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More from the debates

The most surprising question was about doctors and their decreasing income.  Average Americans, as a rule, aren’t that sympathetic with doctors but, it is true that doctors have had a decreasing income for some time.  To our government, decreasing Medicare and Medicaid expenditures meant decreasing reimbursement to physicians and hospitals.  This has been the standard practice for over 2 decades.  A solo family practitioner could make between $150 – $200,000 in the early 1980’s.  Now, a solo family doc makes about $156,000 per year.  No change.  That’s a problem.  Then, add in tuition costs for college and medical school.  Many of physicians are graduating medical school owing between $100,000 – $250,000.  During residency, some loan institutions will allow you to defer payments but, the interest continues to build so you owe even more.

The cost of care is one of the things that really chaps Americans.  Just driving by a hospital can cost thousands.  Many Americans incorrectly assume that doctors are the major cost in medicine.  In a recent study on clinic AIDS patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the costs that most people associated with medicine (physician and nursing costs) added up to less than two percent of the patients yearly cost of treatment.  Sixty percent of the costs were in medication expenses.  Sixty percent!!!

Anyway, the answers that I heard were very interesting.  John Edwards is 100% correct that we are going to have … already having a severe nursing shortage.  Beds are currently closed at hospitals around the country because there aren’t enough nurses.

Biden’s answer was great.  Dodd’s answer was okay.  Edwards was great but, he didn’t really answer the question.  Clinton really didn’t say anything except that her plan answers something.  Obama’s answer is good but not complete (unclear how you can give a complete answer in 30 seconds).  Kucinich’s answer for universal Medicare will probably not help doctors but will increase access to health care for many Americans.  Governor Richardson’s proposal will not increase reimbursement for physicians and I’m not sure how it will attract more physicians.  In my opinion, Senator Biden’s answer was the most complete.

By |2013-11-03T18:43:00-04:00November 1st, 2007|Election 2008, Healthcare|Comments Off on More from the debates

Opportunity cost

“The difference between the yield that funds earn in one use and the yield they could have earned had they been placed in an alternative investment generating the highest yield available.”


Media coverage, mainstream and otherwise, today has been all over discussing whether or not this bridge was “obsolete” and what that means, and whether or not there was “fatigue” in the steel, or other signs of wear/tear. They’ve been going over the frequencies of inspections, etc. They’ve talked about the age of the bridge (1967).

One interesting radio bit, though, on “Here and Now”, was discussing the status of our nation’s bridge infrastructure, and the fact that, on average, a bridge collapses every week somewhere in the United States. Which brings me back to the title of this post. Opportunity cost. Here’s a number: $448,547,085,637 , one that is already obsolete, because it was from the morning of August 2, 2007. Go ahead and click on the link and see how much the number has gone up between then and now when you are reading this. Here’s a question to go along with that number: How many of those bridges that have fallen down in the past 4+ years of war could have been repaired if we hadn’t spent that money blowing shit up? Just wondering. Talk amongst yourselves.

By |2007-08-02T17:19:01-04:00August 2nd, 2007|Domestic Issues|Comments Off on Opportunity cost

Cost of immigrants on Healthcare

If immigrant (economic refugees) were the only thing that Healthcare had to worry about then we would be sitting pretty.  This short segment doesn’t begin to touch the problem.  Individual large hospitals are doing between $10 – $100 million of free care per year.  This care that they can’t collect on.  Economic refugees are just another added burden. 

My good friend, John Porter, is a star in this clip!

(BTW, how to tackle any subject “In Depth” in 2:38?)

By |2007-05-29T23:08:41-04:00May 29th, 2007|Border Security, Healthcare, Immigration|Comments Off on Cost of immigrants on Healthcare
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