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The big socialized medicine post

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Here I will give my thoughts and viewpoint on the current push to give people socialized medicine in the US.  Feel free to chime in on what you think.

As all of you are quite aware, there is a push in this country to give every man-woman-child government sponsored health-care.  Here I will tell you why this is a horrible idea and is doomed to fail.

Here in the wonderful USA, we already have 2 forms of socialized medicine:

  • MediCare – Given to citizens over the age of 65, or to those under 65 who qualify (renal disease, disability, etc)
  • MediAid – Welfare

Both of these are wholly sponsored and paid-for by Uncle Sam.  Sure Medicare Part D plans have a small premium, but usually those are taken out of your MediCare check (and are no where near the cost of private insurance).

What this socialized medicine bullshit wants to do, is to give “universal health-care” to people who do not fit within those two categories.  Now mind you, that anyone can go to any county hospital (paid for by the taxpaying citizens of that county) and receive medical care without having the ability to pay.  Most private hospital ER rooms will also give you stabilizing treatment without you showing proof of ability to pay.  That seems pretty damn awesome if you ask me, however people want more.

The big idea that some Americans throw around is that access to health-care is a right.  Let me clarify this for everyone who thinks that way:


Access to a Doctor is as much as right as having access to a Plumber, a Roofer, an Electrician or anyone else in a specialized trade.  Until the government FORCES AND PAYS people to go to medical school, it is not a right. You see us Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists? We chose to go into this profession, we weren’t forced into doing it.  Do you see an amendment in the Constitution showing the right to see a medical professional? No. Do you know how to re-shingle your roof, install a shower, fix a rotting foundation, lay brick, or do a bunch of other jobs that you have NO PROBLEM hiring someone to do; but the moment you can’t get in to see the doctor RIGHT NOW (because his/her practice revolves around YOU) the “I HAVE A RIGHT” card gets thrown down as you throw a 2 year old tantrum?   Quit fucking whining about your “right” to see a doctor and be thankful there’s more than 1 doctor in 300 square miles like in some 3rd world countries.  Be thankful we even have people who choose to be doctors, pharmacists and nurses after dealing with shit-ass people like you.

Now that we cleared up that “confusion” that some entitlement douches like to throw around, we can move on why socialized medicine will not work here:


Irresponsible humans have a nasty of habit of seeing “free” and totally abusing the shit out of it thinking it is indeed free when its not.  Its free to them, but costly to someone else.  Let me give you a situation:  You have a sore throat.  You should probably go and see the doctor but you might want to wait another day.  Judging that you can see the doctor “RIGHT NOW”, are you more willing to go if its going to cost you a $100 copay, or $0 copay?  Now imagine EVERYONE doing this to the same doctors office.  Now get really mad when your appointment is 3 years away, and the doctor sees you for 30 seconds.  Now bitch about something that you get for free off of the backs of the working class.

As evidenced by the MediCare system (why do old people need so many fucking lab tests.. OH ITS FREE!) and the welfare system (I need my Nexium, Diovan, but I only really take my VICODIN), if something is perceived as free it will be used, abused, and taken for granted.   Just look at e-mail and the internet for example.  People believe that email is free, so as a result I get thousands of spam messages a day to my inbox.  People believe that its free for me to run this site, so they have scripts setup to check it every 30 seconds for new content (if you’re slow, you wouldn’t realize that I try to post something every SUNDAY).  Humans abuse what is free.

I’m sure the Canadian and the UK readers will share how most of them have PRIVATE insurance because the socialized stuff has a 4 year waiting list for appointments for the socialized docs.  Hate to say it, but copays filter out the “I must see doctor!” from the “Eh, im bored, lets go get drugs”.  If you don’t believe me, go sit in the ER and see what piddly shit comes in to waste our dollars.


Yeah, we’re broke.  We bailed out every corporation that should of failed (will Obama bail out my pharmacy and the other independents when the insurance companies force us under? No) and have a few trillion dollars of unaccounted free money (our money) floating around.  Now how exactly are we going to pay for this?  I’m paying into a MediCare system that will be long dried up before I ever get to get a lab or appointment covered by it.  Medicare part D has to have the ‘coverage gap’ to keep it from going broke (faster), and now we want to give subsidized health care to everyone?  Reading above how people abuse what is free doesn’t really make much sense that this is going to financially fly.  The government couldn’t throw a 5 year old’s birthday party without tons of red tape and spending 100x what is would normally cost and there is talk about making them have a hand in our health-care?  I think this whole ‘universal healthcare’ is just a government ploy to give new jobs to the idiots who work on the federal dime so they can keep their meaningless pointless jobs.

So I don’t really know what the future holds if we have socialized medicine in this country.  It might look good on paper, but I think its going to flop.  At least I’ll get my opinions in before the government forbids me from giving them (or maybe the’ll just take over this website like they are taking over everything else in this country). 😉

UPDATE: Look, less than 24 hours and already I’m trying to explain what I wrote.  So this post was to clarify on how I think that healthcare is not a right (which it’s not, disagree if you will)  and two huge issues that any government subsudized plan is going to have (which could apply to ANYTHING that ANYONE pays to service that someone else uses)  It wasn’t “YAR YAR NO SOCIALIZED MEDICINE” like the words some of you are putting in my mouth.  Since /any/ plan that is made by our broke government is going to be 1000% funded on the backs of taxpaying citizens (since obviously doctors aren’t going to take a huge pay cut, pharmacies aren’t going to take a huge pay cut, where is the cash going to magically come from?) these are the concerns I have (and rightfully so).  Like one reader said, we can’t take the usual government approach and throw this together, dust off our hands, and pat each other on the back.  You would think that most of you who dealt with the Medicare Part-D bullshit would understand that.  This is huge, and its with our money, so we should demand that it be perfect, well thought out, or we’re just throwing money away.  And to the federal workers to got offended by my joke about the ‘government conspiracy’, get back to work, quit wasting time reading my website, and dont be so easily offended by the unfaulting sweeping brush that I make jokes under.

Comments #

Comment by jeepfreak2002 on 2009-06-21 10:31:00 -0700 #


Comment by Carol on 2009-06-21 10:57:15 -0700 #

Actually, youcan’t get private coverage to see a doctor faster in Canada. doctors must either opt in or out of the govt plan. Since to opt out menas they won’t get any patients, no family medicine doctor would opt out. In order to work in a hospital, youmust accept govt money, so you can’t opt out. unless you are made of money and can makeyour own privat ehospital of course.

Comment by my hair is on fire on 2009-06-21 11:07:46 -0700 #

just wanted to chime in as one of your regular canadian readers.
we don’t really have private insurance for most of our health care. i have drug insurance (in my province drugs are covered for a senior or someone on some form of government aid). doctor visits, surgeries, specialists, etc… nope, all covered by our tax dollars.

and there are no 4 year waits to see these socialised doctors either. our family doctors are over worked and sometimes you have to wait to get in for non-urgent care. but not years or even months. and urgent care is given immediately. most stuff happens pretty fast.

e.g. a few years ago i had a complicated migraine. went to the walk in clinic to see a doctor who wanted to rule out a stroke. i was in for a CT the next day, and off to the neurologist shortly after that.
out of pocket cost to me – $0.

although i don’t have the hard numbers, i also believe that our per capita health care costs are substantially lower than those you, our friends to the south, pay.

while not perfect, i much prefer our system to the one you currently have.

socialised medicine may not be as bad as you think.

Comment by ADHDCPhT on 2009-06-21 11:47:58 -0700 #

It’s like you’re reading my mind.

Comment by L on 2009-06-21 13:13:44 -0700 #

I work in the healthcare field, and I think it’s really easy for you as the person back behind the counter, who brags about how much you loathe and avoid what you see as the stupid, filthy public, to be so heartless toward the sick. The difference between a roofer, an electrician, and a doctor is that you probably won’t die a slow an painful death from a roof leak. You won’t have cancer or infectious disease slowly robbing you of your ability to live.
Nobody is making healthcare FREE, they are trying to make it so people pay a fair price without getting fucked around by an industry that loves nothing more than to screw people, patients and providers alike. Look at the other countries who fought so hard against “socialized” healthcare, only to have it work out quite well once it came to pass. People there will admit they were wrong to oppose it. Watch Frontline’s Sick Around the World and get off your fucking high horse.

I’ve been debating for a while whether to keep reading this blog. Some of your rants are valid, but most just reflect a great arrogance.

Comment by Wally on 2009-06-21 13:14:09 -0700 #

Would you please forward this post to the Drug Monkey/Nazi (more like Commie). He’s on the socialized medicine bandwagon, and doesn’t think he’ll be affected by the increases in income tax that we ALL will face, since we make > $40,000/year.

Comment by Cat on 2009-06-21 14:13:08 -0700 #

It’s important not to confuse socialized health care with “free” health care. Also, Canada and the UK are not the only countries who have government sponsored health care, though I understand that those other countries speak heathen tongues so most of our journalists can’t be arsed to find out anything about their health care systems.

I lived in Norway for many years. As a tourist and non-citizen (at least at first), any ER in the country would happily see me and treat me. This is not some super amazing special thing only American emergency rooms do. This is something most humane countries do when sick people show up. I was charged the same amount they charged the citizens: $60. I waited about the same amount of time as I would in the US, too.

Later, I became a legal alien (posessing a work permit). For a regular doctor’s visit, the cost was approximately $20. There was always a co-pay. I chose my doctor from a list of doctors in my area. For most medications, I paid in full until I reached a certain deductible (something like $350 a year), then I paid nothing. Some medications weren’t covered (like birth control), which is one thing about the Norwegian system I didn’t like.

My appendectomy and subsequent hospitalization was covered in full. Essentially, I had full catastrophic coverage, a medication deductible, and office visit co-pays. Lab tests were covered in full.

Norway has a good system. It makes health care affordable without making it “free” or a “right”. Doctors control their patient loads and their scheduling. My doctor would set an egg timer for 15 minutes and that was my allotted time. One chief complaint per visit only, please. I suppose that’s rationing, but it never bugged me. I’m more annoyed by the old farts who make the doctor 45 minutes late because they need to talk about eighteen different, unrelated symptoms… “oh and while I’m here, what about…?” That kind of crap.

You can have a good system without enormous wait times and rampant abuse. You slap a reasonable co-pay on something and people will do the math. Can I afford $60 to see a doc in the ER now for my sniffles or can I wait until tomorrow to do so for $20?

The problem with Medicaid is that it doesn’t even charge a token co-pay, which is stupid. I can see why people would get the idea that their health care is a “right” when they don’t have to pay a cent for an ambulance to take them to the ER at 3am for an ingrown toenail.

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2009-06-21 15:06:15 -0700 #

Only forward this to Drug Monkey if you want it to get ripped to shreds.

Every other industrialized nation in the freaking world uses government sponsored health care to cover their citizens, and they all seem to deliver better health care than we do. Ironically, their governments also spend less per capita to insure EVERYONE than the U.S. spends on just Medicaid and Medicare. They have ZERO uninsured citizens. The U.S. has about 40 million.

You’re probably right though. Socialized medicine won’t work in this country simply because we’ll try to haphazardly implement it to exist along side the current system. The only way to move on to the far superior model that most of the rest of the industrialized world is using is to burn the whole fucking thing to the ground and start all over again. That’s not the U.S. way of dealing with dead-weight corporations though. It seems we just print up money and throw it at them in billions and trillions to prop them up just long enough so when they finally do go under, the rest of the economy goes with them.

Therefore, I guess I’m saying it doesn’t matter whether we get socialized medicine or not. Our economy is probably going to collapse within the next few years anyway.

Comment by lily on 2009-06-21 15:20:12 -0700 #

While I completely agree with you on the aspect of socialized health care, I do not agree with your insinuation that all government employees are pointless drones. I work in the Mental Health department of the Veterans Administration and also as a pharmacy tech, and I am highly offended by that comment.

But by god, we need to stop this spending spree. Why can’t anyone under the age of 35 be president? Oh right, because they wouldn’t be dead by the time their actions sent this country to hell.

Comment by Shamra on 2009-06-21 16:25:22 -0700 #

Whenever I hear this debate it seems each side is always saying the same things without really getting at the root of our problem. Yes socialized countries spend way less on heathcare per person than we do, but let’s actually try to figure out why that is. Firstly, those countries cannot come close to the consumptive level of United States citizens. We are wasteful, fat, lazy, stupid slobs while the majority of people in these other countries with socialized medicine are not. How exactly can we fix this? well a truly free market system would correct that problem PDQ but no way in hell are we going to see that happen.

Is socialized medicine really the answer? No of course it isn’t and you don’t want to pay for some useless person’s care just as much as I but it may have some advantages over our current half-breed system where the government really controls everything but does so through private industry. Yes the government will have better position to negotiate care prices, but I really have to wonder how the drying up of “cash-cow” America will effect innovation. Barring that, opening the flood gates of heath care access will also, because Americans are wasters, drive costs up.

So ultimately I, and everyone else, don’t know what socialized medicine will do to heathcare costs in America, but I do know some things. I do know that heathcare is not a right, and even if it were a right, I have the right to my money and my time, so forcing me to give them up to appease the right of another is a contradiction. I do know that HMO’s would probably disappear under socialized medicine instead to only be replaced with one…our federal government. I also know that this will be a major decision for the progress of future America and we really need to make the right one.

Comment by RPh Mike on 2009-06-21 16:51:13 -0700 #

Following your logic, emergency rooms should have the right to refuse any and all care to someone if that person cannot pay. Is that the kind of society in which you want to live? If you do not accept the above premise, then you must admit that there is a fundamental difference between health care and just about any other service one may purchase, like plumbing. Unless hospitals are allowed to kick people out when their insurance/money runs out, then our system cannot function as a purely private or capitalist endeavor.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-21 16:52:38 -0700 #

We are at war in 2 countries, just had the biggest financial crisis ever(and it is far from over), we are spending trillions of dollars to prop up the economy, we have a Medicare program that is getting completely out of hand as far as cost. Baby boomers are retiring and will likely break the Medicare system. So, where will this country get the money to pay for another healthcare program?

Comment by Disgusted on 2009-06-21 16:58:58 -0700 #

What’s sad is that people do not believe that Health Care is a right. Everyone like it or not deserves to live and to think we’re supposedly the greatest nation in the world and yet have ignorant people who believe that only certain parts of our Bill of Rights should be applied, is just disgusting.

You know we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Emphasis on the Life portion.

What’s wrong with this nation? We’re full of uncaring, greedy, arrogant, self-centered people. That’s what’s wrong with this nation.

Comment by another pharmacist on 2009-06-21 17:37:25 -0700 #

Perhaps, you do not understand that we all are paying for the uninsured and underinsured. Do you not realize that the care that you suggest these people get at ERs and public hospitals has a Cost? And who do you think pays for that cost? It is shifted to the paying customers (patients). In other words, everyone pays extra to cover the Free or Uncompensated care given. It is just like the cash customers in your pharmacy all pay a higher price because you look a insurance contract or medicaid plan that doesn’t cover your overhead….
In the last few days, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Assn announced that they will pick up half of the cost of brand name prescriptions for Medicare patients in the “donut” hole. Yes, out of the goodness of their hearts. I guess I am a cynic, but I cannot help but think that all of the patients under 65, other carriers, and the Pharmacies will be making up the difference.

Comment by Frantic Pharmacist on 2009-06-21 18:29:04 -0700 #

A couple of observations:

  1. I wasn’t aware that there is a push in this country to give “every man woman and child government sponsored health care.” That’s a new one on me.
  2. Yes, anyone can go to a county hospital and receive medical care without having the ability to pay. Ever done it? I can assure you, it is not ‘awesome.’ Is treating people in the ER for preventative illnesses anywhere near cost-effective or efficient?
  3. Scenario: Your 2-year old child is diagnosed with childhood leukemia that has a 85% cure rate if treated properly. The treatment will be expensive, but it works, and you’re a hard-working person who can’t afford insurance. Still think health care is not a right? What would be your next step?

Comment by Shamra on 2009-06-21 18:40:40 -0700 #

Errrrrrrrrrrnnn…sorry wrong you are. Right to life is not the right to have every single being on the planet work 24 hours a day to provide you care, it is the right you have for me not to kill you unless you violate my rights. Do I wish every human on earth could perfect healthcare? Of course I do, but when I leave fantasy land I realize it is not going to happen.

I find it very sad that so few truly understand those words in the United States Declaration of Independence, so let me spell it all out for you. Again, right to life means that I nor anyone has the right to kill/maim you unless you violate my/their rights, right to liberty means exactly what it says (if you don’t know what liberty means I cannot help you) and right to the pursuit of happiness means you have the right to PURSUE happiness, not to obtain it.

So yeah, let’s go up and move out of fantasy land to the real world where the law of economics reigns, and always will.

Comment by Kevin on 2009-06-21 18:40:46 -0700 #

I hate to say it, but I totally disagree with you on this one. I am disgusted with Medicare waste and the fact that I will pay for something that in all likelihood will never be there for me when I get there. I am even more outraged by the fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.

HOWEVER, the system we have now SUCKS! Ever get sick on commercial insurance? You have to fight as hard to get the bills paid as you do to keep kicking! I don’t think an all bells and whistles included plan for everyone at this time is feasble. Let’s do something where PCP visits are covered w/copay…maybe $20-50. Cover ALL generic drugs and maybe 20-30 brand drugs – both also with copay. Let’s cover hosp for a range of dx’s, but let’s cut out the bariatric surgery, knee replacements, etc. Fine if you want it, but you or your supplemental plan is going to have to pay for it. Save yourself the trouble of explaining how bariatric surgery reduces all kinds of comorbidities and how knee replacement can improve quality of life. Fine and dandy, but we’re not going to pay. This is a bare bones…will keep you healthy and treat you when you’re sick…we’re just not going to get into all the other stuff.

All I want is a way to PLAN (financially). As it is now, we’re all paying thousands upon thousands to ins companies whose job (maximize shareholder value) it is to find a way NOT to pay for our health care. It is an insane model that doesn’t work. You pay and pay and pay and then one day when you may finally need it, you find that you didn’t have what you thought you had…even though you paid for it.

Comment by canadian druggie on 2009-06-21 19:03:37 -0700 #

Have to disagree tap. I feel health care is a RIGHT just as
most of the developed world thinks also. The USA , which I enjoy visiting and had many many american friends, has 2 problems that separates it
from the rest of the civilized world.
One: it does not provide care for all its people, instead it profits from
illness.( more middlemen making money and not doing any 1st person care)

TWO: it kills its citizens ( yes capital punishment)

Remember I said civilized world

As for the Canadian experience I am surprised you have been so influenced by the AMA who will do anything to undermine any system that does not protect the income of its members ( that is the reason it exists)
the CDN system is not perfect but we DO NOT lose our homes and retirement because we got sick. Yes we pay more taxes but most would not choose your system

I hope someday the USA joins the civilized world and provides care to all and abolishes the DEATH penalty


Candian druggie

Comment by PsyFrg on 2009-06-21 19:06:20 -0700 #

Life does not mean health in the decleration of independence, it means to do what you want and go as far as you want. Back in the 1700’s the world was ruled by a different kind of bureaucrat. A monarchy, and like socialist they wanted to control what people do say and think. The monarchies in the world never really disappeared they just changed names to congresses and parliaments. Like socialist they would not allow people to become anything more then their class, so a poor person could not become a lord unless they were “allowed” by the ruling class. Idea of the phrase is that the government cannot impose it will and control on the people by laws and decrees. In other words the governments can not tell you how much you can make, were you can live, etc. And disgusted the life liberty and pursuit of happiness is not a constitutional rights, it is from the deceleration of Independence. So if you want the government to control what kind of care you get and were you can get it the more power to you. The Europeans system is great if you have a cold, however if you have heart problems, brain problems, cancer, old age, then they will let you die then treat you.

Greedy, arrogant, self centered, yeah I agree since you want the working class to pay for every one else problems instead of eating the bill and paying it off. No American ER can deny you however government run systems have no such qualms.

Comment by PsyFrg on 2009-06-21 19:14:38 -0700 #

By the way the Europe as a whole has started to change away from the socialist controlled system of medicine and life. Recent elections in European governments have seen the people voting out liberal and socialist parliaments to a more libertarian and conservative platform. They are already talking about redoing the government plans to a more private system. The Europeans are learning I just hope we learn from their mistakes.

Canadian health care is a joke. Is that why canadian with health problems are coming to the US, or why people die waiting for important surgeries. Like I said socialist medicine is great until you really need it.

Comment by the most angry intern ever on 2009-06-21 21:02:37 -0700 #

life does not mean a healthy life

Comment by TPM on 2009-06-21 21:28:41 -0700 #

Medical affordability and effiency VS current economic liberty. I’m fortunate enough to have health insurance under the status quo, so I guess I’ll stick with the latter.


Comment by Chip on 2009-06-21 21:34:05 -0700 #

Drug Monkey won’t show up here, because he can’t control who responds to him.

It bothers me that people think this is about how much we care about each other, as compared to whether or not we can pay for this boondoggle or not. It doesn’t matter worth a damn how much I care if my neighbor gets his medicine or not, I don’t see why I should have to PAY for him. People talk about fairness as though it doesn’t mean an equal shot at life, but a weighted system that rewards failure and poverty at a better rate than success and wealth. It’s like giving a dog a treat every time he bites your kid in the face. What’s to stop the dog from biting your kid?

The government created, at the behest of the employers, a system whereby employers could entrap employees by controlling access to health insurance. Now, those same employers will do anything to foist the burden off on someone else now that the bill has come due.

The government also created a system where it’s terribly easy to sue the pants off of anybody who even looks like they’ve made a mistake, forcing doctors to perform unnecessary or expensive tests to avoid being sued. And getting richer for doing it… And of course Obama wants to protect the income stream of greedy lawyers who prey on Doctors and their malpractice policies. He admitted that to the AMA just last week.

Comment by Ed on 2009-06-21 23:00:47 -0700 #

How many people without insurance have cable, cell phones, a car payment…. Many of the uninsured can afford coverage, they choose not to.

Actually, the numbers don’t look very good. There are an estimated 50 million without coverage. Obamacare will only increase coverage by 16 million at a cost of $62,500 per person over the nest 10 years.

Comment by kizell on 2009-06-21 23:02:14 -0700 #

The answer to lowering health care costs is eliminate the aspect of “insurance” altogether (public and private); what is the point of having some whore institution be in charge of your health care? It is the reason why health care costs have gotten out of control. Once they became a normal part of society, providers had an easy way to overcharge for services (though that overcharging is less now due to lower reimbursement rates). If we eliminate this health “insurance”, costs of health care will fall on all aspects; there will be an adjustment/hardship period, but in the long run we will all prosper

But it’s also worthy to note that the adjustment period will be much shorter if there were no income tax (which I consider totally unconstitutional)

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-22 01:00:25 -0700 #

We also use the metric system. 😉

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-22 01:08:23 -0700 #

All I’m saying is that people in Australia can afford their medication (that doesn’t mean pensioners don’t bitch when they have to pay $5.30 for their $200 heart medication, but they’re not dead/wasting everybody’s time in the ER cause they can’t afford it).

Seriously, I agree with the above, your government will just do a half-arsed job and fuck it up, just keep going how you are…it’s working so well.

Comment by Dr Bob on 2009-06-22 03:11:19 -0700 #

Good to know that fascism is alive and well and living in the USA. The denial of healthcare to a significant proportion of the US population is further evidence (not than any was really needed) to demosntrate the lack of civilisation in the world’s largest economy.

When you also consider that the US has the highest healthcare spend per patient (of those that CAN access healthcare) then you have to wonder why that isn’t reflected in ‘good health’ (difficult to measure, but longevity is a good proxy — the US comes 45th in the world [US statistics!]).

Comment by Dazed Technician on 2009-06-22 03:35:22 -0700 #

I think Ed pretty much hit in on the head – So many people without coverage do so by choice, because they’d rather have other luxuries. The fact that they can still get emergency treatment without *ultimately* having to pay for it should be all they need by making that choice.

I personally have no problem paying for the elderly and the poor out of my pocket. It’s just what I pay for that irritates me. I’ve long held the position that Medicaid/Medicare should be literally generic only regarding what their formularies contain. Anything that doesn’t have a generic is going to need a prior authorization, period. Obviously there are some medications that are exempt from this for special cases (transplant surgeries, etc.) but if that doctor wants to write for Levaquin, they better be sure that Cipro won’t do the job. And if they truly believe that Treximet/Oracea/Pristiq is going to be the best thing for the patient, they better be ready to document what else has been tried with the insurance – This has the added benefit of the doctor knowing whether or not the drug they write is going to be covered. If the rep tries to pitch it to them, then it probably isn’t. And OTC products? Forget it. When I see my dime paying for someones blood pressure medicines that can’t afford it, it doesn’t bother me. When I see it paying for saline nasal spray from the ER, or Naprelan instead of a Naproxen regiment, that disgusts me.

Between that and mandatory drug tests for people on the country dime, they could save plenty of money on healthcare that could be used to expand coverage. Well, that and the nationwide controlled-drug dispensing log

Comment by MrIncognito on 2009-06-22 05:33:55 -0700 #

Given that per capita health care spending in the US is nearly double the spending in the UK, and about 50% higher than in any country in europe, this notion that universal health care will be more expensive is demonstrably false.

You end up paying for the sick one way or another. Maybe you enjoy getting stuck with $750 ED visits because a majority of the people in the waiting room can’t pay and don’t have a primary care doc for their kid’s ear infection, or the fact that the gov’t already takes over for the most expensive care (for example, all dialysis is covered by medicaid); whatever the case it’s something we all pay for. All your arguments about the weather it is right or wrong that you have to pay for other people’s health-care is completely irrelevant to reality. It’s a nice philosophical discussion, but what you should be talking about is how we get the best care for the lowest cost, and that’s the one issue you’re completely avoiding.

Comment by John Woolman on 2009-06-22 06:55:00 -0700 #

I’m surprised that you haven’t had any replies yet from the UK. I was born almost exactly 1 year before the National Health Service started in the UK in 1948. I worked for most of my life in the the NHS as a hospital doctor with some forays into family practice. The NHS is failing because demand is infinite but resources are finite. The future also look bleak because with a monopoly employer under tight political control, post graduate medical training is rapidly heading in a region of being down to a price, not up to a standard. A significant proportion of young medical graduates seem to be heading off from the UK to Australia or New Zealand for their post-graduate training. The embryo surgeons seem to be particularly hacked off at the way their training is going.

Dentistry in the UK is, in some parts of the country, almost unavailable on the NHS. “English Teeth” are reappearing on our streets.

There is no easy answer, and as an outside observer of the US scene, I think you are going to have a much harder job to get the best out of the fraction of your GNP that you spend on health than many countries elsewhere in the developed world. I certainly wouldn’t look to the UK for a model. i would be much more inclined to look to New Zealand.

Comment by The crank on 2009-06-22 08:19:38 -0700 #

I’m an Irish pharmacist. You are dead right.

Comment by RX BRY on 2009-06-22 11:21:25 -0700 #

Well, I can’t wait to finish school and pay back my loans making 40K/year. Just b/c people don’t want to pay for someone elses healthcare doeesn’t make them selfish and greedy. I am tired of the liberal view where you just throw money at the problem and it is magically fixed b/c everyone will be able to see a doctor for their little head cold. I see shortage of general practitioners in the future, oh wait, there already is!!! Also, you might as well call this ChinaCare b/c they own half this damn country, might as well put Obamacare on the tab! Also, Obama, please buy me new Escalade b/c I have a right to all of the safety features available to keep me safe and healthy..where do we draw the line?????? Of the 40+ million uninsured, how many choose not to have it? If they have a catastrophic event I am sure they will find someone to treat them. THEY STILL HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE!!!!IDIOTS! I agree with the previous post regarding luxuries, some people choose to own nice cars, computers,cell phones, boats,etc over healthcare…wanna bet they won’t want to pay into a socialized health system so they can afford their normal lifestyle? This country is forgetting where it came from and needs to wake up…if I don’t take care of myself, I don’t expect anyone else (well… maybe my wife) to take care of me. This country was made so that if you wanted something, you could go get it! I wanted a lifestyle that could afford the things in life I want to do, so I worked my ass off to get into RX school. When did people start thinking they were entitled to ANYTHING?!! Its sad that people can’t take care of themselves and can easily pawn it off on some other person. I have one suggestion. If you are going to accept this socialized health plan, anytime you use it for any sort of care you are required to send a Thank You note to the taxpayers and at the very least be grateful to have it no matter how shitty it will likely be. Don’t be like the >65 population b/c the $2500 given to them every year by Medicare Part D is screwing them, even though its saving them $2500 if it wasn’t around.

Comment by DW on 2009-06-22 14:27:58 -0700 #

Easy to pay for. Take the $2+ trillion/year currently spent on health care in this country and keep spending it on health care. As TAP mentioned people can walk into an ER and get \free\ health care, which is paid by some one. So, we are effectively paying for everyone’s health care one way or another right now and should be able to pay for everyone’s health care in a more rational fashion with the same amount of money. The difference that should come out of any health care reform is that the middle class to lower middle class aka people who could pay some for health care but can’t at the current outrageous rates won’t be bankrupted or just allowed to die if they get cancer, hit by an uninsured motorist, or any number of other random acts that result in a need for health care.

Then, if we get lucky and do it right we might actually save money by treating some people’s bronchitis or other infection before it becomes pneumonia and actually save some money.

And, if we get a little luckier businesses should thrive because people with ideas and entrepreneurial spirit won’t sit in some corporate job, in order to keep their health benefits for their children, but will set out to start new businesses.

Yes, I am an optimist.

Comment by Farmacist on 2009-06-22 15:24:02 -0700 #

Why are we talking about getting “insurance” coverage for everyone? What healthcare do the insurance/pbm’s provide? The insurance industry is just legalized gambling, with the insurance company setting all the bets so they never lose. How much could we save if we took out the Profit these corporations need to keep shareholders happy? Take the shareholder out of the healthcare industry and the costs will drop.

Why when I fill most prescriptions, the insurance/pbm makes more than I do, just for electronically processing the script?
Imagine buying a loaf of bread, grocery store sells it for $2, but the credit card company bills you $10. Thats whats happening now with prescriptions.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-22 15:50:40 -0700 #

There are two approaches to looking at the healthcare problem. The social perspective tries to relate physicians, pharmacists, nurses, hospitals and etc, as part of a system to provide healthcare in accord with peoples needs. The other approach is from the perspective of the individual. The worker does not like the idea of paying more and more taxes to pay for someone elses healthcare. The physician does not like the government cutting his payments for the procedures he does. Then, there are the poor, and they want free healthcare and claim it is a “right”.
The “solution” to the delima is to allow capitalism to work. Contrary to what most people believe and what the politicians try to tell us, there is no need for some “master” controller of the healthcare system. The government does not have to be in the healthcare “business” at all. The great thing about capitalism is that it is a “free running system”. It will operate just fine without government control and intervention. The marketplace will set the price for services. The poor are not going to fall through the cracks if they are part of a community. Something the government has done is break up the sense of community all across this country. It has aided the breakup of the family too. Normal family and social support has been removed. Government has taken on a role that was once left to family and community. The problem is not a dysfunctional healthcare system, but the disruption of normal capitalistic tendencies by government and insurance companies. The insurance companies siphon of billions of healthcare dollars and provide nothing in return. Government does much of the same by taxing workers far too much and then squandering a lot of it in useless bureaucracy.
When some countries are beginning to move away from the socialistic approaches to healthcare, the US is moving more in that direction. It is like there has been a lag here in the US. It will take years for the bumbling socialistic policies of this administration and maybe a few more administrations to degrade overall healthcare in this country to the point that people will vote the bums out of office. This could happen a lot sooner if this country goes bankrupt, which is highly possible.

Comment by Chip on 2009-06-22 16:08:50 -0700 #

Hilarious- denial of healthcare (which isn’t even happening) is Fascism? It’s like words can mean whatever you want them to these days…

Comment by M. Augustine on 2009-06-22 17:13:27 -0700 #

The problem in the US is that insurance companies manage the health care system, and mismanage the allocation inefficiently.

When I was a young mother working three jobs as sole family provider, it would have been very helpful to have a portion of a paycheck go for standard health care so that I would not have to take sick children to the doctor at every whipstitch for earaches to be seen by the doctor to avoid the possibility of very expensive meningitis, while other family members never saw the doctor because there was no emergent problem.

Comment by Irritated PharmD on 2009-06-22 18:58:29 -0700 #

The most unintended consequence of .gov healthcare will be the development not of “blackmarket care” but the development of the largest gap between the haves and have-nots. There will be the .gov “insured” patients, presumably 90% of the population and then there will be the ultra-wealthy patients who can purchase concierge medicine – private physicians, private exclusive hospitals. I will take a bet as to where the best physicians and facilities will be focusing their attention.

And no where, absolutely NO WHERE in the Bill of Rights portion of the US Constitution does it say a citizen has a right to health-care. Sorry. It’s not a legal right. Neither is education. It’s not in there either. You may think, opine or otherwise believe healthcare is a right, however, it is not legally a right.

Why should I tithe 60% of my earnings (UK rate) to a government that will give it to a suicidal T2DM patient who plops 8 Snickers bars down on the counter when they buy their insulin?

I am thankful that I shall not live to see the total shit-hole the US turns into as a result of nationalized healthcare, socialistic policies, stagflation etc. Most empires die a death of a thousand cuts, but this one seems to be diving for the ground like a 747 flying on 2 of 4 engines which are also on fire.

TAP, I agree with your assessment aside from some details and want to voice my support despite what above comments indicate.

If the rest of you people are so hot in the loins for socialized medicine, I believe Canada and the UK will accept immigrants from the US. The rest of us will NOT miss you. I would be willing to even give 60% of my income to the cause of paying for your boat ride to the UK! But not pay for your fat-ass to get “free” health-care.

Comment by Jinx on 2009-06-22 19:22:28 -0700 #

Last time I checked a plumber, roofer, electrician, cable repair guy, etc. didn’t offer a service that could be the difference between life and death. Also, anyone with an internet connection can learn basic home repair, but they can’t do surgery on themselves or cook up BP meds and antibiotics in their kitchen.

The reason why free healthcare is abused is b/c it is free, but it’s not just the patients abusing it. Old people get so many unneccary lab tests b/c the docs know that insurance will pay. I don’t think any universal coverage should be like Medicaid. It should be like regular insurance where people still have limits on what is covered, and still have to pay co-pays. They only thing they are spared are the premiums.

Here’s something that will appeal to the Republican view. Businesses who offer their employees health insurance have to pay gobs of money, money that could be spent to improve their companies. Universal healthcare would free up that money, and allow companies to put those assets to use. Stonger businesses equal a stronger economy.

The constitution guarantees every US citizen with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Universal healthcare would ensure that people have the right of life, and without life you really don’t have a chance at the other two.

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-22 19:25:01 -0700 #

In Australia you pay a surcharge for refusing a generic and there are certain drugs that aren’t covered at all eg. Viagra, Cialis, you need to cough up the $80 or go without.

Comment by Kevin on 2009-06-22 19:25:31 -0700 #

FYI – The market for health care is anything BUT a free and efficient market. How many people do you know who would pay $1.50/pill for Diovan? They would run, not walk over to the lisinopril counter where they could get what they need for 10 cents/pill. Yet how many patients do you know who go straight for the ARB?

What about physician services? Who do you know who could pay $200 for a Cardio consult? Don’t like that surgical opinion? Go pay another $200. How many knee replacements do you think would take place if the patient had to fork over the cash? Fine if you want a free market, but you better think long and hard about what a truly “free market” for health care would look like.

Comment by PhuturePharm on 2009-06-22 19:48:53 -0700 #

I couldn’t agree more with your opinion on a supposed national health care plan. I think it’s a horrible idea, and it will only lead to even more abuse of the system. Spending money for a system like this will only cause even more problems. Like a lot of others, I see what you are describing every single day I step into my place of employment. If this ever happens, I might as well piss away my degree that I’m working for. The system sucks, and there is no easy answer. Our system is a joke as it is, but nationalizing it isn’t going to help. However, people take it for granted that they have it easy. Our goverment almost makes it too easy for those that get everything for free with the money I and others earn. It gives some of those the mindset to, “hmmm I’m getting spoonfed why work.” There are exceptions to this stereotype but not enough. It shouldn’t be my responsibility to front the money for those that don’t even try to better themselves for a health care system, leading to someone WHO REALLY NEEDS MEDICAL ATTENTION CAN’T GET IT!

Comment by Used to be angry pharmacist on 2009-06-22 20:45:50 -0700 #

“e.g. a few years ago i had a complicated migraine. went to the walk in clinic to see a doctor who wanted to rule out a stroke. i was in for a CT the next day, and off to the neurologist shortly after that.
out of pocket cost to me – $0.”

You have to be kidding me – takes you 24 hours to rule out a stroke? That CT should’ve been stat, and not until tomorrow. You have to reread your own post and try and understand the absurdity of your situation. Was there a waiting list for the CT equipment? Was there not a radiologist on staff because of a shortage?

Comment by Used to be angry pharmacist on 2009-06-22 21:03:59 -0700 #

The Constitution does not authorize the Federal government to run a health plan. Half (or more) of what the government does today is not authorized by the Constitution.

“Here’s something that will appeal to the Republican view. Businesses who offer their employees health insurance have to pay gobs of money, money that could be spent to improve their companies. Universal healthcare would free up that money, and allow companies to put those assets to use. Stonger businesses equal a stronger economy.”

– You might want to re-read the health care proposals again. You have to contribute a premium for your employees if you want to offer the National Plan instead of a private one. It isn’t free. This is a really good way for most businesses to fix their health care cost. The National Plan would initially end up with the higher risk individuals. In the end, well-off businesses like Google and Amgen will offer their own boutique private plans because their risk is good and need the health plan to attract employees. My employer (national health care company – yes, I”m managed care/PBM) would rather buy the national plan if it is cheaper than insuring its own employees. We have a preponderance of fat nurses and men so I don’t think we’ll be in a private plan.

So who gets to subsidize the National Plan if its risk profile worsens? You, me, and all the rich corporate tax payers. Who is rich? Anyone who is not on Medicaid. The supposed “saved money” will end up going to some kind of tax anyway.

I think the National Plan would become more expensive than private plans because it will be adversely selected for the sick and the old. Your drug companies, tech companies, and other industries with predominantly younger employees will end up with their own plan.

Comment by superpharmacist on 2009-06-22 22:37:07 -0700 #

TAP, I agree with you 100%. Let’s be clear on one thing — health care is NOT a right in this country. That may sound harsh, but life is not always fair. Users of health care consume costly resources. Somebody needs to pay for it. Unless average Americans undergo some major lifestyle modifications, it will bankrupt this country (if the “too-big-to-fail” bailouts don’t do it first). Sadly, I think the conservatives and moderates on both sides in this country have grown complacent. Once these people wake up over the next few years, I suspect that this country will get back to more traditional values, similar to the shift taking place in some of the more socialist European nations.

Comment by LudditeAndroid on 2009-06-22 23:53:32 -0700 #

Are Patients in Universal Healthcare Countries Less Satisfied?

Extensive, detailed statistics at that link. I’ll try to hit some high points:

“Note the United States spends more per capita than any other system and not by a small amount.

[…] Almost universally we pay more for less. We pay more per capita for fewer hospital beds, we pay more per capita for fewer ICU beds, and pay more for ICU stays despite patients staying for fewer days, we have far fewer long term stay facilities, we spend more on fewer practicing physicians per capita, and for all that we perform worse in indices of mortality, and control of chronic disease.

[…] In fact, aside from Canada, we were least likely to be able to get an appointment on the same day, and most places could provide access to a doctor in an ER faster than in the US. So is access really worse in universal systems? It would appear that in most universal systems, doctors in clinics and the ER are more available than in the US.

[…] the Commonwealth fund found that in deaths which were amenable to health care interventions the US performed worse than the other 18 industrialized countries to which it was compared. If we performed as well as one of the top three countries, we would eliminate about 100,000 excess deaths a year.”

Comment by stila on 2009-06-23 00:36:13 -0700 #

“Ed says:
June 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm

How many people without insurance have cable, cell phones, a car payment…. Many of the uninsured can afford coverage, they choose not to.”

I completely agree with this statement! How many times have I seen patients on Medicaid pull up to my drive-thru in a Lexus or a Hummer?

How many times have I seen a woman complain that she does not have the money for her prescription, then pull out her Blackberry, Iphone, you name it-and tell her friend “You will not BELIEVE how this pharmacy is treating me!”

My parents have always taught me that you have to WORK to get what you want in life. They escaped from a communist country and came to America with almost nothing but the clothes on their back, knowing practically no English. Now they live comfortably in a nice house, with small luxuries, withOUT help from the government.

“Disgusted says:
June 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm

What’s sad is that people do not believe that Health Care is a right. Everyone like it or not deserves to live and to think we’re supposedly the greatest nation in the world and yet have ignorant people who believe that only certain parts of our Bill of Rights should be applied, is just disgusting.

You know we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Emphasis on the Life portion.

What’s wrong with this nation? We’re full of uncaring, greedy, arrogant, self-centered people. That’s what’s wrong with this nation.”

Everyone does have a right to life, but throwing my hard-earned money at you does not guarantee that you will have a healthy life. I see it in the pharmacy all the time. I’ve seen the typical fat-ass pulling up to the drive-thru, chomping on a hamburger, crumbs dropping all over his shirt, coming to get his diabetic medications. We’re obviously giving this guy too much money! He spent it all on food and now has given himself a lifetime illness!

What you call for is compassion, but I find it hard to be compassionate enough to help those who will not help themselves.

Comment by Angry Tech on 2009-06-23 01:05:25 -0700 #

It may not be our *right* to make an appointment with a -particular- doctor, as it is still business, but it is our right to receive affordable healthcare. You are using a very specific context and applying it to a very general situation. That is faulty logic. The purpose of government is to protect the citizens of a nation, which includes the right to affordable healthcare. If we cannot get that from a healthcare system concerned only of profit, then we must get it from somewhere else.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-23 05:40:57 -0700 #

ITA as well. Perhaps someone on the “Health care is a right” side of the isle can clarify. Health care is a “right” because people can die without it. Granting that for the sake of argument, why isn’t “food” also a “right”…because people WILL die without it. Yet somehow, Kroger’s continues to violate my rights and refuses to give me food, even when I am HUNGRY.

I will be happy to support socialized medicine when socialized medicine refuses to treat obese diabetics, drug overdoses, renal patients who skip dialysis, all smokers, and anyone who tests positve at their monthy visit to be drug screened. I anticipate this happening ABOUT the same time that this society decides not to pay women anything—and I mean ANYTHING….to have bastard children.. Lady, you better make sure you have a husband, a large supportive family, a church or a really good job before you get knocked up, because we AIN”T gonna pay you to breed anymore.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-23 07:34:58 -0700 #

Superpharmacist, I agree with you that healthcare is not a “right”. The rights, as specified in the Bill of Rights, are directed toward individuals being protected from government abuse. The founding fathers knew what tyranical governments could do to its citizens. They came to America to get away from the abuses of government. They were concerned about our government becoming like the governments in the countries from which they had left. This is why they wrote a Bill of Rights. The “rights” in the Bill of Rights are directed toward protecting individual freedom. An individual has the “right” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is no right to welfare… no right to food stamps….nor a right to healthcare! The only thing you are quaranteed is the right to be left alone to pursue your own life in your own way. Beginning with Roosevelt, the government began “abusing” individual rights. Social Security is not a “right”. It is a violation of the Bill of Rights for our government to “force”, at the point of imprisonment, money from an individual, in the form of taxes, to pay into this program. Of course, this applies to Medicare, Welfare, and any form of healthcare program that the Obama administration creates.
The government does not give anyone anything. It does not produce wealth. It just shuffles around the wealth in the country, and in the process it consumes an enormous portion of that wealth to maintain its bureacracy.

Comment by Shalom (R.Ph.) on 2009-06-23 08:03:02 -0700 #

Farmacist, you have it exactly backwards. A better analogy would be you buy a loaf of bread, you pay $10, and the credit card company gives the store $2 and pockets the other $8.

Comment by Farmacist on 2009-06-23 13:14:17 -0700 #

Maybe you didnt understand me, I fill a prescription for generic zocor and the pbm bills the self-insured plan (goverment plan even) FIVE times what the pharmacy is reimbursed.

Comment by SaRxah on 2009-06-23 15:51:12 -0700 #

How about those people who are to blame for their own health issues? People who smoke, share IV needles, use drugs, have unprotected sex and contract HIV…. WHY should we have to pay for THOSE irresponsible idiots, who have their priorities up their asses? All the people with diabetes who still eat tons of junk food, refuse to exercise or even try to improve their lifestyles? All around us the healthcare system is overused, overworked, overspent mostly because people these days are LAZY and refuse to take ANY responsibility for their own healthcare. My father is 62 years old with the physical health of a 30 year old… eats properly, exercises, and never goes to the doctor for anything but a yearly check. Most of my patients his age has one foot in the grave. Why? Because they eat like shit, live like shit, and their attitudes are shit. Don’t wanna spend money on copays… everything is too expensive! Don’t “wanna keep taking meds”… yet they are morbidly obese and are always sick and coming down with more illness. SO WHY SHOULD WE NOW HAVE TO PAY FOR THESE PEOPLE!!?? THEY are the ones abusing the healthcare that is available to them NOW.

Comment by puzzled on 2009-06-23 17:24:01 -0700 #

If universal health care coverage is so wrong, how come France, Spain, The United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland etc. all have it?

Comment by rph3664 on 2009-06-23 21:06:20 -0700 #


My last retail days were around the time that Medicare Part D(isaster) was announced, and our customers couldn’t figure out why pharmacists were almost universally opposed to this. One of my co-workers never passed up a chance to say, “When this goes online, you will find out just how free it is.”

He’s right.

Comment by rph3664 on 2009-06-23 21:10:55 -0700 #

Would they cover Viagra or Cialis if they are used for purposes other than sexual dysfunction in either men or women (yes, I have dispensed them for women for this reason)? For example, primary pulmonary hypertension?

Comment by Grumpy RPh on 2009-06-23 21:11:15 -0700 #

The biggest argument for Socialized Medicine is getting the middleman the fuck out. They are killing pharmacy. Currently, there are not enough Drs. to service the U.S. population if we have manditory/socialized medicine and there will be fewer if you limit their income. The biggest arguement against is that politicians would be involved. They would want to have everything covered so they could get re-elected. Like they did when requiring Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac to back all those bad loans. No one in this country has the ball to say NO. If they do say no they will probably be voted out.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-23 21:28:42 -0700 #

SaRxah, you have found the weakness in socialistic programs, and expressed what is inherent in all of them: immorality. Yes, it is immoral for government to take from your father, in the form of taxes, to pay for healthcare for someone else that smokes, drinks excessively, eats far too much, and contracts a sexually transmitted disease. Socialistic programs, such as healthcare insurance for everyone and paid by taxpayer money, are immoral. They are the reverse of what the purport to be. We hear people saying that it is immoral for a country to not provide free healthcare to its citizens. They make it sound like it is immoral to not have such a program. They never state that it is the taxpayer that pays for the healthcare. The government does not pay for healthcare…it is the working, tax paying citizens that do it. These people don’t talk about folks like your father that live a healthy lifestyle, work, and pay for healthcare for bums that don’t work and abuse their bodies. It is immoral for government to take from one person that lives a healthy lifestyle and is rarely sick, and give that money to someone that lives a rotten lifestyle.
All the folks that are in favor of national health insurance fail to see the consequences of socialistic programs. They consume an enormous portion of the productivity of a country. In the short term, which might last decades, a country can remain viable despite a lot of social programs. But, at some point, the social programs will begin to consume most of the GDP of a country. When this happens, the economy stagnates, and goes into decline. This country already has an enormous debt, social security, welfare, and medicare obiligations, besides fighting two wars. Just how long can this country remain viable under these burdens? We are in a depression. Working people are losing jobs. Government is having to pay increased unemployment. A lot of people, ones that have jobs, are barely making ends meet. A lot of working people are making so little that they are qualifying for medicaid.

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2009-06-23 21:46:34 -0700 #

Why stop at privatized health care? Why not privatize everything? I say no more public education programs. Afterall, my tax dollars are going to pay for bad students and even those who never finish high school. What a waste!

Let’s privatize the police! Why should my tax dollars pay for police to enforce wrong doers? I don’t break laws. Why should I have to pay to police the people that do? Same with the fire department. Why should I pay for people who are stupid enough to not dispose of cigarette ash trays correctly?

Surely, the free market is the best way for everything.

Seriously though… I can’t believe people actually defend our health care system. How fucking broken does it have to get before people just admit that it blows?

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-24 00:56:28 -0700 #

For certain drugs and certain conditions, you can get it covered by the doctor phoning for an authority prescription, depending on the indication. Also, higher than usual quantities can be covered by authority, and certain types of concessions (eg repats) can get drugs covered that wouldn’t normally be covered (I saw a script for fish oil today, normally around $20, on a repat authority script, $5.30).

I think the other problem in the US, why is medicine so expensive anyway? I’ve been reading on US pharmacy sites, drugs that are a $200 copay in the US don’t even reach the amount to require being covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (pretty much anything over $32.90). I guess because the Australian Government is subsidising the medicine, there is a lot of control on the wholesale and retail price of medicine, and the drug companies can’t rip you off?

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-24 01:01:52 -0700 #

While I don’t have a lot of sympathy for these people, covering their mistakes early stops them from costing a fortune in hospital until they die.

An example I’m thinking of is varenicline tartrate, a quit smoking drug. It costs over $100 for the pharmacy I work at to get in, the Australian Government subsidises the cost to $32.90 for a General patient or $5.30 for a pensioner. So the government pays about $80 for each prescription. How many MILLIONS are saved from smoking related co-morbidities?

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-24 05:07:56 -0700 #

Pharmacy Mike, As far as public education, lets turn it back to the states and counties. Police provide a function that is specified in the Bill of Rights, which is protecting the individual. This is a proper function of government. And, yes, the free market is the best way to approach healthcare. The reason we are having a number of problems with healthcare in this country is because we have a dualistic system: a free enterprise system and a government system. Government, with its socialistic programs, has taken over more than half of the healthcare system, and that is why things have gotten worse. The more government intervention the greater the problem will become.
Our healthcare system is not broken. Yes, I will defend the free enterprise part of it. It is the government part that needs change: government getting out of healthcare all together.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-24 06:35:50 -0700 #

It blows. Socialized medicine blows MORE.

…and making education a valued commodity instead of taxpayer funded babysitting isn’t a half bad idea.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-24 06:38:02 -0700 #

..just because they “have it” doesn’t mean it works well.

Comment by Anna on 2009-06-24 08:25:10 -0700 #

I’d rather fund socialized health care than pay MORE to fund both my health care and the huge salaries of insurance company CEOs.

Either way, I’m paying. Pardon me for simply not being concerned that a few executives might be out of a job because we’re not being forced to fund them just to avoid outrageous medical bills.

I’ve been insured. I’ve been uninsured. And my insurance has NEVER been billed for even a FRACTION of what I was asked to pay when I was uninsured. So dropping my coverage isn’t an option for me. But I’d like the option to stop funding evil companies who, if I ever actually NEED their services, will go out of their way to disqualify me from the service I paid for based on an undiagnosed broken pinky toe I had when I was 12.

My grandfather is currently in the hospital getting extraordinary care above and beyond what I think is reasonable to expect, simply because he is in a certain age range in this country. I would be THRILLED to get even a fraction of the care he is getting for the price he is paying for it. My husband and I have “excellent” insurance through work, that we pay significant premiums for, and a recent fairly minor surgery that my husband had cost us MORE out of pocket than a month of hospitalization and cardiac surgery cost my grandfather.

I would gladly and wholeheartedly pay 100% of my private insurance premiums for the kind of coverage my grandfather has. But I don’t get that option because folks like you are so terrified that you might have to fork over a few dollars for a very vital service that protects us all.

Health care is not a right. But insurance companies don’t have the right to make a profit off of my pain and desperation either.

Comment by Anna on 2009-06-24 08:58:17 -0700 #


You do realize that the free market is exactly what many politicians are arguing AGAINST with their current policies, right? The idea that if we allow the government to offer an insurance plan where they have the ability to negotiate for lower rates based on a very large group of members that it will crush the current profit-based insurance system simply because the government has no intention of turning a profit on the system? Those opposed to Obama’s plan want to LIMIT my choices in the market, which is the opposite of what you seem to advocate.

Pattie, RN,

I really hope you’re kidding. What you propose would penalize the children of the apathetic and poor, for no fault of their own. How do you tell a child “you can’t have an education because mommy is a drunk asshole” and expect that child to better itself and become a productive citizen? What good does a child who can’t read because daddy spent all of the money on strippers do for our economy when that kid can’t even get a job at McDonalds?

If you want to live in that kind of “libertarian paradise” I suggest packing up and moving to Somalia. Works really well there.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-24 09:30:07 -0700 #

Anna, insurance companies do have a “right” to make money off your pain and desperation. They are a business! You can choose between different insurance companies. You are purchasing “insurance”, which is protecting you from risk. Everyone would like for the government to take on that risk. In other words, the working taxpayer would take on the risk for everyone in this country. The question is: is it “fair” for the taxpayer to have all the burden? Is it fair for someone living a healthy lifestyle and paying taxes to pay for someone that is not working and lives a poor lifestyle(smoking, drinking, over eating, and unprotected sex with anyone they can find)? People in this country have a “skewed” idea of what is “right” and what is “moral”. Insurance companies are a business and have a right to pursue their business interests. They are in the business to make money; they are not a charity. No one has to buy insurance from them. So, don’t blame insurance companies for any problem with healthcare, blame the people that buy insurance. Yes, it is our own damn fault, and that includes myself. At the rate things are going, the insurance companies are going to price themselves out of the market. If government places more restrictions on them, requiring them to issue more policies for higher risk people, this will make the situation worse. Of course, it sounds like a good idea for the government to force insurance companies to issue policies for high risk people. What will that do? It will run up the cost for insurance for everyone else. We don’t like our current system; but, a government run system will be even worse. The problem with our current system is too much government involvement. It is like your grandfather getting such good care. He gets it at the expense of the working taxpayer, like yourself. Is it right for you or any other worker to pay for his high quality healthcare? I say that it is not! It is “not right” and “immoral.” People that are sick and cannot afford healthcare such be seeking charity. This is what charity is all about. Charity should be locally based…in the community. The people that help other people should know the people they help. Why? It gives the giver a feeling of doing something for someone else. When the government takes money from you, with the threat of imprisonment, to give to someone else, it does not give you a feeling of doing something for someone else. Imagine all the money being FORCED from workers by the government to pay into soc. sec. and medicare. Suppose people could keep that money. Don’t you think that charities would grow? In the past, people in communities helped one another and this built a community bond. Today, it is the federal government doing the charity and communities lose this bond, people loose the sense of community. Welfare has destroyed the family unit in this country. This is an undeniable fact! It has also diminished the sense of community. Government policies do have consequences. Look at all the unwed mothers. Look at all the children growing up without a man figure in the house. Look at all the children that have grown up in a household without a man to help guide them. Look at how many of them are in prison. Welfare has caused an overall breakdown in our society.

Comment by my hair is on fire on 2009-06-24 11:53:25 -0700 #

no shortage, just no radiologists working at 10pm in my small town. and they only call one in for an emergency. i really didn’t have a problem with waiting for the next morning to have the scan done as i was no longer symptomatic.
the only downfall in the system in this case was the fault of the patient (me) not going to seek help until after my shift. if i’d been less stubborn and more intelligent, i’d have shut down the pharmacy and headed for the doctor as soon as the headache changed from pain to speach problems.
do you really have 24h radiology departments in every small town in the states? that’s actually pretty cool if you do.

Comment by Katy on 2009-06-24 15:21:39 -0700 #

I agree with a lot of TAP’s points, even though I totally agree with socialised medicine. Perhaps keep your insurance system but have the government set limits on it so people can actually afford it, and like I’ve mentioned above, the price of medicine is absolutely appalling, plus the amount the pharmacists recieve back. Australian pharmacist make at least $7 on each script where the pt has chosen a generic medicine (I’m generalising, there are certain scripts where they wont, but there are scripts where they’ll make more as well).

Comment by Rx BRY on 2009-06-24 16:59:50 -0700 #

Anna, that is fantastic that he received such great care and best wishes. Not sure what your premiums are but what do you think the taxes will be? Another 20-30% of your salary, which (going out on a limb here)i am guessing is going to be considerably more than your “significant premium.” People say we don’t have great health care. Someone made a good point earlier, the biggest drag on our healthcare today is the government subsidized portion of it (ie medicare,medicaid,etc.) Anyways, the hospital your father was at probably lost so much money by providing care to your father they had to charge 15 more people much higher for their care. Gotta love government reimbursments. So if you think Medicare part D works so well…go ahead and start up this socialized health system. I will quit my job and live for free b/c living is a right (as most here think anyways) and the govt should keep me safe and alive FOREVER!! Funny how these liberals think healthcare is a right yet over 50% do not believe in God!? Anyone else see the irony here? By the way…I am gonna need that brand new Escalade with all the airbags to keep me safe!! Where do we draw the line???

Comment by NewTech24 on 2009-06-24 21:04:52 -0700 #

I lived in the UK as a student for a year and was able to utilise the NHS System. I only went to a doctor once for a respiratory infection, however, It was nice to be able to get a script for 6 pounds ($12 isn’t bad to me now that I see how much some drugs cost…) Anyways, I told myself if I were to stay there for a lifetime I would probably avoid hospitals and doctors as much as I could.

The run around when you have a more life threatening issue is insane. My friend had a heart attack in August, suffered from infections on three different occasions (from entering hospital right after the MI, and then pre-op two times). Finally had her mechanical valve placed in February. The nurse not wearing a mask when changing her dressing 2 days after surgery happened to sneeze in the wound causing a deep infection that lasted like three months. Even with all the preventative handwashing stations for anyone entering, she still ended up with a 40 pill a day regimin after leaving… (although the cost was still only 6 pounds a script.)

I believe it may do some good to have socialized medicine after spending my fair share of out of pocket costs for health care, or just not going due to not having insurance. Yes, I do have a phone and a computer, but they are on the least expensive end of the spectrum and if I didn’t live with my parents still I’d be on welfare and or living in a cardboard box on the wages I make. Personally I do not want to be part of the welfare system…

As far as paying more taxes, I wouldn’t mind that if it meant I could see the doctor when I was sick. That was part of the trade off in the UK but I feel it was a good trade.

Comment by Sarah on 2009-06-24 21:28:24 -0700 #

Add Taiwan to their list. In Taiwan, their government is borrowing money to fund their program because the elected officials won’t vote to raise premiums. They won’t want the public to get mad and vote them out of a job.

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2009-06-24 21:32:09 -0700 #

What does not believing in God have anything to do with right and wrong?

What’s actually hilarious is that people who claim they follow God’s word support a health care system that separates the haves from the have-nots. The message of every religion is that God loves us all equally. He makes no distinction between those who have the money to pay for health care and those that don’t. He would want us to all help each other.

However, all I keep hearing here is how much of a burden the uninsured are to everyone else who has insurance. I keep hearing about how it’s “immoral” for others to have to pay for health care for the less than 1% of the uninsured population who are “smoking, drinking, over eating, and [having] unprotected sex with anyone they can find.”

If it was about doing God’s will, we’d all be sharing everything we had with each other equally. But it’s not about God’s will. It’s about looking out for yourself. You don’t give a shit about the 45 million uninsured people. You don’t care about the people who can never purchase their own private insurance because they have some pre-existing condition that makes them lifetime decinable. You don’t care that health care costs are cited in 50% of bankruptcy filings. I guess you think that God just hates the uninsured who develop cancer and can’t afford $10,000 per month treatment.

Someone is actually trying to make the argument that insurance companies making a profit off our health care is moral and that making a plan where we all pay in orer to cover everyone is immoral!!?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me? The health insurance companies who will do everything in their power NOT to pay for your health care are actually doing God’s work? That’s a fucking laugher if I ever heard one.

The facts as stated over and over and over again is that most other industrialized nations have national health care plans and most of those health care plans are far superior to that of the United States in pretty much any way you can measure. AND, they provide that far superior health care for half as much per capita as it costs in the United States.

You can tell stupid anecdotes and twist around all these moral arguments in order to justify your position. However, in the end, every freaking fact you can find shows our health care system is more expensive and provides inferior health care than those socialized systems you rant against.

Comment by tyler on 2009-06-24 22:12:56 -0700 #

Oh no’s, Change! Woe is me. At the current rate we are running at, health care will bankrupt our country as we continue to spend more and more of our GDP on paying for it. Copays will keep down these needless visits you speak of and the fucking and profits that insurance companies get off of customers can be eliminated and that money can be used to save money to the payers or pay for extra care

Comment by Tom on 2009-06-25 09:11:04 -0700 #

No there isn’t a 24hr radiology department in most small US cities and based on other factors they aren’t likely to get someone to read a CT until the next day. That said, I saw a few pilot programs that allow for remote viewing but those haven’t come to fruition at this point.

Comment by kizell on 2009-06-25 11:17:59 -0700 #

I can’t believe that you people are so willing to let big-daddy gov’t run the health industry. Seriously, how fucking retarded are some of you people? Have you not been looking at how the gov’t in the US practically fucks up everything it gets it’s hands on.

Our national debt is over $11 trillion b/c gov’t doesn’t know how to efficiently run itself……….what the fuck makes you dumb bastards think health care will be any different? Medicare is going broke, so providers keep seeing lower and lower reimbursement rates. My state’s medicaid loves to go from pharmacy to pharmacy authorizing audits over trivial shit b/c their funds are low. But instead of cutting back benefits to these programs, they see it more beneficial just to rob the health care providers

And back on the issue of the inefficiency of the US fed government……have you guys not seen the newly proposed cap and trade bill??? You know, that plans to tax the living dogshit out of anything the gov’t sees as “energy inefficient.” Prices are about to go soaring through the roof in a few years (making the people even poorer), yet many of you think that this health care shit is meant to help……..well it’s not; it’s meant to control you.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-25 11:57:13 -0700 #

You are completely missing the point about “morality” and how socialistic programs are anti-freedom, anti-democratic, and unfair! Lets get this clear: healthcare, cars, houses, food….none of it is FREE….nothing in life is FREE! Someone has to pay to purchase these things. If healthcare should be FREE, then why not cars? Why not houses? Why not food? Hey, lets have the government furnish us with everthing we need and lets pay 100% of what we earn to the government. The bottom line is that someone has to pay for healthcare! It can be the individual or the government. With the government paying, the individual still pays through taxes. All the government can do is shift money from the haves to have nots. You are paying soc sec taxes today for the people that are receiving soc sec. At the rate this company is going in debt, soc sec may not be around for you. The same applies to Medicare. Not only these taxes, but you pay state taxes and sales taxes. Taxes are eating away at the money you make. The question that matters is whether all these taxes are beneficial to you or not. Sure this country can furnish soc sec and medicare today because we are trillions of dollars in debt. But, there is no guarantee that other countries will call in those loans. If they do, then this whole system will titter on collapse. You seem to think that the government can manager your money better than you can.
Life is not fair. Life is life and has nothing to do with fairness. Some people are born unhealth and remain unhealthy all their lives. The question becomes whether it is your “responsibility” to help provide healthcare to those individuals. The government has taken it upon its self to say that you are responsible for your neighbor. The government does not ask you if you want to give money to your neighbor, not it threatens you with imprisonment if you don’t give up a chunk of you pay check to pay for healthcare for your neighbor. I say that it is “immoral” for anyone or any entity to force an individual to do anything against their will as long as the individual is not harming someone else. Sure…my idea is a bit radical. But, it is the same idea which had its origins in founding this country. Every individual should be free from government harassment, and taxation for any scheme to distribute wealth is harassment.
No our healthcare system is not perfect. But, why do so many people from all these foreign countries come here for treatment? These socialistic systems are certainly not perfect either and Great Britian has an example of one that is not good.
In the long term, government taxes become a drain on a countries economy. The most important thing is the ECONOMY. A strong economy will provide jobs for everyone that needs a job and they can buy the healthcare they need. A weak economy spells trouble for everyone. The poor cannot find jobs and cannot afford healthcare. Government begins to have to cut back on its healthcare programs and everyone suffers. The position taken that a socialistic healthcare system is superior to what we have is based on a short term perspective(this can be several decades). But, the long term picture will be bad because of government consuming so much of the GDP. There is talk that, this year, the government will spend the equivalent of the GDP of this country! Such things are unsustainable. Congress may create some type of hodge-podge of a healthcare program for the uninsured this year. But, it will be a hodge-podge, and a waste of taxpayers money. The simple fact is that the government cannot manage a healthcare program with any degree of efficiency, and this is another reason that socilistic schemes cost enormous amount of the resources of a country and lead the economy into a downard spiral.

Comment by Johnathan on 2009-06-25 19:39:19 -0700 #

Most people in America need healthcare due to self induced diseases. Most cardiovascular issues come from lack of exercise and not eating right. DM II is also from the way people eat. Fix the people first and healthcare will balance itself out. Prevention will always be cheaper than treatment, but it’s just so much easier to pop a pill, no?

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2009-06-25 20:20:01 -0700 #

This idea that “so many people come here from foreign countries for treatment” is laughable at best. It’s exactly what I’m talking about.. Anecdotal evidence.

You show me some statistics out there that our health care system is better than France or Canada or Germany. Show me one. You can’t. By any way you can measure it, our system is vastly inferior.

Then show me one statistic that shows me that nationalized health care is more expensive to the government than our current system. You can’t do that either. France’s governemnt pays less per capita to insure everyone in the entire country than our government spends on Medicaid and Medicare alone. France’s total health care cost per capita is about half of that of the United States. And they get superior outcomes… IN EVERY FUCKING CATEGORY!

Peon, you seem to have a problem with paying for others. I guess you’re one of the fortunate ones in this coutnry that actually have health insurance. If you were one of the 45.7 million people who weren’t able to get health insurance, you’d be singing a different tune. When you say that it is unfair that we have to pay for the health care of others, what you are really saying is that you don’t care enough to pay for hte health care of others.

Unlike you… I care about those 45.7 million uninsured citizens. I would give up half of my benefits if it meant those 45.7 million people without insurance would get at least basic coverage. Because I believe in equality. I don’t believe I’m better than anyone else because I make more money and have better benefits.

Moreover health care is not like other things in this country. It’s one thing if one person is rich enough to own 10 Hummers while another person can only own a bike. Material possessions aren’t necessary to live. However, when you’re uninsured and get cancer or come down with a condition that causes you to need an organ transplant, that lack of health care will cause you to die. Can you live with yourself knowing that some people are dying from treatable illnesses simply because they aren’t wealthy enough to afford treatment? I can’t.

Peon, the arguemnt you’re making isn’t moral at all. It’s decidedly immoral. It’s immoral to let people die simply because they have no health insurance. The argument you’re making is that because you have health insurance, your life is more important than their’s. I don’t believe that. I’ll never believe that.

Maybe I’m looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Whatever the case may be, I know for a fact that nationalized health care works very well (much better than our system) in pretty much every other industrialized nation. Why can’t it work here? Is the United States really so much worse than the rest of the industrialized world that we can’t figure out how to make health care work? Have we really fallen that far behind other countries? If nationalized health care can’t work here when it more than works everywhere else, then we don’t deserve to be called a super power.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-26 05:23:22 -0700 #

First, ditch the 47 million uninsured load o’ crap. Factor out illegal aliens and those with the means and availability of health coverage who CHOOSE not to participate and the number is around 12 million. Please do your homework before repeating what the Huffington Post and New York Times tell you to believe.

Secondly, anyone can and everyone does get treatment at any ER in the country…not cost efficient, but this isn’t Calcutta. No one is dying on the streets for lack of treatment, insurnace or not, so there goes that bit of inflamatory pathos.

Third, feel free to give up half of your benefits and/or income, but don’t expect me to. When you finally get to be over the age of thirty AND have worked in a public hospital or clinic for at least two years, come back and talk to us, m’kay? Your glasses aren’t rose colored, they are smeared with bullshit.

Comment by Irishwolf on 2009-06-26 10:06:21 -0700 #

No one has mentioned that, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare, the government already has other systems designed to provide medical care to those who can not afford it and underserved populations. HRSA manages millions of dollars in funding to community health centers, and even provides M.D.s and R.N.s to those hard to fill positions at rural community clinics. There are scholarhsips for those in training for health professions can get in exchange for providing service in these underserved areas when they graduate, Native American communities are covered via IHS, and Federal Inmates are also provided with health care (an interesting side note: Did you know that inmates are the ONLY group that is guaranteed access to health care by law?)

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2009-06-26 12:23:17 -0700 #


Anecdotal evidence and no hard statistics. No one has refuted anything I’ve said yet, which to recap is that other countries with nationalized health care provide superior health care for half the cost.

I’m waiting for someone to prove that wrong.

Comment by NHSoncpharm on 2009-06-26 15:13:49 -0700 #

I’ve worked in NHS hospitals for a few years now, most recently as an oncology pharmacist. I’m perfectly willing to put my hands up and say that the system isn’t perfect, but I honestly believe that it is better than a private insurance scheme. Surely a scheme run by companies to make money isn’t going to put an individual’s health before profits? An interesting observation is this: when the NHS was set up in 1948, an agreement was made with the British Medical Association (BMA) that doctors could admit patients to NHS hospital and treat them privately. This obviously means that the patient would pay for their treatment. The patient would recieve preferential treatment – ie no waiting list – because of this. However, I’ve only seen about six private patients in hospital for any reason in about four years. Also, private health insurance schemes still run in the UK, but the number of people joining them is low – most simply prefer the NHS. As a pharmacist, I could get a discounted rate with one or two of these schemes. However, I cannot imagine that I would ever join. I pay £187.58 (one pound has about the same buying power here in the UK as a dollar has in the US) per month at the moment – income linked National insurance, a tax – and get complete health coverage. Not bad I reckon, not bad at all. I consider myself very fortunate.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-26 18:40:08 -0700 #

kizell, I believe you made the best case possible against a government run healthcare program. All you have to do is take any government program and look how the cost of it has sky rocketed and how the Congress has plunged this country deeper and deeper in debt to finance these programs. The programs never die…they just get bigger. Our government has become a monster eating up the resources of this country, and borrowing from other countries to continue to feed its appetite. All the bleeding hearts here can cry for a government sponsored healthcare system. What they don’t seem to realize is the cost of it. It will be much more than they say it will be…this always happens…and the cost of the program will escalate each year. When the country goes broke….then the bleeding hearts will have something to whine about….yes, they will be whining because the government cannot send them their social security check, pay for their doctor visit under Medicare, and pay for all these gals to have illigetimate babies paid by Mr. Taxpayer. Have these people heard? Our economy is in trouble…our financial system is in trouble. It is the ECONOMY STUPID!

Comment by OncologyNP on 2009-06-27 03:10:29 -0700 #

Tests, scans, drugs have to have prior approval. In our practice we have more people working on prior authorizations and approvals than we do providers. Then you have Humana wanting you to send them a peer reviewed article before they will approve Oxycontin on an end stage cancer patient and want to speak to a provider because of all the people with a chronic back pain abusing the drug.

Disability forms, insurance forms, prior authorizations, EMR’s that are producing page after page of data that someone has to collect, escript checks to prevent disasters with toxic drugs are killing our practice. Not to mention thalidomide, revlimid, STEPS programs taking more nurse/provider time over and over. I don’t believe the person last month in their 60’s sudden became able to have children. I know it is about liability.

Many chemotherapy drugs are not reimbursed enough to pay for the IV tubing to administer them, not even counting the specialty trained nurse it requires. Many practices will not see Medicare or Medicaid patients because the reimbursement is so poor so we get slammed with them. Drugs manufactured in the States are shipped to Canada then our citizen’s have to use a mail order company and buy them from Canada to be able to afford them.

Don’t even get me started on the Medicaid card waving “fatsomyalgia” lol patient who presents to our office wanting their B/P managed right now without an appointment because they can’t get in to their family doctor’s office. Or the person that is late to their appointment? Yes we have a dedicated nurse practitioner to see walk in’s and call in’s. She works her ass off.

The government is already controlling health care we just haven’t acknowledged it. We were discussing how to be able to pay our bill’s we figured 8-9 check labs, mail call patient’s back see patient’s every 15 minutes 9-5 and 5-6 return more phone calls, check more mail, dictate charts, faxes and pray no one needs social/mental/emotional support. Then go home and work remotely to finish up reams of dictations. Did I leave out bathroom breaks and lunch? 60 hour weeks! I can not see myself doing this much longer, the pace is killing everyone.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 06:51:13 -0700 #

Here in lies the problem. Out of pocket costs 0$. Everyone thinks its free right? Wrong. Canadian taxes are much higher than ours. He or she has paid a boat load for that MRI and medical care. If Canada didn’t have such a relatively small population, it’s healthcare system would be a disaster just like the UK’s, who by the way are now thinking about an HMO system to fight rising costs and poor treatment standards. I was in Canada doing an mfg. scale up and I asked the engineer there what he thought of his healthcare. His answer: “It’s free.” I asked, “Is it any good?” He reiterated “It’s free.”

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 06:57:27 -0700 #

They all seem to deliver better healthcare than we do. Totally unsubstantiated comment. Most rich, even in industrialized countries, come to the U.S. for treatment for serious conditions.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 07:02:16 -0700 #

By life the framer meant: You can’t just be gunned down on the street by some despotic regime, because you don’t agree with them 100% of the time. THEY DID NOT MEAN that the governent will implement systems that will guarantee you will live as long as possible or that you will have equal outcomes.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 07:20:37 -0700 #

Don’t they have state funded abortions in Canada, and sadly in the U.S., but that’s not killing anyone is it? Sorry, an innocent kid can be offed at a whim, but a murder maniac should live forever.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 07:31:08 -0700 #

The denial of healthcare. There is no denial of healthcare. Denial of healthcare would mean, sir, that you show up with a suitcase full of money and I don’t treat you for whatever reason I like. If you want healthcare pay for. By reaching into my back pocket and forcing me to pay for other’s healthcare under the auspices of state theft is denial to my liberty by usurping my property and possessions. Don’t confuse lack of payment for service with denial.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 07:48:13 -0700 #

Wrong, you will have noone looking to start a new business because taxes will go through the roof. Take a look at Europe, negative growth no new businesses. There is no incentive to open a business when taxation rates are that high, and with all the other social programs like if you fire someone you have to pay them six months salary. If you’re successful you’ll just be working to fund other people, so everyone takes the easy way out, and the standard of living overall declines.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 07:55:20 -0700 #

No it isn’t. You have right to earn access to affordable healthcare you do not have an endogenous right to it. You can scream that stupid putz of a line into the mirror as long as you want. You don’t have a right to it. EARN IT.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 08:11:38 -0700 #

Brilliance. Excellent post. More proof that statist policies are a mental disorder. The fact is the U.S. government is broke and the economy is in bad shape, primarily due to government regulations. We can’t pay for healthcare we don’t have the money. End of story, but the statists amongst us make decisions based on emotion not logic.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 08:17:37 -0700 #

I’m glad to see you put in so much factual evidence, and yes your looking through rose colored glasses. Let me know when you get out of kindergarten.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 08:19:05 -0700 #

Love ya Pattie.

Comment by OUT FOR LIFE on 2009-06-27 08:23:23 -0700 #

They won’t prove its wrong. It’s easy to control costs when the government mandates the prices, moron. Here, Mikey, I’m you’re politician and I’ve been voted in. Now I’m in control of your life, and I say you’re going to make $5.00/hour, and I’m passing the savings along to your customers. Then someone can get on the inernet and say look at OUT FOR LIFE, he’s really controlled costs. Isn’t it amazing, let’s switch to his system. Ooops where did all the pharmacists go, oh where did all the new medications go, ooops why are the line so long. Get the picture, the costs are artificially low and they lead to a deincentivization of the market.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-27 09:01:32 -0700 #

Why should we do your fifth grade homework??

YOU prove YOUR load’o crap, son….I don’t have the time or energy to rebut YOUR made up stories and oft repeated misinformation!

“NO! NO!!!! You can’t make me eat oatmeal instead of M&M’s. You CAN’T!! You’re not the BOSS of ME!!!

Comment by kurt on 2009-06-27 16:29:51 -0700 #

u have the right to pay for your own health insurance, I think for me that is $800 a month or more. why is it free for some? not only to I pay for mine, but for all the welfare idiots also. only willing to have national health care if we do away w/ income tax and go straight sales tax, that way everyone contributes to the cost. Also an above poster did have the right idea copays for everything! can’t pay on the spot? deduct it from next welfare check

Comment by kurt on 2009-06-27 16:46:58 -0700 #

Dr Bob,
ever wonder what drs get paid in a socialized medicine country? why do you think so many move here? Could it be …. better compensation?

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-27 17:44:12 -0700 #

OncologyNP, you highlighted the problems with current healthcare in the US. The problem is too much government regulation and too much insurance intervention into physicians practices. The answer to the insurance problem can be handled by throwing the bums in Congress out of office that support legislation that benefits the insurance companies, and a “strike” by individuals and corporations toward insurance companies that place so many barriers on healthcare providers. The insurance companies do not suffer….they just pass along any increases they have to the policyholder. Healthcare providers are under seize by government intervention and by insurance company paper work. The only thing the people in Congress can think of doing is adding more regulations…what we need is less regulation…just look at HIPPA…what a mess! HIPPA has done nothing but create problems for healthcare providers. It adds nothing to improving healthcare.

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-29 05:34:41 -0700 #

“less than 1 % who are smoking, drinking, overeating and having unprotected sex..”.

Just wondering (a) what planet that would be on and (b) where you got your Master’s Degree in Made-Up-Statistics????

Considering the 67% of Americans who are overweight or obese PLUS the 30% who smoke PLUS the rate of non-marital pregnancies and STD’s…the digging ones own grave crowd is much closer to 75% than “less than 1%”. (not even INCLUDING abuse of alcohol and other drugs.)The main reason that socialized medicine will NEVER work is that it would require two items in very short supply in America in 2009…personal responsibility and real consequences for poor choices. When pigs fly—-or bleeding heart liberals use brains instead of nursery school sob stories.

Comment by kickstand on 2009-06-29 10:26:22 -0700 #

All that Insurance is, is a way of spreading out an individual’s costs over the widest number of payers. I don’t see anything inherently wrong with creating a “public” insurance plan that would compete with the private ones. If it’s open to all people without restriction, and is competitively priced, what is the problem?

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-06-29 12:38:51 -0700 #

Back atcha…

Comment by kizell on 2009-06-29 17:28:31 -0700 #

Peon, you are exactly right. Big-daddy gov’t fucks up everything it gets its hands on, and once it starts fucking it up, it drives it into the ground.

If people would just stop to think about what the gov’t does not provide……..PRODUCTIVITY!!!!! Gov’t run jobs create no real world wealth of any kind. And when you allow the gov’t to control more and more entities comprised by the private sector, the real world wealth of this country gets worse and worse. Medicine will be no different. Innovations in medicine will start going down the toilet. People out there think that the gov’t “creating jobs” is boosting the economy. This is an absolute joke. More and more of our resources and labor is being turned over to big-daddy gov’t, and it’s downright scary. As I said before, just look at the newly proposed cap and trade bill which would send our energy needs through the fucking roof, and eventually make the country poorer but the gov’t more powerful

There is simply no such thing as the gov’t making things better for all of us (at least not in this country). If you can’t see that then you are a fucking retard.

The TRUE answer to the health care crisis is to eliminate the $2 whore that has been bastardising the medical profession for years…….of course that would be insurance (public and private)……enough with this HIPAA crap, enough with the fraud, waste and abuse crap, enough will this Rx auditing crap. Let’s get back to treating the public’s best interests, which is their health care and not their bullshit insurance company.

Comment by Peon on 2009-06-30 09:13:41 -0700 #

People are stupid because they believe the politicians when they say they are going to “help” them. Politicians/government can only shift wealth from one person or group to another. It does not create anything! If government here was cut down to about 1/50th of the size it is today, this would be an amazing country. There would be wealth beyond human belief. The true function of government is to protect people from external harm and to provide a legal system to insure individual rights and protections. Government is not the solution…it is the PROBLEM!

Comment by Pink on 2009-06-30 10:51:52 -0700 #

Dude. It’s not HIPAA that is the problem. It’s EMTALA and JCAHO.

Comment by Youre Idiots on 2009-07-01 08:43:24 -0700 #

You guys are all idiots. You stand here whining about it but you all voted for Obama!! TAP admitted to voting for Obama, did anybody listen to this guy when he spoke or was Bush that bad??!?! Obama clearly made socialized medicine a priority but never used those words! You’re all brainwashed puppets! Shame on you, pharmacist!

Comment by theangrypharmacist on 2009-07-01 12:33:09 -0700 #

I did? I think you’re confusing me with DrugMonkey.

Comment by LD50placebo_effect on 2009-07-01 16:01:01 -0700 #

My health corporation in a fair mix of urban/rural has remote radiology viewing capabilities allowing triaging to the critical access (federal funding for small county hospitals that have 25 beds or less).

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-07-02 07:50:49 -0700 #

Excuse me, moron, but you are on the wrong damn blog.

No love for the Obamessiah here, buddy! We have a brillian, eloquent, charismatic sociopath in the While House…and WE didn’t put the MF there!

Comment by Peon on 2009-07-02 20:51:57 -0700 #

I thought I was alone in my thinking about our government and Obama, until I started reading the comments here. It is heartening to find that a lot of other people don’t believe the government is the solution and that socialistic programs are wonderful. Government keeps intruding into our lives. It appears they may force us to carry a health insurance policy. What will they force us to do next? I can remember the Vietnam era and all those young men being forced to go to the killing fields in SouthEast Asia? For what reason? It was a lunatic reason, but thousands of young Americans were killed there, or injured for life. There is all this talk about our soldiers as hero’s in Iraq. But, why did we invade Iraq? They never attacked us…it was Osama and he was in Afghanistan. So, another lunatic idea by an idiot president. Now, we have another idiot president that wants to turn America into a socialist state. But, I don’t believe he really has a clue what he is doing. He is a very good speaker…but, that is where his abilities ends. He has no financial sense…anyone promoting socialistic programs cannot have any financial sense. He seems to think that he can make love, and not war with our enemies. I think he will be in for a surprise….we will see.

Comment by oncologyNP on 2009-07-03 00:44:24 -0700 #

I truly believe this will be the straw that breaks health care’s already strained backs and further pushes our economy into a depression. If this goes through then ownership should be on the patient to get these drugs, scans, labs, etc approved. Something has to give and quickly. I get so sick of the entitlement attitudes so many have today. It absolutely is not a right.

Comment by oneBCPSrph on 2009-07-03 11:43:38 -0700 #

Health care is not a right. To be a right, the right must not infringe on someone else’s liberties or require someone else to have to work for your right.
Freedom of speech: no one’s liberty is infringed on
Freedom of religion: no one’s liberty is infringed on
Freedom to carry arms: infringes on no one’s rights
etc etc etc
right of healthcare: requires others to pay for it and requires time and work from healthcare providers…..infringes upon their right to keep their earned assets….therefore…it is not a right.

And what planet have you been on????????? OneBigAssMistakeAmerica (Obama) is pushing for it big time.

Comment by Another Pharmacist on 2009-07-03 17:32:29 -0700 #

The biggest single reason socialized medicine will not work in this country is simply because we Americans are so unhealthy. It actually embarasses me to say that OVER 60% of this country is now obese. This leads to a million other health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc. If this actually gets passed it will bankrupt this country within 10 years. Perhaps if we excluded obese people from the plan it could work – I mean they don’t care about their own health enough to stop stuffing food in their face, so why should I pay to treat their diabetes???

Comment by crow88 on 2009-07-04 04:58:08 -0700 #

yeah but for $0 i can wait for a CT scan, but in america i have to pay $500 a month and a $1500 deductible to have it “stat”…… i think i will worry about the CT scan for 24 hours instead of having to worry about pulling thousands of dollars out of my ass somehow……….oh i guess i can sell off my truck and house to pay the hospital off……..get a life, dickhead

Comment by crow88 on 2009-07-04 05:01:10 -0700 #

dipshit, it will only increase several percentage points……….wow, pay 3% more a month in income tax or pay $500 (6000 a year) for health insurance that still wont cover anything……….thats a no brainer

Comment by crow88 on 2009-07-04 05:06:52 -0700 #

yeah for conjoined twins syndrome and shit…….most other country’s citizens are healthier than us, because they have access to preventative healthcare, its only when some wierd or rare disease comes up when they fly here. you dont need a heart transplant when the whole country doesnt have diabetes or heart disease, but when that one guy needs it, they have to fly here to get it, because they dont need to have a supply of hearts laying around like we do.

Comment by crow88 on 2009-07-04 05:09:40 -0700 #

i have the right to live under a bridge i guess (after i spend all my money on healthcare) fuck off

Comment by Old Country Doc on 2009-07-04 11:37:09 -0700 #

3 percent? Someone’s living in a dream world. If it were only a 3% increase for universal health care it would have already been done. The problem is that 3% won’t even scratch the surface. We’re talking an initial increase of at least 10 to 12% and there are some who fear that even that won’t be enough. Americans with their “gotta have it right now” attitude will be in for a shock when the government runs the show. Although, that might make it more interesting watching the hydrocodone and carisoprodol crowd go into DTs while waiting six hours for their scripts.

Comment by Wesley B on 2009-07-06 17:11:21 -0700 #

Dazed Technician, as a Medicare recipient that sometimes gets Medicaid Share of Cost, I could not agree with you more. Sadly, I take many medications that there are no generics for so I am all too aware that my prescriptions are putting a drain on the system for everyone. When I found out that the prescription heart medication I was taking, FOLTX, was nothing more than vitamin B, vitamin B-6, B-12, and folic acid at fairly low dosages to be exact, it boggled the mind that it was even considered a prescribed medication. I’m not sure if I was more astonished that ANY unknowing person or insurance company would pay for it, or more disappointed in my doctor for abusing the system by prescribing it instead of telling me to make sure to take a multi-purpose vitamin with a B-complex.

Since then I have come to question most things I am prescribed by the five different doctors I see but when it is at a time of emergency, you just don’t question the doctor.

For the past few days over the holiday weekend I have had a serious throat problem and it just looks nasty! I knew my doctor phoned in a script but went I got to the pharmacy minutes before they closed I am told it is not covered. The medication was Levaquin – a medication he seems to write any time I need some form of antibiotic for nasal or similar infection. Now, I have to wait 14 hours for the doctor office to open and get him to prescribe something else.

Now the solution seem simple to me at the low end; prescribe for a class of medication than an actual named medication unless there is specific reason to prescribe a certain medication. When the pharmacy gets the script they either let the insurance company to tell them what to dispense or if the patient is paying tell them the cheapest cost. Now, the patient gets the medication they need, the doctor is not taking time out of his schedule to talk with the pharmacy then to the insurance company and back with the pharmacy. Since the lowest price is paid the insurance company makes a bigger profit, equal medications must either come down in price to a reasonable level, and there are now more financial resources to help those in need.

But that is not how it is and I am sure there are holes in my ideas. Still, it is us, the patients who are the ones suffering from this most then the tax payers funding socialized medicine that suffers next.

What can we do NOW to stop this?

Comment by lisa on 2009-07-09 22:10:14 -0700 #

life, liberty and the pursuit of handouts.

Comment by AnthonyRPH on 2009-07-10 02:27:04 -0700 #

AngryRPH, you sure ARE angry.

It’s not about whether health care is a RIGHT metaphysically or something.

Your house’s fire will be put out by the fire department if they can, and quickly, because we fund them to do just that. If we funded through more taxes a system that would care for people for free (free from further charges), it’d be analogous. We’d make it a right or at least prepaid.

Just as a firefighter is not dealt with as a plumber is, if we create the system to be a public right, then it will allow health care providers to be analogous to fire fighters.

It’s theory, of course, but your rant lacks creativity and reflects your reactivity and anger. Calm down and let’s work it out. Government or no, we need a better system.

Comment by AnthonyRPH on 2009-07-10 02:31:11 -0700 #

YOU ARE CRAZY if you think Obama is socialist leaning. HE ISN’T EVEN LIBERAL. He won’t even overturn don’t ask don’t tell. Tell me he is actually liberal in practice. HA!

As a liberal myself, I wish he were more liberal or progressive or whatever you want to call it.

Obama is another corporate puppet BUT HARDLY socialist.

Name something close to socialist in public policy that he has done.

NAME ONE THING, Peon. ONE THING. If you do find one thing, reflect on whether it’s really socialist, or whether it just does things differently from Sean Hannity’s way of doing it.

Comment by AnthonyRPH on 2009-07-10 02:38:11 -0700 #

You seem pretty mean to be a nurse. Nurses can have empathy, you know. So can pharmacists.

I don’t like how Obama is a sellout like the other presidents before him, but unlike you, I do not believe what liars like Hannity and Michael Savage say. Obama is not a sociopath.

Quit being so politicized and next time you are in the room with a patient, quit judging them and CARE FOR THEM, eh?

Comment by AnthonyRPH on 2009-07-10 02:42:20 -0700 #

I replied to you in another comment, too, and I got to say you are really reactive and mean!

You seem overworked and slightly unconscious of what kind of motivations might be driving you.

When’s the last time you connected with a patient eh?

Comment by AnthonyRPH on 2009-07-10 02:43:38 -0700 #

I am waiting for it too.

Good post, Mike.

Comment by George on 2009-07-11 19:54:41 -0700 #

I can’t figure out why you are even talking about Socialized medicine, I wish there was a reason for us to talk about it, but not with this so called “reform”. This will just be a diluted, watered down bill, that has NOTHING to do with socialized medicine, but WILL help out the big HMO’s and PBM’s. You should ALL, not as pharmacists, but as Americans, pray this bill never sees the day of light@

Comment by Pattie, RN on 2009-07-15 08:08:50 -0700 #

Golly, sweetie, Miss Flo Nightengale has been dead a LONG time now….just us mean ole nurses who are tired of taking shit off of self-injurious idiots left. And speaking of “left”, you aren’t advocating empathy, but sympathy. Look up the difference.

Since you have no clue what what my daily practice looks and sounds like, as opposed, say for example, when I am arguing with a liberal moron on the internet, I’ll let that one slide. Suffice to say it our job as nurses to save patients asses, not kiss them, so I’d be fighting for your life or even the Obamessiah’s if ya’ll crossed my path professionally. Because that’s the way we roll..

Finally, I am not REALLY a nurse, I am an Albanian goat-herder with really good wi-fi at our local opium den. I learned my English from American movies, and hope someday to visit the great country of New York. Can I visit New York in the morning and the Grand Canyon in the afternoon, or is California closer? Just wondering?

Comment by Jason on 2009-07-16 18:15:28 -0700 #

I’m not buying the firefighter analogy. Firefighters respond to fires which are emergencies. By that logic, we already have that in medical care; emergency rooms where anyone can get emergency care without having to prove any ability to pay. The analogy for the system you’re advocating is one where everyone would have a right to call the fire dept and force them to come put out their charcoal grill or fireplace when they were done cooking their burgers or enjoying the warmth. Just my two cents.

Comment by S.N. on 2009-07-17 17:08:23 -0700 #

I’ve been reading your site for two years and am a future pharmacist. I am not in it for the money like you clearly are. I am not from the United States and therefore know that healthcare is in fact a right. Most of us were born healthy and intact and have the right to the means to stay that way, and even if you weren’t born that way, still have the right. I would take a 50% tax on everyone’s income if it meant everyone could get healthcare no charge. Drug prices should be capped. There should be strict formularies. No one should be turned down care because they don’t have money. I won’t be reading your site anymore since you drank the republican water.

Comment by Andrea on 2009-07-20 08:03:30 -0700 #

You are absolutely correct. A simple way to put it. Your kid needs new tennis shoes. You give him/her a credit card and he/she comes home with $300 shoes. You give him/her $100 bucks and tell him/her he/she can keep the change….now those shoes at $50 seem more appealing. Its the same with healthcare. Another huge issue is immigrants. How is Obama addressing immigrants. They wont pay $1 for helth insurance cause they can get it for free. If you arent a US citizen then how do you get the government plan? Obama just wants to put something anything through so he can show boat. What major decision in your life have you ever wanted to be rushed into. Ok you have 30 seconds to decide who you will marry. Give me a break. It didnt take 30 days to ruin the system it sure as hell isnt going to take 30 days to fix it. I dont get the rush. I think pain meds and feel good drugs should be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes. Yes there are legititmate people with pain who needs these drugs but they normally turn into addicts. Im sorry I know its harsh but nothing worse in this world than a pill head. There are so many ways to reform without socialized medicine or Government run plans. We have those and theya re practically bankrupt and everyone bitches about the benefits now. Fix those programs. Then get back to me on this!

Comment by John Woolman on 2009-07-21 06:03:31 -0700 #

Being a reasonably informed user of pharmacy services in England, I thought it would be worth sharing my experience today in picking up 2 months worth of refills. i costed them out using publicly available figures, and set out the direct cost to me, what the co-payments would have been if I had to pay them and the cost to the National health Service.

Every 6 months or so i have to see the family practitioner i am registered with for a medication check and every year to visit the practice nurse for blood pressure check, foot check and to get some bloods done. Once a year retinal photography at no charge. At random intervals, my pharmacist asks if i would like her to go through all the medicines i am taking to check that i am sure I know about side effects and am taking them optimally.

Every 2 months the pharmacy i use contacts the medical practice to get a repeat prescription. I have to do nothing. i have a diary note to go and pick it up. So today i pick up a 2 month supply of Lisinopril 10mg OD, Metformin 500mg x2 BD, Aspirin 75 mg OD, escitalopram 10 mg OD, Ultra one touch test strips 50.

All generics apart from the test strips and escitalopram. Direct cost to me Zero, Zilch , Nada, because i am a) diabetic and B) over 60. If i didn’t get my meds free the co-payment would be GBP 43.20 (~US$70). Total cost to the National Health Service including pharmacist’s fees works out at about GBP 88.27 (~USD 145). Contact time with a counter assistant about 15 seconds. (identity check and then she hands the macdonald’s size bag over against my signation on the back of the prescription). if i wanted counselling there were 2 pharmacists hovering in the background. All the packs were labelled and bore the signatures of the dispenser and checker.

All in all a pretty good service at no direct cost to me.
But then I pay income tax at a rate that amounts to ~ 50% of earned income.

I have lived and practiced medicine for most of my life in the National health Service. Margaret Thatcher’s reforms were a difficult time, but it was better than the micromanagement from the top that characterises the current government in England. All i would say is that our system is different to yours. I don’t think it it would be transferrable to the US. The system in Oz or NZ might well be worth looking at.

Comment by Theo on 2009-07-24 22:42:04 -0700 #

Can someone explain to me the rationale behind health care not being a right? The primary function of government is to protect its citizens. Shouldn’t that include protecting them from sickness? It may not be in a law somewhere, but do you all actually believe that if you get sick and you can’t afford to pay for it, “tough shit, you gotta die.”? I guess I thought people had a little more compassion for their fellow human beings than that.

Comment by Jason on 2009-07-29 09:22:18 -0700 #

Theo, the reason health care is not a “right” is because no one has a “right” to another person’s time, labor or effort. Having a “right” to another person’s time, labor or effort is called slavery and we abolished that a long time ago. In this country today, we don’t have your scenario of “tough $%^&, you gotta die”; we have a system whereby people have to be treated in emergency situations, not to mention that there are many doctors who will work with people who can’t afford to pay or pay up front. The primary function of our federal government is spelled out very specifically in the Constitution which limits it to very specific duties and powers. Health care is not one of these. The states are free to do as they please. If anyone in this country thinks that the government run systems with “guaranteed” health coverage provides superior medicine to ours, then they should take advantage of the freedom this country allows them and go to one of the countries that already offers that.

Comment by KP on 2009-07-29 11:54:03 -0700 #

Hi- Just found your website. Brilliant! I agree with you. The one argumant I am getting from friends and aquaintances NOT in healthcare(I’m a pharmacist too so I’m supposed to know all about this bill….not.) is “everyone should be able to have “affordable” healthcare.” But what is affordable to me is NOT going to be affordable to you or Joe Blow on the corner. Plus “affordable” leads me to believe you must PAY FOR IT. Whatever “it” is.

Comment by David on 2009-07-29 14:20:14 -0700 #

Hello, so I’m the person that feels intermediate about this whole issue. Don’t Doctor’s and people in the medical profession do their practice to help people? This isn’t a debate about rights, this is a debate about control of money. Yes Doctor’s are being threatened financially, but creating public health care for the average American Citizen that makes less than 40k a year. Come on, as adults you have to think how much good this system can do, and stop thinking with your wallet.

Comment by Jason on 2009-07-30 13:28:55 -0700 #

How much good can it do? I don’t hear about Americans running to other countries for health care, I hear about others coming here. I’m not saying we have a perfect system but I do think we have the best system. There is room for improvement, but the federal government getting involved in any way other than clearing the way for free market solutions isn’t going to solve any problems.

Comment by John the J man on 2009-07-30 22:00:36 -0700 #

Sorry to all who complain about this, but I’m going to have to agree with TAP on this. I feel that the government should represent the people, not the other way around. Or… HEAVEN FORBID, perhaps all the “have nots” and “I don’t wanna works” have proliferated to the point where they outnumber the rest of us. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood and all of us who have jobs, pay bills, kiss customer ass at the pharmacy counter, are now the minority; a minority to be replaced with the man I just saw asleep on the sidewalk without a shirt. Really? America… is this REALLY what you want?

I’ll just leave it be at that. Don’t even get me started on how the Democrats want to literally rob from the rich and give to the poor. Making it, winning the lottery, founding a company, being successful, yadda yadda yadda… people THAT’S the american dream. If I won the lottery and Obama showed up and said that he wanted me to give it all away, I’d laugh my ass off. He’d have to take a step back to avoid my ass falling to the ground.

Enough of my pay check goes to medicaid and helping those who can’t help themselves. That’s all well and good, but I’ve been in pharmacy for just more than seven years. I’m not what you’d call a veteran, but I’ve seen my fair share. I’m sick of seeing people on Medicaid throw tantrums because they can’t get their brand name Vicodin. I’m sick of seeing people on Medicaid with a dozen kids and another on the way. I’m sick of waiting on them in drive thru as they pull up in their brand-spankin’ new truck, script in one hand, cigarette in the other, screaming children in the back.

I like having a choice. I like being able to choose my coverage, my doctor, etc. Things are getting out of hand. It may be a bit extreme, but haven’t any of these politicians read books like “A Clockwork Orange” or “Anthem?” Disgusting. I enjoy having a choice.

Carry on TAP. Keep fighting the good fight. So long as there’s people like you saying what you think is the honest truth and not apologizing every step of the way for it, the human race (and pharmacy in general) might just have a fighting chance.

Comment by Hanna on 2009-08-01 10:06:32 -0700 #

AMEN to that! Angry pharmacist, you’re right on the ball. Consider writing a letter to your congressman about their blindness to the problems of our Medicaid/Medicare problem. I and every pharmacist out there would sign that petition. They have government hospitals, why not government pharmacies? Makes sense. The only way to prove your idea is bad is to enforce it and show an increase death rate…won’t ever be true.

I think I’ll write a letter to my congressman too. (Thanks for the inspiration!) I’ll also include the ridiculous nature of OTC med coverage and how it wastes my time and the patient’s time. It pisses me off so much when people come to pick up a shopping bag worth of drugs and complain of copay of $10. Are you kidding me??

When did pharmacy leave the compounding and become all about insurance?? I didn’t go to college to worry about money, mine or anyone else’s.

Comment by A Real Doctor on 2009-08-03 22:32:58 -0700 #

why do I care what a guy who couldn’t become a real doctor says?

Comment by Paul on 2009-08-16 17:59:18 -0700 #

Just read an article on Drug Mfgs. in US. Yes, same pill that costs $5 in Venezuela may cost $6500 in Manhattan. Is called Price Discrimination and its “legal”. Brand Name Drug Mfgs. charge more to American Pharmacies because the public “can afford it.” By allowing the drug companies to charge more in US, they have the ability to charge less to other nations. But here’s the rub, in some African countries (And I’m sure elsewhere) it is illegal to mfg/distribute/sell generics, so the drug companies still profit from keeping the monopoly. Has become an issue with Tamiflu’s generic becoming legal only if deemed a medical emergency to avoid a potential pandemic. So if you are only worried about paying for medical coverage of others in the US, try swallowing the pill that we help pay for other countries healthcare by being on the wrong end of the price discrimination scale.

Comment by Curlykate on 2009-08-18 12:28:53 -0700 #

There is no free health care on either side of the border. Canadians pay the high income tax (we were at 30% of our income when I lived in Ontario) and now in the states we pay for our health insurance and copays. The benefit of the Canadian system is that the guy who owns the roofing company doesn’t have to buy $$$Cobra insurance/self pay/sell his kidney to have his necrotic gall bladder removed.

Comment by Sean on 2009-09-03 12:32:06 -0700 #

Right on. I love how all of the socialist whiny public have an opinion about everything, yet never do anything for a living except asking for free handouts. People, if you’re not in this field, shut your mouth. We see it everyday. People are not as oppressed as you think they are.

Comment by Sean on 2009-09-03 12:35:30 -0700 #

They’re healthier because they excercise and eat better. Stop being a socialist twit.

Comment by Sean on 2009-09-03 12:37:32 -0700 #

If you work in the VA, then you should know how mindless the Federal Government really is. Come on. Just because you care or do great work doesn’t mean that the system still isn’t screwed.

Comment by Sean on 2009-09-03 12:43:23 -0700 #

We are uncaring towards the worthless people who abuse the system and then go out and smoke crack, beat their kids, cheat, refuse to work and live off of the working class taxpayers. And towards the liberals who stand up for these people while shitting on the people who actually got in this field to help. There are stereotypes for a reason. Because most groups of people who the stereotypes are about, fall into those categories. See it everyday. And if you don’t like it, type in a different web address.

Comment by Sean on 2009-09-03 12:46:41 -0700 #

Well, for observation number 3, I guess my child would die while some mistake from the hood got everything for free and kept procreating.

Comment by bdawg on 2009-09-14 16:07:27 -0700 #

Whoever you are, sir, you are my hero.

Comment by Busy Guy on 2009-09-16 05:26:20 -0700 #

Yeah. FALSE.

How about some facts? I’d like to see a source for your claim that other countries’ citizens are healthier not because of its medical system, but because they eat better and exercise more. This means not just documentation that they actually are more physically fit, but that THAT is the reason they’re healthier, versus the coverage.

Stop being an arrogant twit.

Comment by Busy Guy on 2009-09-16 05:30:26 -0700 #

What is with this ridiculous assumption that the majority of Americans without insurance don’t have jobs or are on welfare?

I truly think your greed and callousness will be the downfall of this country.

Comment by Busy Guy on 2009-09-16 05:32:36 -0700 #

Can you provide ANY sources for ANY of your claims? You’re simply ridiculous. This is why I can’t stand conservatives, they spew vitriol without any actual data. They just like to whine and moan about how unfair everything is.

Don’t like it? Scroll past my comment.

Comment by Busy Guy on 2009-09-16 05:35:42 -0700 #

Okay, instead of once again showing off your racism (seriously- YOU are what’s wrong with this country, not someone unfortunate enough to have been born without the privilege you were), why don’t you actually ADDRESS the question and respond to it in a mature manner, like an adult would? Oh, that’s right. You’re incapable. Pharm techs: Gotta love the simple-mindedness.

Comment by Ryan on 2009-09-17 05:49:26 -0700 #

That was just stupid. The “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. The Declaration is symbolic and has no legal standing whatsoever.

Comment by Ryan on 2009-09-17 05:53:40 -0700 #

Why the hell would he have “sources” for a comment like this? This is based on the observations he makes on a daily basis. Anyone who works in a pharmacy on the bad side of town – any town – tends to see these very things everyday. Just because they weren’t written down and skewed to the viewpoint of whoever paid for a study doesn’t mean that it’s not completely true.

Comment by josh on 2009-09-21 18:12:16 -0700 #

UUH….eating healthy and exercising are both part of preventative healthcare

Comment by josh on 2009-09-21 18:19:26 -0700 #

i now will call myself a twit for spelling medicine wrong

Comment by ChloeB on 2009-09-24 06:26:19 -0700 #

Our system here in Australia sounds pretty similar to the one in Norway. Everyone is covered for the basics, and you can pay extra or buy private insurance to cover you for more if you want/can afford to. And there are tax benefits to having private insurance too, once you earn over a certain amount.

You pick your own doctor (and never have to change them just because your insurance changed!!), who can choose to charge you only the subsidised fee (currently around $32 for a 10 minute visit) or more if they want. My current family doctor charges just the standard fee for children under 16 and pensioners over 65, a $10 copay if you have other concessions (disability pension, unemployment benefit) and a $20 copay for everyone else. And I can always get an appoinment for either the same day or sometimes the next day if I need it urgently.

Another saving is that most people only need to see their family doctor for most of their medical care. Your family doctor needs to refer you to see specialists if needed, but children usually only see paediatricians if they have complicated chronic medical problems, and women only see a gynaecologist if they have a medical condiion requiring it. Routine well-baby visits, vaccinations and pap smears, etc. are done by the family doctor (or their practice nurse).

Emergency Rooms will see everyone eventually, and for free too (at least at the public hospitals, most private hospitals don’t have emergency rooms because they don’t make them enough money!), but our local one actually has a sign up explaining that people are triaged according to the severity of their condition, that the wait could be several hours for non-urgent complaints, and giving details of the after-hours doctor over the road (hint hint!). And because they are government funded, they don’t have to worry about seeing non-urgent cases in a hurry just to win some kind of popularity contest, or to keep making profits for the company that owns them.

Inpatient treatment is free in public hospitals. There is always a waiting list for surgery, and sometimes the wait may seem too long for some people, but they are prioritised in order of need, according to need and the severity of their condition, according to the opinion of their own doctor, and if their condition changes they will be moved up the list. And there is always the option of buying extra insurance to cover you to be seen privately for almost-immediate treatment (or you can just pay out of pocket). And although there are always some charges that aren’t covered by insurance, they wouldn’t usually be anything near enough to bankrupt you.

A lot of medications are subsidised by the government on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, with certain medications restriced to treating specific conditions, and some requiring prior approval. The list is updated monthly, is the same for everyone, will never change because someone has changed insurance plans, and is freely accessible on line ( ). If the patient wants or needs a medication that is not listed, they can pay out of pocket for the whole amount, and then seek reimbursment from their insurance (if they have it) later. For pharmacists and doctors, it also means only ever dealing with a single list of restrictions and rules, and even when things do change, the new details are easy to find. And because a new medications tend not to be widely used until they become subsidised, the government has a lot of power to negotiate prices with the drug companies.

Patients pay a set copay for their medications, that rises slightly each year (currently $5.30 for pensioners, etc., $32.90 for everyone else, unless the actual cost is less than that) for what is usually one months supply. And once you’ve spent more than a certain amount each year (Jan to Dec), your medications become either free if you get them for the cheaper price, or for the cheaper price if you’ve been paying the higher amount, for the rest of that year.

It may not be a perfect system, but at least the basics are covered. You don’t have people dying from being denied basic treatment, or losing their coverage through a loophole, or young cancer survivors who find themselves unable to ever get insurance unless they basically bankrupt themselves, or any of the hundreds of other awful and sad stories out there.

And there may be rationing, but how else would you expect to discourage people from taking an ambulance to the ER in the middle of the night for a pimple. From all the horror stories of abuse of the system I keep reading from American Med bloggers, a little rationing (or maybe a lot) might be exactly what the system needs.

Comment by Meg Thornton on 2009-09-25 10:16:30 -0700 #

I can affirm this is the system here in Australia.

A few extra data points. I’m currently unemployed, and on full private health insurance (I get it because I’ve needed glasses in the past, and glasses and dentures aren’t covered under Medicare except in their most basic form). My full hospital and ancillary benefit cover, top of the line private health insurance costs me under $100 per fortnight, which I can afford from my fortnightly dole payments. Yes, it is possible to have health insurance, be unemployed and eat in this country.

As to emergency care, here’s my “war story”. A few years ago, I was back in my home city visiting family when I chipped one of the bones in my ankle exiting a store. I was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital with an emergency department, admitted on a stretcher, x-rayed, given pain-killers and given a cast on the ankle. I explained I was due to head back to the city I was living in (on the other side of the country, the journey analogous to flying from LA to Washington DC) and they offered to provide me with copies of my x-rays on CD (rather than the films) as well as making certain I wasn’t in a full cast, but rather a “backstrap” version. They also gave me a set of theatre greens to replace my jeans which wouldn’t fit over the cast, and a set of crutches so I could hobble around, as well as an appointment a week later with the orthopaedic outpatient clinic to make sure everything was settling into place properly. Total cost: $500 for the ambulance, which was covered in full by my health insurance (the other reason I keep it). Total out of pocket expense: $0

Yes, there are some institutionalised problems in the Australian health care system, but quite honestly, I suspect a lot of them could be resolved by some government-based recognition of the reality that nursing is no longer one of the three respectable “callings” for middle-class young women as a career, in the form of a payrise of about 10% and an increase in ward staffing levels at state hospitals.

Comment by jvill on 2009-09-27 08:38:04 -0700 #

  1. The point is we are already paying more money for healthcare than anyone else, and getting less for it. If you have an idea on how to actually fix healthcare, let’s heard it. And it has to be real — complaining about medical malpractice lawsuits, for example, which account for about 1% of medical costs, it’s passing the buck. Lots of complaints from lots of people, but not many other ideas.

  2. It’s funny how we never have enough money for healthcare, but we always have plenty of money for unnecessary wars. Iraq = $1 trillion and counting. Awesome. Did we get our money’s worth on that one? This is no way to run a country.

  3. The name calling on this thread gets better and better: so someone can be both a Nazi and a Communist now, eh? Never mind that those two ideologies are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, extreme right and extreme left. I guess people just don’t care about what they are saying as long as they hurl insults, regardless of whether they know what the words mean or not. Might as well just yell gibberish really loud for the same effect.

Know-nothingism is slowly killing the United States. Ignorance is a virtue now.

Comment by Lisa on 2009-09-27 17:39:34 -0700 #

Good thing you weren’t having a stroke…next day CT scan? If you were having a stroke you would’ve been dead by the next day.

Comment by Lisa on 2009-09-27 17:52:00 -0700 #

And those people who eat poorly all their lives and need huge amounts of care, just to lie in bed watching tv until they finally die deserve “free” or even affordable care (that is really paid by you, me and everyone else in this country)?

It is not doctors, nurses, pharmacist and other healthcare workers that are screwing over the public! Insurance companies that refuse to pay for legitimate and necessary services, a government that has set up DRGs that do not pay for actual cost of services is a huge part of the problem. Lawyers who want to make money off the misery of others (you got sick while in the hospital, you deserve money from the doctor and hospital) drive the cost of healthcare to astronomical heights!

All healthcare workers are human. Yes, they need to be monitored to make sure there is no bad apples, but mistakes will continue to be made and we have no control over the actions of patients. Walking outside to have a smoke after you have had surgery is going to increase your risks for infection. Don’t make the hospital or doctor pay for that! Gross negligence should not be tolerated, but honest mistakes should not ruin the life and career of good healthcare workers. All of this drives the cost of healthcare up, since we need to charge more for our services so we can pay for the high cost of malpractice insurance, or settle with a patient or family and have enough money left to pay for our licenses, continuing education (lifelong) necessary to maintain a practice…

Everyone of those countries want you to believe their decision to socialize medicine worked. They aren’t going to show you how it is failing. Someday soon the healthcare systems in those countries will experience a collapse similar to what happened to the USSR. Socialism doesn’t work. EVER!

Comment by Lisa on 2009-09-27 17:55:22 -0700 #

Countries with socialized medicine carry an income tax that approaches 50%. There is no way 3% is going to accomplish anything to support socialized medicine in this country.

Do some research.

Comment by Jason on 2009-09-27 22:42:01 -0700 #


Thank you for proving your last statement with your own arguments. It’s probably not worth it, but I’ll try to educate you on some things.

  1. Going with the premise that we pay more “than anyone else” and get less for it, can you explain why US citizens don’t flock to some other country for health care? And why citizens of other countries come here when they need it? Can you name any other country where you would rather receive health care? And as far as malpractice suits, it’s not just the cost of the suits, it’s the cost of the insurance for doctors to be protected from suits as well as the CYA tests that are run by doctors that add up.

  2. I’d like to know who you are referring to when you say “we” never have enough money for health care. I’m guessing you’re thinking of the Federal gov’t. However, the Federal gov’t. doesn’t have money. It takes money from the citizens at gunpoint to use for its designated purposes, of which health care is not one (see the Constitution). National defense is, though.

  3. I’ll agree with you that name calling doesn’t really get us anywhere, but I think you need to check your facts on Nazi (National Socialist Party, fascists) and Communist being at opposite ends of the spectrum. I don’t think socialism, fascism and communism are really that far apart and it bothers me that it seems to be false “common knowledge” now that the Nazis were far right. Feel free to give me your justification for that statement.

Comment by crh on 2009-09-28 19:49:06 -0700 #

Not sure if it’s a standard in every state, but in mine, when a medicaid (wellfare) pt doesn’t “have the money” for their miniscule $3 copay, we must still give them their medications and have them come back when they have the money. You can just imagine how many people abuse that little gem, and how many actually come back to pay. We have so many regulars who refer to it as “charging their copay” (charging it to the store is what it boils down to) or “putting it on their bill” or “tab” (Tab? Really? As far as I know, tabs are meant to be paid off!) We LOVE when a medicaid pt is forcibly switched, by the state, to a medicare PDP with “wrap coverage” because with wrap (the state copay portion) it’s at the pharmacy’s discretion whether a pt can “charge” their copay or not. We chose to make them pay. (Insert maniacal laughter here!)

It’s funny how that changes which meds that pt has to have now that they have to pay. Someone who was taking 10 different medications is suddenly just as healthy only taking 3.

Those who went to the ER for every liitle sniffle, itch or discomfort now don’t NEED to go to the ER everyday.

So I really understand where you are coming from on this issue.

Comment by Susan The Forensic Photographer on 2009-10-08 16:34:13 -0700 #

Right on TAP!

I live in the land of socialist medicine….Canada. I just heard today that I finally have a time frame for my arthroscopic knee surgery (not even a major surgery with general anesthetic)….. 18 months! 18 fucking months. It took 6 months to get the MRI. Another month for the consult after the MRI results were in. That will make it over two years from the time I tore up my knee until I perhaps get the surgery (I could get bumped even then). Now to be fair I do have the option of paying a bjillion bucks and having it done privately but even though I have worked my enitre adult life and earn okay money I am hardly a bjillionaire or a local hockey hero (remember this is Canada eh) so I will wait in line cap in hand.

The good news is I can get all the Vicoden or Oxycodone I need to maintain me until that time, all paid for by my group medical. It just dawned on me that I have been a schmuck for turning it down (tried the Oxycodone HATED IT); I should take the prescriptions, get them filled and sell the fucking pills to get the bjillion bucks to pay for private surgery! Gawd all that post secondary education didn’t make my momma’s daughter any smarter.

Fight medicare with everything you’ve got.

Comment by noshi on 2009-10-12 21:43:13 -0700 #

Beeping amen to this post. Get sick of some people thinking the ER room is meant to be used as a shrink, an urgent care, or whatever else other than intended. Sadly medicaid doesn’t give an “f” about it. Classic example:
Patient X commonly goes to the ER room bi-monthly just to complain about the minor cuts and scrapes they gotten this past week, how much they loved their tea until they got scolded for it being too hot, etc, and leaves with an RX for some random antibiotic or whatnot just to make them happy (and to add to the hospital’s profits). Ugh. Our tax dollars “hard” at work. NOT.

It would be nice but evil to just scream at any person “HEALTH-CARE IS NOT A RIGHT!”. From any freeloader’s perspective they want it all for free but don’t have the common courtesy to realize that TANSTAAFL. Imagine being a pharmacist griping at the customer at how expensive it was for your to go to the 8 years of schooling and the family you are trying to support and tell them your life isn’t a free ride and neither are their drugs. The working class pays for it, along with any blunder that occurs. Alas if only they had a decent full-time job.

Comment by ThatDeborahGirl on 2009-10-14 05:16:04 -0700 #

The main article and some of the posts on this site are really amazing.

Have any of you ever really been poor? Because health care for poor people is not free. If you show up at the ER and you don’t have insurance – or even if you do, yes you will be treated and they may not ask you to whip out your credit card or fork over cash right then – but you will certainly get a bill in the mail and creditors calling you starting on the 29th day and relentlessly ever after accompanied by mailings and threats and collections agencies if you do not pay the hospital.

So I have no idea where you all get the notion that going to the ER is free if you’re poor, it’s just one more thing to get tacked onto your credit report – and guess what? If your credit is bad, you can’t even get a job in this country anymore.

You still owe them, even if you don’t or can’t pay them, regardless of how poor you may be. It’s not free.

Comment by Mike on 2009-10-14 06:18:36 -0700 #

Honestly, this socialized medicine will – without any doubts – break us. I’m a Walgreens guy – sorry Angry one – we’ve made so many cuts errrrr “rewiring efforts” and seem to be nothing but yesmen for the gov’t. In 20 years we’ll see the results of this thing: higher taxes, long waits, and shitty service – just like EVERY other gov’t program. Of course people too lazy to get a job won’t care cause it means more free shit. But for those of us who took the time to achieve something will be footing the bill for your Vicodin and diabetic testing supplies (supplies you need from eating chips and candy all day while you watch TV).

Comment by Redheadedpharmacist on 2009-10-20 16:33:12 -0700 #

Everyone that is for socialized medicine has this sort sighted idea that somehow the government will solve all of our problems and everything will be perfect. I’m not sure why they feel this way. The government does such a great job (heavy on the sarcasm if you aren’t picking it up) with everything else so why shouldn’t they dabble in universal healthcare. Just take a look at the state of Medicare or Social Security and ask yourself if you want the same guys running the show for all of healthcare. The answer in a word, is no, and in two words, HELL NO.

You are right. We as a country are broke and even if a good system could be developed to provide universal healthcare (by some miracle of epic proportions) we had no means to pay for it, assuming we don’t just raise the hell out of everyone’s taxes (which is a brilliant idea in the middle of a terrible recession don’t you think?).

And another point worth mentioning is the fact that even if the government could come up with a good plan, and pay for it, the resulting system would overwhelm the healthcare system because there is just not enough healthcare workers to accommodate all of those patients. The ERs, doctor’s offices, urgent cares, pharmacies, etc would be overwhelmed with more patients and the schools can’t produce more nurses, pharmacists, doctors, etc fast enough to make up for the increased demand a universal healthcare system would create. Of course we can always just tap India for more help, I’m sure that will work just fine, not so much.

The irony of this whole arguement is that simple little things could save the healthcare system so much money and allow for greater access and more affordability but the government is too stupid or stubborn to listen to those ideas. What is one great drain on the heathcare system that wastes a lot of time and money in the United States? Paperwork, believe it or not paperwork is killing healthcare and costing us all millions in needless extra time and effort. Finding ways to reduce the paperwork burden on the system would save time and money but hell, that idea is too simple and straightforward for the US government to get on board!
What else, you might ask? Who knows, I don’t have all the answers and would never try to act like I do. How about outlawing direct to consumer advertising for prescription drugs. There is no reason why =our system should hav to pay for those 4 page ads in Time magazine, or the Claritin car in Nascar, or those Superbowl advertisements that cost a bazillion dollars for 30 seconds. make no mistake, those costs are eventually paid for by all of us especially now that Part D exists. There is absolutely no reason to advertise a product directly to a concumer whom can’t just go out and directly buy the product you are presenting to them. A prescription is still needed for those products so to me the ads are a waste of healthcare dollars that just serve to feed the drug companies more profits.
Hey, here is an idea. How about we update those outdated patent laws shall we? Is there a real need to patent that 58th prenatal vitamin which is only a combo of vitamins anyway right? Or how about that 500th different combo of hydrocodone/APAP or Guaifenesin/dextro? Are these really novel drugs that deserve a patent? Patent laws are so outdated it isn’t funny and they create an environment where anything goes. But hey, don’t worry, as soon as the patent expires they will file for OTC status anyway right?

There is a lot that needs to be done but universal healthcare is not the answer. I just don’t see allowing a government that can’t even balance its own checkbook full control of all of our healthcare. Sorry, but it is a bad idea and will not work, period!

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:12:54 -0700 #

Actually emergency rooms do have the right to refuse treatment for patients that show up with nonemergent problems. Federal EMTALA law states this. So actually according to federal law healthcare is only a right in an emergency. Screw government socialized healthcare. Look at mediscare, medicaid, and the VA. Those are examples of government healthcare. Is that the kind of shit you want you fucking tard?

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:15:37 -0700 #

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It doesnt say the right to free healthcare anywhere there moron.

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:28:58 -0700 #

I cant believe anybody defends socialism

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:34:16 -0700 #

Oh no woe is me. Do you actually believe the socialist bullshit coming out of your mouth

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:40:01 -0700 #

yeah Canadian socialist medicine is doing great. Oh wait it’s going broke… nevermind.

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:42:41 -0700 #

Yep EMTALA and HCAHO suck hog balls

Comment by ED RN on 2009-10-21 04:47:46 -0700 #

“YOU ARE CRAZY if you think Obama is socialist leaning”

WTF are you smoking??? Lets see he wants government run healthcare, the government now owns part of GM and chrysler, and he is the biggest tax and spend liberal bastard thay I have ever seen. Wait, maybe you’re right. He isnt socialist leaning. He is a fucking socialist!!!!

Comment by MarkSrph on 2009-11-12 09:06:27 -0800 #

Dr Bob, don’t pull out the “longevity” red herring because anyone can “cook the numbers”. The 2 (or as some judge, 3) main reasons why longevity in THE US is supposedly lower is because..
A. Other countries do not count neonates, from birth to 6 months, premature or in fetal distress in their morbidity count. In the US, we do. (Stupid us).
B (& C). the two greatest factors for death in the 12-28 year old age group in the US are automobile deaths and death by violence (handgun, gang-beating, etc).
When these incidents are removed from the “statisics”, the results show that the US is always within the top 3 nations for longevity, and depending on which generational cross-section, most often number one.
So, lacking facts, you pull out the all-purpose “racism” label. When confronted with contrary opinions, you whip out the “facism” label.
Your labels are as meaningless and shallow as your arguments.

Comment by MarkSrph on 2009-11-12 09:30:38 -0800 #

The Biggest problem with government-run health care is the adjective – “government-run”. I reside in a state where we spend $13k per student, K-12 versus $7k spent by every bordering state. Are Wisconsin kids smarter, better educated. Hell No ! the Milwaukee Public school system has near the worst academic results nation wide.
Our Governor has spent years using “Badgercare” and “SeniorCare” to buy votes, but every April, nearly every Rx claim to these plans is responded-to with the dreaded “P/A required” (Prior Authorization, being a mommy-may-I request to be allowed to prescribe already working/proven medications) because the state has burned up the funds paying off the voting indigent. Dutifully, the same-party legislature comes back into session to yet again jack up the taxes/fees/licensing charges, only to promise more to the non-paying, and the cycle repeats the next April.
Not content to have destroyed Wisconsin’s economy, the party that wreaked the maelstrom of ruin wants to take this operation nation-wide. The only question then will be “Who’s going to be stupid enough to go to work and pay for this “kegger” ?”.

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 21:38:08 -0800 #

No, what’s sad is this generation of Americans live way beyond their means. Now when things become tight, they want healthcare for free b/c they still want that expensive cable package, designer clothes, xbox/PS3, expensive cars(above 20K), sporting tickets, and movie tickets. I could go on and on.
What’s sad is people get pissed if they have to spend anything on their healthcare – if it’s so important to them why are they mad? Yet the same people can go buy a $500 purse, $200 shirt, or a $400 football ticket.
You can go buy health insurance for around $150-250 a month. People say too much, yet these same people can spend $10 a day on two packs of cigarettes, which comes to $300/month. Or are will to spend $200-400 a month on a car that will eventually fall apart.

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 21:44:35 -0800 #

oneBCP Srph
You are exactly right.
Tell these people food is a right – I don’t see stores giving that away.

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 21:55:08 -0800 #

Why should healthcare professionals suffer in their pay, while all of these other fields can rake in great salaries b/c your money is still going to them?
Also, why should are tax dollars go to waste on someone that preys on innocent people? ie. murder & rape.
That person did not care about the human life of the person they took why should we care about theirs. You liberals crack me up. You guys also want to give terrorists rights and not water board them. I’m sorry but if we have to water board one terrorist to save 3,000 American lives – I’m all for it.

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 21:59:11 -0800 #

Thank You!

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 22:15:22 -0800 #

Canadian Druggie
You want to know why health care isn’t a right.
Nothing else is?
If I was accused of murder I can’t hire the best defense lawyer, like O.J. did and if I was innocent, but found guilty my freedom is taken away. That’s a right too! Oh you say well they give you a public defender – yeah you might as well represent yourself. Why doesn’t this change – b/c the trial lawyers have the democrats in their pockets. So WHY IS HEALTHCARE THE ONLY ONE SINGLE OUT?

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 22:24:11 -0800 #

Would be nice in a perfect world, but this is not a perfect world. Fact of the matter is drug companies and insurance companies are publicly owned companies with board of directors and stock holders to answer to so if you think they should just cut all of their profits – that’s absurd, who will stay in that business? The companies will end up going bankrupt.

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 22:29:42 -0800 #

So it’s ok for an athlete or actor to make millions b/c everyone spends there money on that, but a physician that’s saving lives 150 to 500K is too much. Come on wake up, yes health care professionals are in it to help people – you have to chose a profession you love. However, with 150-200K in debt from student loans and the sacrifices made we shouldn’t enjoy a nice living?

Comment by Andrew on 2010-01-03 22:33:14 -0800 #

These liberals probably think it’s unfair that men pay less than women in health insurance. LET ME REMIND YOU MEN PAY MORE FOR CAR AND LIFE INSURANCE. Why should health insurance be different? Come back from that perfect world!!!

Comment by Erik the pharmacy student on 2010-01-04 14:21:01 -0800 #

I am from china, from the days of socialized medicine. China had market reformed everything by early 90s except for a few things like health care. A few years later the health care system in china was privatized – it became much BETTER. There were examples of cruelty in the new system, but I believe health care is not a right! The people beneifited more under the new private system because there is now accountability, competition and increase access. That’s right! the access increased under a private system because entrepreneur spent more money to supply the testing equipments, drugs, services and procedures. I always assumed this is common sense. We can not afford something is due to lack of supply, the problem can only be solved by increased investment in private sector not by government giving you the money, because that will bit up the limited supplies.

Comment by Erik the pharmacy student on 2010-01-04 14:29:22 -0800 #

I am from China when it was communist medicine. The health care system is a lot better after the government privatized it. Privatization increases supply of health care and decreases the prices of those services. If the government pays for everything, it will just drive up the cost of health care. If the government sets prices there will be shortages. There are very few countries now whose health care system is free of government regulation, intervention, subsidies, socialized or straight corruption.

Comment by Tammy on 2010-01-24 18:55:26 -0800 #

I’ve never met you, not even sure you are a male, but pretty sure from your posts that I am in love with you 😉 Thank you for contributing your wit and honesty and making this pharmacist feel a little less crazy about her crazy job!

Comment by copharm on 2010-02-26 21:01:31 -0800 #

good luck, our public officials are bought and sold by private industry in the US.
i hear whining calling people a ‘socialist’ or ‘fascist’. i’m very liberal and still respect and admire my conservative coworkers, friends and… family– and you do too. this is nonsense to scream pejoratives at one another.
the problem lies in our political structure . private corporations buy influence in any way they can(or more accurately, are allowed by we the people). i REALLY doubt they care which side makes them rich, and thusly, buy both sides of the aisle- most large corporations will often donate to the limit for both compaigns in an election. they run thier employees in campaigns and donate heavily to those whose words have sway.
Now, any corporation has the exact same primary motivation: profit. no one could/would ever bother to debate that. that means any other motivation is secondary: worker relations, ethical business practice, law, social impact, environmental record and any other issue revolve at least in part, to profit.
we need real 3rd/4th party candidates (or the few good major party folks) who actually bother to consider opinions outside of a boardroom. if you think that’s a realistic outcome over the next few years, you need to quit using the c2 cabinet as a pantry.
for most politicians regardless of political persuasion, if they were to eschew business interests in favor of public interests, they wouldn’t be able to afford a campaign and thier opponents would either spend them into oblivion or opportunistically take thier seat by riding a political tide. entrenched politicians may avoid these vecissitudes, but the overall effect is enough that our political beast can’t find spending measures it doesn’t love. our opportunity costs as a culture are atrocious. we overspend on everything and think we’re getting a good deal when we buy cheap crap.
we have a bloated military, prison system, legal system, healthcare system, antiterror system, school system and antidrug programs. by calling them bloated, i don’t mean that they don’t work or aren’t necessary, just that the system favors overspending on everything it does. even when the government hires private contractors we end up overpaying every time. it’s our system in which we don’t like taxes and we want everything(police, free school, powerful military, and now healthcare) for free and we’ll vote out the rep/prez/senator who isn’t delivering it. well, all of you know that shit isn’t free. we need to rationally hash that out with one another and find out what we all believe collectively that are our fundamental rights or are priviledges and elect appropriate representation, but that won’t happen either.
i suggest a new vote: with the damn money in my pocket i worked my ass off for, getting yelled at by customers and demeaned by my own corporate overlord. i quit buying anything from those i don’t like or respect. if you think walmart is evil, quit buying thier products. i also suggest checking voting records of your officials and watching thier campaign contributions. check to see if thier rhetoric matches thier actions.
my last note is to mention the people we’re calling lazy, or bemoaning welfare or welfare cases. these people are americans and human beings. i call them lazy too and resent them for not working when i have to work so hard every day to keep what i have, but if these social nets we feel they are abusing were stronger and covered more people, everyone’s ‘corporate overlord’ loses the strength of thier grip over us and we would be more mobile to take another job. my argument isn’t that people don’t abuse social services, but that it’s something for us to manage, not destroy.
as cynical as i get on some days, i will always believe that a helping hand isn’t a handout. it’s just being neighborly.

Comment by Isaac on 2010-03-18 16:55:21 -0700 #

well, the Declaration does have standing for the purpose of resolving any potential ambiguities in the Constitution or other laws written in the same time frame. But regardless, it also says that people have /liberty/, not just “life”, “life” merely means that my life is my own, not that anyone is obligated to prolong it.

Comment by Isaac on 2010-03-18 17:12:34 -0700 #

I do not support the death /penalty/. I however, fully support minimizing the costs associated with removing people who have shown themselves to be violent individuals from society. The argument about it costing more to execute someone then to jail them, merely means that either we are housing many innocent people in jail and there needs to be a concentrated effort to improve the quality of justice and get them out, or that alternatively we are wasting our time and money retrying violent criminals before executing them. Either way, violent criminals should take responsibility for removing themselves from society. If they can pay for there own incarceration, fine. Otherwise, kill em.

Comment by Isaac on 2010-03-18 17:20:00 -0700 #

so Bob…. your proposed counter to fascism is to institute a daddy state. Let me guess, you also support gun control, right?

Comment by Mike on 2010-10-23 01:49:31 -0700 #

Admittedly this post is late, but better late than never. For all those \Health Care Professionals\ out there that think the \Universal Health Care\ system that was being proposed about a year ago was \Socialized Medicine\ — you didn’t do to well in the Government class you took, did you? The only reason you picked up on \Socialize Medicine\ was due to that phrase used by certain politicians and a certain news broadcasting system.

Let’s get it right. In a \Socialized Medicine\ system all you medical professionals would be employees of the \state\ (AKA Government Employees). The building you work in would also be owned by the state. Doctors would be paid the same if they see 2 patients and hour or 20 patients an hour. That system was NEVER proposed. So out the window goes you cries of \Socialized Medicine.\ Dead in the water.

So why does it matter if you pay an Insurance company and the insurance company pays your medical bills or if you pay the Government and the Government pays your bills? Well for starters that Government program called \Medicare\ pays out 98% of what it brings in. On the other hand your \Private\ insurance pays out only about 70% of what it brings in. So which is more efficient. PLEASE don’t tell me you flailed basic Economics also! Under the Privatized plan you pay whatever the Insurance company charges you – under the \Universal Health Care\ plan you pay what you can afford. Some questioned where the money comes from. Simple – you pay premiums (as you do now) and taxes (as you do now).

And you’ll scream about taxes going up — even though you live in a country with some of the lowest taxes on the planet. You bunch of cry babies.

The Insurance company doesn’t give a damn if you can afford their plans or not. Most people cannot afford their plans – which is why your employer pays for them. The median household income in the U.S. is about $43,500 a year. A family of 4 can not pay $700 / mo for medical insurance – period. Know anyone that actually takes the COBRA option when they leave their employment?

But we do have a truly \Socialized Medicine\ practice in the U.S. – it’s called the Military. Active duty personnel pay noting in premiums and every health care professional they see is a government employee. And most everyone thinks it is a great idea when their son or daughter goes in the Military – so you can’t be all THAT opposed to \Socialized Medicine, can you?

Just because the Government pays for something does not mean it is \Socialized. The Government heavily subsidizes corn, soy beans, and other crops – but you don’t call it \Socialized Food\ when you buy 10 ears of corn for a $1 – do you? Most of that subsidized corn is made into ethanol which is in your gasoline — but you don’t think of your gasoline as \Socialized Fuel, do you? How about the by-products of that corn to ethanol process being fed to cows (it actually kills them) and all the antibiotics they pump into the cows to keep them alive for 160 days till slaughter? What do you call that? Most of your antibiotics sold in the U.S. today are not for use in humans — they are for use in cattle (it prevents acidosis). Is that $3.99 / lb T-bone steak you bought \Socialized Meat?\

Going back to the Military being truly Socialized Medicine – the Military produces some of the finest Nurses and Doctors in the business. These, not the \private\ (and fairly wealthy) doctors are the ones that keep our young men and women whose bodies are horribly mangled in war – alive. They also do a decent job at rehabilitation. Can you say \Thank you Socialized Medicine?\ If your all hot fired \Pro Military\ and you think our men and women in uniform deserve the best we can give them — we do, it’s called \Socialized Medicine.

Now ask yourselves this: \Do I want Health Insurance all year around or do I want Health Insurance only so long as I am employed?\ Now think about your kids.

Lastly – if you think getting on \Medicaid\ is so easy everyone can do it – try it. You might find you walk away with a different perspective when they deny you coverage.

And as for that \life threatening\ coverage every ER provides with or without the ability to pay. Once they find it not \life threatening\ they kick you out the door if you do not have the ability to pay — and the WILL send you a bill, and it WILL go to collections and, sooner or later, end up on your credit report. It happens 1,000 times a day in the U.S.

Do you want to talk cost of Health Care? How about all those medical bills that are never paid due to bankruptcy? 50% of the \Medical Bankruptcies\ in the U.S. HAVE Medical Insurance. Do those BKs help the medical industry? Nope — they boost the cost for all of us.

And a person with a D-Pharm degree has a starting salary of what? And within two years they are making how much? And just where do they make more money – pushing \generic\ drugs or \Name Brand\ drugs? Mind giving us the mark-up on the generic as opposed to the name brand?

Or Health Care system is not the best – it is expensive and it is sick. Nurses are leaving good paying jobs because they see it everyday – and it won’t get better until most people agree it is extreme.y expensive and the most successful thing about it is the wealth it creates for the insurance industry executives and a hand full of Health Care Professionals.

Comment by `Patti C on 2010-11-27 21:24:00 -0800 #

The electrician or plumber is not being enriched by a third party payment system. I have no right to health care? Well, I dang sure don’t have a right to low cost dental care in the State of Texas.

Why do doctors and drug companies have a right to make gobs of money? Why can’t I pay my doctor with produce? I think Papa George Bush talked about how doctors used to treat patients free one day, but supposedly malpractice ended that! Duh? Any American doctor can still treat patients free one day a week. I need a dentist to do that.

And why do the medicos benefit so much from credit cards and help drive us all into debt? When I was a child, doctors billed.

And why do so many of the doctors in Dallas County live in $300,000 to $500,000 homes and send their kids to private school? They should read, “The Millionaire Next Door,” and find that many millionaires live in $100,000 to $150,000 homes and send their kids to public school.

Comment by nursing student on 2011-04-07 21:40:48 -0700 #

I love when someone says “hood” you acuse them of racism, the hood is not a locale of only one race, it is a term used in reference to poor neighborhoods, By calling someone racist for using the term shows that you are bigoted twords the stereotype that only one particular race occupies poor neighbor’hoods’ The truth of the matter is you cant fix poverty by throwing money at it, its not because this or that person was given a bad hand in life. If that were tru no person would ever be able to change their socioeconomic status. Now while there are exceptions to every rule the majority of people who cannot change their status is because they are simply unable to function in society. You can give these people a million dollars and they will be back in the ‘hood’ in a year after frivolously pissing away money. This is why people have no money for food insurance and other things that sensible people see as necessities yet they have iphones shiney rims on new cars ect. those are luxuries and for some reason the poor in america put acquisition of luxury before basic needs then they want to cry and piss and moan how its not fair they have to spend their money to get those basic needs. And before anyone tries to tell me that its just not possible for eveyone i am a single father who never had more then a minimum wage job. I applied to a university with open admissions with a 1.0 high school gpa. I used the pell grant and foodstamp programs to afford to support me and my son in a poverty housing unit while going to school for 3 years to earn my RN. I used the student loan program for which i am now 30k in debt for. I graduate in december have signed a contract at a hospital in which i will earn a salary large enough to pay for my costs of living my transportation and my student loans. My quality of living will remain at the same level until my loans are paid off. I will not recieve public assit after graduation and i will have the power to support and raise my son and pay back into a system i used the RIGHT way. Im sure ppl will try to say “see mike without hat system you could not have made it” im sure they are right, however the system should be heavily regulated nothing free for anyone who is not using it to get out. Drug tests for every recipient. Housing inspections for any one on public housing. Audits of personal belongings. If a case worker sees you have a 30k car and are getting assistance you should lose that assistance immediately. And time limits on benifits including healthcare. If you dont get off your ass and become independent then screw you you had your chance paid by the taxpayer now your on your own.

Comment by nursing student on 2011-04-07 22:28:02 -0700 #

Actually privatizing education would be very beneficial to the nation. First you would have schools who had to compete for business meaning they would have to produce a better product. This means that teachers would have to outperform each other and the bad teachers would have to find new careers while the teachers that excelled would be producing brighter students. Teachers would get raises based on merit not a blanket raise that was enjoyed by every single teacher bad or good. Students that excel would not be held back by students that had no motivation to learn, the current system only lags behind for the bad student it doesn’t not catch them up it makes everyone else dumber for the sake of that one child. Parents would have to parent well to raise children who valued their educations rather then shipping off all the welfare babies to school as a free daycare while horrible parents sit at home in their selfish self indulgent days without their bastards. The reason creatures in nature survive and become well adapted to their environment is the ones that cannot survive on their own aren’t around long enough to breed and pass on their weak traits making the species stronger. Humans however have adopted the method of waiting for the runt animal and in the process we are being eaten alive especially Americans by the competition.

Comment by nursing student on 2011-04-09 14:36:54 -0700 #

i dont know how many are uninsured, i do know i am one of them. Ive not had insurance most of my life and i dont get why people are so up in arms to give it to me. Ill get it when im finished with school, right now it sucks i have to wait at the free hospitals for 6 hrs to see a doctor but i dont bitch about it because i realize its free, i dont expect to get curbside assistance. But my state covers people in my situation just fine. My medications arent generic yet they only cost me 8 dollars. Knowing i dont have the best coverage has an influence on my life, like many college student i work out regularly i eat modestly and healthy. I am against anything governmental because i dont want to give up more of my little income to cover it as i rely on it to get by paycheck to paycheck. When im done with school i will get decent insurance before i up my current standard of living i will also pay my loans off and begin my retire4ment savings after those necessities are taken care of then ill use whats left over for luxuries but dont act like im too stupid to know that i have to pick and choose where my money goes, ifi choose to not cover myself so i can go out or buy a computer or a car ect dont think that you have to come in and force me to get what you value as important with my tax money. Im a adult dammit treat me like one and stop talking on behalf the uninsured and let us speak for our damn selves. You feeling so charitable email me get my address and send me some money otherwise mind your own damn business. I refuse to buy a classmate groceries just cuz he pissed his money away at the bar and you should feel the same way too, try expecting ppl to take responsibility for their own actions and stop with the oh so sad hypothetical situations like the poor little kid with cancer, i promise you a child with cancer is well taken care of thanks to all the charitable organizations out there. I know first hand as a medical field student because part of my job will be to help those ppl find resources along with social workers. Stop spreading your ignorance with made up stories they are as usuless as made up statistics. No matter what system exists someone will always be the exception and have a sad story there is no need to exploit that story fro your own political agenda, we are human no system is perfect there will always be those left behind.

Comment by PharmD12 on 2011-09-13 23:16:49 -0700 #

More than 50% of the patients I’ve seen in the MICU – end stage liver disease, end stage renal disease, pancreatitis, cardiomyopathy, and diabetic ketoacidosis. See where I’m going with this? Correct, more than 50% of the patients I’ve seen have a history of chronic alcohol and/or IV drug abuse that precipitates these disease states. What’s even more interesting – they have Medicare A/B/D, Medicaid, or another specific type of government-funded health care. A lot of them are “frequent flyers” – in the MICU every 2 weeks, every month or couple of months.

So, a chronic alcoholic/IVDU can repeatedly overindulge with alcohol or cocaine and earn free trips to the ICU, with daily chest x-rays, EKGs, and echocardiograms paid for, in a room that costs $1200 a day.

I’m a pharmacy student, focused on earning good grades and becoming a contributing member of society in a profession that I am truly passionate about. For those reasons I am in debt and cannot afford health care, so I bear the risk of becoming even more in debt if I am in a car accident and have to be transported to the ICU.

Our current health care system punishes responsibility and rewards irresponsibility, i.e. chronic drug-abusing alcoholics have better health insurance than I do. I must say, it appears as if I am in the wrong profession.

Comment by Another commenter on 2011-10-12 10:26:05 -0700 #

I’m in America and I had to wait a week for something similar, oh and I have insurance.

Comment by BamaRPH on 2012-11-29 22:29:44 -0800 #

Funny how a few years can change your mind. Privatized managed-care has failed. It is the problem. These companies (in pharmacy anyway) have become little more than a fancy payment plan. They live one the fees, and as more claims generate more fees, why reduce. These guys seem to be getting 10-15 a claim in adm fees, for me to just run it through their computer, and the switch charges me to do that!

Funny too–pharmacist tend to make more in Canada–

Vancover is nice

Comment by Jesse B. Haley on 2012-12-07 00:03:26 -0800 #

I agree w you for the most part but understand this as well … I understand it isn’t a right just like we have no right to a plumber or electrician, but this is where the problem of prohibition lies & should b adjusted due to it CAUSING THE SOCIALIZATION OF MEDICINE, think about it this way… If I don’t have the $ to hire an electrician, I’ve the RIGHT to attempt to be a man & fix myself. Now…. On the otherhand, if I become ill or get hurt due to insane FDA, DEA, & numerous other alphabet agencies, I cannot treat myself as I could fix my own clogged sink. Now I don’t agree w most drug use but believe it should be the individuals right & responsibility. If the drug hurts him should be his own damn fault he didn’t study enough, but due to prohibition there’s no adequate way for someone to say well I can’t afford to see a doc for this headache, ill just eat a vicodin, well, since thus said is impossible, u get things like welfare recipients and medical treatment is my right bullshit. Whether u wanna believe it or not drugs & drug prohibition n some form or fashion took away our liberty & caused all the communist socialism u now see today n America.

Comment by ER Doctor on 2013-02-26 05:27:18 -0800 #

Wow, this post was a long time ago but I just came across your site. I am an ER doctor at a large public hospital, and just as you said, any patient can come in to the ER with a serious condition (or usually with barely anything more than a URTI) and receive treatment. We are required by federal law to stabilize and treat these patients. You rightly pointed this out, and also correctly stated that this is a good deal for the patient, who often does NOT end up paying for their care. But you fail to consider how terrible this is for the HOSPITAL. We are legally obligated to treat patients that we KNOW will not pay for their costly care. If the government created a universal health insurance program, this would be GOOD for public hospitals. ALL of the public hospitals in NYC are hemorrhaging money, many have already closed, and others are at risk of closing. If the government is going to tell us we have to treat patients who don’t have insurance and don’t have the money to pay out-of-pocket, the government should pay for these patients itself. The problem is that the laws are inconsistent. It makes no sense to force hospitals to care for ANY patient who comes in without insurance, and then not give the hospital any reimbursement and act surprised when hospitals are forced to close. Something needs to change. The current system is not sustainable.

Comment by Jake on 2015-03-04 15:08:28 -0800 #

Folke I graduated in 1949 and was licensed that July. After a week, it was time to give it up because it was clear that our physician buddies had, for the most part, lost their minds and were driving the sheep into the pen of socialized medicine. By 1957, they had the gate in place so not a soul could escape the all encompassing net effect of the great malady and so it was that pharmacy-like osteopathy-joined with the business and insurance communities in the malignant desire to steal from the sick and make the healthier wealthier.
Today the chain drugstores, as Don Franke and a few others seemed to expect, big national chains have “churches” on ‘every’ corner with their hands out. The reason that they are still there competing with grocery stores is that they trade on the good name of pharmacy and steal lite the meanest of thieves.

Comment by Jake on 2015-03-07 10:26:31 -0800 #

But on another subject close to the bone is a statement I published in the late 1970s (after waiting through 20 years of practice) that:
i.) about half of ALL health/care professionals are incompetent
ii.) about 40% of ALL health/care professionals are competent
iii.) a bit more than 10% of ALL healthcare professionals are as competent as humanly possible. NOW,
ANYONE WITH ANY QUESTIONS IS AUTOMATICALLY (i) and that is all I have to say with regard to (ital) [human nature]