Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials -

“If you get your hip re­placed in the United States, the or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon who per­forms the pro­ce­dure will earn, on av­er­age, about $4,000 from your pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pany, as­sum­ing you have one. ... Do­ing the same op­er­a­tion on a pri­vately in­sured pa­tient will get about $2,200 in Eng­land, $2,000 in Aus­tralia and $1,340 in France. ... Con­trol­ling (health­care sys­tem) costs is the key to the fu­ture of the Amer­i­can econ­omy. Among the many pro­vi­sions of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act of 2009, for ex­am­ple, are fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for health­care fa­cil­i­ties that re­duce ex­pen­sive pre­ventable er­rors and fi­nan­cial penal­ties for those that do not.”

—St.Louis­Post-Dis­patch “Dur­ing a re­cent Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial de­bate, CNN’s Wolf Bl­itzer, the mod­er­a­tor, asked Rep. Ron Paul a provoca­tive health­care ques­tion: What should hap­pen to a healthy 30-year-old unin­sured man who slips into a coma and needs care for months. … And then Bl­itzer posed an­other one: ‘Are you say­ing that so­ci­ety should just let him die?’ … There is some­thing wrong when ‘let­ting some­one die’ be­cause the per­son doesn’t have health in­sur­ance is even be­ing de­bated in an in­dus­tri­al­ized, civ­i­lized coun­try. Only in the United States would a can­di­date for pres­i­dent be asked such a ques­tion. Other coun­tries do not leave mil­lions of their peo­ple unin­sured in the first place.”

—Des­Moines (Iowa) Reg­is­ter “Nearly 1 mil­lion more Amer­i­cans went with­out health in­sur­ance in 2010 than in 2009. This dis­tress­ing news is fur­ther ev­i­dence of the need for govern­ment safety-net pro­grams and the national health­care re­forms that will take ef­fect mostly in 2014. The Cen­sus Bureau re­ported ... that the num­ber of unin­sured peo­ple rose to 49.9 mil­lion last year, up from 49 mil­lion the pre­vi­ous year. This is par­tic­u­larly trou­bling dur­ing an eco­nomic down­turn in which more peo­ple have been pushed into poverty and me­dian fam­ily in­come has plum­meted, leav­ing the unin­sured with even fewer re­sources to pay for health­care.”


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