"It is extremely expensive because there is no attempt to cure problems with nutrition. Med schools no longer teach these subjects that were prevailant prior to WWII."
For as much as I respect nutrition as part of the solution, it is a small part of the problem.
The problem is that it is setup for EVERYONE to get their cut.
Let us take one of the most common procedures done in the US, the cardiac cath...now, one could argue about the reasons on how we could prevent the need for this to be done, or (as I do) why it is often achieving very little, but that is a separate issue. Let us say that the cost for this, per the hospital charge-master, is $40,000.
- Hospital takes 20-25%, much higher if it is private. This has been a trend over the past 20 years, whereupon public hospitals in rural places are bought up one at a time to form a network....this is why if you go to a small town in say, Oklahoma or Texas (almost all private there now), the richest person in town, by far, is the hospital CEO. All of that 20% is made by instituting things to MAKE MORE money in the hospital, while pushing down costs, just like we were making widgets. Patients are admitted that don't need to be. Stays are longer. Surgeries are taken over longer-term observation because they make more money, faster = better business.
- When I walk in to operate, most of the pieces of equipment in that OR are rented or bought from very powerful equipment companies. They pay people to come in to negotiate their rates for renting a given instrument, and there is an associated "break-even point" with each one...."This must be used at least 20 times per month to pay for it", and the like. These people also get their cut.
- Pharma companies also negotiate with the hospital to determine which drugs will be carried, and what they will be getting for them. Pharm companies are given exclusive rights to entire areas of care, with ONLY their drugs being permissible for use out of that hospital....for example, GSK has been very successful in marketing its cholesterol or HTN drugs to private hospitals, especially in the midwest and south where state laws have allowed them to be very aggressive. Their cut is also substantial.
Now, ALL of these big cut takers have very powerful lobbies at both the national and state level....all in place to protect their investments on making as much money as humanely possible off of sick people. The laws have been written and manipulated to their purposes far above anyone else's.
The truly impressive part is that in ALL of the fuss made over Obamacare since it passed, these lion's share takers are never even brought up or debated....it is all about "socialism" or "mandates" or "freedom" or "healthcare is a human right", depending on whose side one is on.
Meanwhile, the true owners continue their theft. Amazing.
"Educating oneself is the paramount of liberty; otherwise mass franchise will only lead to mass deception. A citizen of our republic, and therefore an entire people, cannot be both ignorant and free." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Trying to convince every woman to love her body sounds like a lot of work.....can't we just find the ten women that do and emotionally destroy them?" - Me, while inebriated on homemade mead