Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama Health and Education Policies at Odds

No matter how many tests or procedures are performed, they [doctors] take home the same amount of money.

This was a striking quote in Saturday's NY Times article on the Obama plan on health care.

How ironic that Obama and Arne Duncan are using threats of withholding stimulus money for education systems if they aren't willing to use differential pay to teachers based on test score results.

Where in the health care proposal do we a similar plan to pay doctors based on making their patients well - let's call it closing the health gap between wealthy and the poor?

A few more quotes for your reading pleasure:

“Our proposals would change incentives so that doctors and nurses finally are free to give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care,” the president said

Doctors in the United States are usually paid fees for each service they provide. The more procedures and tests they order, the more money they pocket. There is widespread agreement among health policy analysts that many of these procedures are unnecessary, raising costs in ways that often do nothing to improve patient health.

By contrast, Bassett — like the Cleveland Clinic and a small number of other health systems in this country — pays salaries to all of its doctors. No matter how many tests or procedures are performed, they take home the same amount of money. Medical costs at Bassett are lower than those at 90 percent of the hospitals in New York, while the quality of care ranks among the top 10 percent in the nation, surveys show.

Paul Moore: Business Roundtable Hands Off To ObamaAdministration


caroline said...

During the Bush II administration, more than one highly publicized statements of protest were presented to the president objecting to his stifling and twisting of solid science, signed by long lists of internationally renowned scientists.

Has anything like that been presented to Obama? Anything in the works? If I had the knowhow, contacts and credentials, I'd do it myself, but I don't -- others reading this do.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to state "facts" perhaps they should be in context.
I am not sure where you got the idea that a physician "pockets money" every time he or she orders a test. The physician only makes money on tests or procedures he or she performs. If my doctor orders an MRI for me, he makes nothing on that MRI. The facility where I have the MRI makes the money on the test. Now, there are those who perform procedures that are not needed but I also know the instance for "late diagnosis" on terminal illness in coutries like Canada and the UK are far higher than here because the health system does not allow for the tests that are needed until the symptoms are so bad, the patient is unsavable. I am sorry, - but I do not want my hard earned tax money going into a government system that will decide my health care for me. Bottom line is we will still pay for it - boy will we ever and the government in its infinite wisdom will create a huge problem to solve one for a few.
No thanks

Anonymous said...

Obama has long represented the intellectual left - those inhabitants of the ivory tower who view America as a malevolent influence in the race, class and gender wars dominating their world view. For those few, a government that takes choice away from the great unwashed masses (the rest of us) is the best governement. Naturally, a wholesale confiscation of personal rights and responsibilities in the areas of economics and mediciane, etc. is the logical outcome of the Obama administration. Standing agains a wholesale takeover of helathcare is, in the worldview of Obama and his academic ilk, to stand against enlightenement. The melange of the academic left, radical afrocentrism, 'progressives' and the rest of the loony fringe will - of course - bankrupt the nation.
Who on earth voted for this character?

ed notes online said...

Do you want your hard-earned tax money going into anything?

Maybe we should save money and get rid of traffic lighhts.

I guess you also want no money to go into regulation of the financial industry or the fed trade commission or the FCC which gave away billions so we now have a one track debate in this country. These anti-government diatribes from the right have put this country into the pickle it is in.

And to anon 7:13:
Obama on the left? You've go to be kidding. We have been pointing out how his ed policies are from the business right, not the left.

If he were from the left, he wouldn't be pussyfooting around on health care to make some privatizers happy and give us a single payer system like they have in every other industrial nation in the world. And don't tell me about Canada where someone has to wait an extra hour to get service. If you have money in this country even under single payer you could bauy anything and anyone.