consistent. Americans purchase insurance with the expectation of getting reduced out-of-pocket healthcare costs, but instead pay more than they would if they just paid cash--sometimes, much, much more. Example:

Los Alamitos Medical Center, for instance, lists a CT scan of the abdomen on a state website for $4,423. Blue Shield says its negotiated rate at the hospital is about $2,400.

When The Times called for a cash price, the hospital said it was $250. (LATimes)

Similar cost disparities exist at other hospitals, according to the Los Angeles Times and Dr. David Belk, MD, and insurance companies pocket the difference.

Healthcare reforms passed in the Obama administration require hospitals to disclose their standard charges, i.e., list prices. But, only a sucker pays the list price. The real cost of medical procedures remains hidden to most consumers.

The insurance industry can make exorbitant demands because it has full control of healthcare...


My son had a simple trumpet lesson, and learned the power of music.

His private trumpet teacher is known for being one of the best trumpet teachers in the area. She is a professor in the music department of a well-known college. Her husband is the music director. Both play the trumpet.

At my son's lesson this week, she brought out "Taps". I was sitting on her waiting room couch trying to decipher the NYT's crossword puzzle; but had to stop and listen as they began to play the piece together in her studio. It was so beautiful. When the lesson was over and they came out, she told us a story...

A few years ago, early on a Memorial Day morning, her husband came to her with his trumpet in hand and said, "I am going to the cemetery."

She looked at him for a moment, then nodded and said, "Okay. Let me get my trumpet."

When they arrived at the cemetery, they didn't speak. They knew what they were there for, and each found a spot at different corners. They faced each other. Her husband began. The first line of "Taps" floated hauntingly across the graves. She replied in turn. And so they played.

They do this every Memorial Day now. She stands on one end, he on the other, and they play "Taps" to one another across the graves. Then, they silently leave and go to the next cemetery. Sometimes they are alone, but usually there are people visiting their fallen loved ones. Most of them are moved to tears and thank them for coming.

When my son left the lesson, he was deep in thought. "That sounds sad, Mama." he said. "And beautiful."

I nodded.

"Maybe someday I will do that."

"I would be very proud if you did."

He held my hand as we walked to the car.

Happy Memorial Day to All.

Our Education System

Wall Street Journal - "Obama spending binge never happened" (GREAT CHART!)

Tue May 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM PDT
Wall Street Journal - "Obama spending binge never happened"
by NewDealer

...From the Wall Journal's Market Watch column today comes this.

Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree. (snip) Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true. But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has...


...Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%.

There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear...


MORE AT: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/22/1093932/-Wall-Street-Journal-Obama-spending-binge-never-happened-

Timothy Geithner Carefully Explains to Republicans Why They are Stupid

Tue May 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM PDT
Timothy Geithner Carefully Explains to Republicans Why They are Stupid
by Pluto

Exactly one year ago, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to a few select Senators and members of Congress, in which he told them what he was going to do to them if they excercised their destructive nonsense by obstructing the routine increase of the debt ceiling.

But before I proceed further with Mr. Geithner's letter, I have a special message for the Teabaggers out there in our studio audience. I'll use big type but try not to use any big words:

[font size= 4]Did you know that Congress is the group that decides how much money to borrow and spend? That's right, President Obama does not have a Secret Socialist Checkbook. Once Congress votes to spend money, they are then obligated by the Constitution to pay those bills.

Saint Ronald Reagan, the most holy of all the Presidents, began the Tax-Rate Slashing era in America. His limited brain capacity told him that it was good. His brain also told him to urge Congress to raise defense spending into the stratosphere. Of course, the limited tax revenues could no longer keep up with the increased military spending by Congress, so America started taking on debt. Look! Here's a picture!

Did you know that Americans currently pay just about the lowest taxes in the entire world? Because of that, we borrow more and more money. Since the time of Saint Reagan, Congress has raised the debt ceiling over and over again, year after year, to cover the amount that they are spending. Seventy-four times so far!... [/font size]

MUCH MORE AT: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/22/1093971/-Timothy-Geithner-Carefully-Explains-to-Republicans-Why-They-are-Stupid

dupe - delete

Paul Newman on Facebook

Dedicated to the 99%

Found it on facebook...

Obama Smacks Down Elizabeth Hasselback on The View

Sorry I can't embed it, and it's not on YouTube yet. Worth watching though.

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