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“The most notable exception is our most expensive medical problem: heart disease. Although it afflicted almost exactly the same share of the population in 2000 as it did in 1987, the cost of treating heart disease has nearly doubled. Why? Because new drugs and techniques such as cardiac catheterization and angioplasty were developed and perfected during this period. So while spending per patient is going up, Thorpe’s study noted, death rates associated with heart disease are going down. We are, in other words, getting more for our money.
“I’m not sure why we feel so bad about spending more to improve and extend our lives, while we take increased transportation costs in stride. One reason may be that we have more control over our cars and their upkeep, while our health care is managed by third parties. If our employers controlled our vehicles, decided what we could drive and how far we could drive them, we – and they – might be more uneasy about the economic trends in transportation.”

Can I jump in here and say something? Yes, I can, because it’s my show. I can explain this for you. I can answer this question, “Why are people so much more concerned over how much they’re spending on health care than they’re spending on cars?” It’s because you can go back to the formation of Medicare and Medicaid. When the government decided, I tell you what, if the government had taken over providing everybody a car then everybody would be upset about it because nobody would get what they want. You never get what you want when somebody else is paying for it because you’re never going to be able to spend as much as you would like. And so there is a sense of entitlement over 40 years, you have to go back to the sixties really to find the roots of this. So for 40 years there’s been a sense of entitlement that has swept the nation when it comes to health care. People don’t think they should have to pay for health care at all. Health care is a right. Automobiles are not a right yet. Hotel rooms are not a right yet.

Now, leave it to the Democrats and in another 40 years who knows what we’ll end up with as a right. But people think it’s a right to have no health problems or, if you do have a health problem, have somebody else pay for it so you’re well again. It’s not your responsibility to take care of yourself; it’s somebody else’s responsibility to make you well when you screw up and make yourself sick. And because we have such great medical care in this country, you can go to the doctor for virtually anything. But when we talk about health care costs, how much are we spending on Viagra? When you start adding all these things up that are new that improve the quality of life that didn’t exist years and years ago, and then you put those new inventions or creations in the health care field, and you couple that with people’s entitlement, it’s no wonder that spending has gone up. And when people are not spending the money themselves of course they’re not going to have any notion of the cost or of the value. People know how much they’re spending on cars because they gotta pay the check and they gotta write the check every month or whatever.


That’s the same way with taxes. People do not know how much they are paying in taxes because they don’t pay taxes, taxes are withheld. You never see the amount of money you pay in taxes and if you did, if you had to write the check you’d be just as outraged as you are over what your health care costs are. That’s the answer to this. And the thing that really is bad about this, one thing this guy is right about, this Weintraub guy, is that this is the finest health care system in the world. It has done more for more people in this country and the rest of the world than any health care system produced in the world, precisely because of our way of life and our economic system here, capitalism. And yet, you’ve got a Democratic Party out there campaigning on the notion that everybody is going to hell in a hand basket. That everybody is getting sick, that nobody has access to health care and everybody is getting screwed by somebody when it comes to health care. You’re getting screwed by your employer, you’re getting screwed by the doctor, you’re getting screwed by the hospital, you’re getting screwed by the drug company, you’re getting screwed by everybody.
Meanwhile, you’re living your life longer, everybody in your family is probably healthier, you’re diagnosing conditions much earlier than you used to so you can get ’em treated, and still, because you’ve got a whole political party out there basing its viability on the fact nobody is getting any health care, people believe it. And they don’t have any control over it, and so they feel imprisoned by it, and they’re not getting what they want because they can’t. And it’s gotten to the point now where if you go to a doctor and pay yourself, that doctor is disqualified from treating Medicare patients in some cases. It’s ridiculous. That’s why all this is happening. He’s absolutely right. The health care advances in this country ought to stun and amaze everybody, make us appreciative and grateful for what all has been done, but no, we gotta go to Canada to get drugs because it’s too expensive. We’re being gouged here, we’re being be gouged there, HMOs they hate us and we hate them and all these other aspects of the health care industry are screwing everybody. Why, you would think that hospitals are shutting down, and if you walk in with some disease they’re kicking you out and waiting until you die in the gutter so they can send a casket out and bury you in a cemetery you never heard of. I mean, that’s the reason for all this. Nobody stops to think of the quality of life in this country, and it does cost. And even though you think you’re not paying for it, you are. That’s when you get right down to brass tacks, you are paying for it one way or the other, it’s just you don’t have control over it. It’s all being taken from you, or it’s all being given to you in the form of a benefit at work for which you’re not actually being paid.

So, you know, you may have a health care plan and, wow, this is great, let ’em pay you the money for the health care plan instead and you go get your own health care plan. That’s what a medical savings account is. That’s going to get costs down, but that will put you in control over it and that’s a problem because that means more people are going to be responsible for themselves than are now. And that’s another thing people don’t want. You know, everybody else is supposed to be responsible for your health care, and then when something doesn’t happen the way you want it you start complaining and whining and moaning about it.
END TRANSCRIPT


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