Open thread 4/12/11 Dan Crawford | April 12, 2011 5:00 pm Tags: open thread Comments (15) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I have been trying to understand why putting Europe’s weaker economies (eg., Ireland, Greece) on the Euro allowed their weaker-economy-banks to borrow at low, low rates leading to what always happens — in every time and place apparently (bankers need to be explained as the true equivalent of the stereotype of used car dealer — no offense, used car dealers — no class war here): bankers lending all they can to all they can (auto-bubble).
I think I know know the simple explanation: a central bank automatically lends at the same rate to all banks within its realm (in order to speed up or slow the economy?).
First; somebody here tell me if I have figured out this simple explanation right. Second; could all today’s travails in Europe’s weaker economies have been avoided by the extremely simple expedient of lending to banks of differing economies at different rates appropriate to their individual characteristics. Sounds simple to a cab driver. ???
From the same Boston Herald article:
“We already know the most liberal states contribute the least to charity per capita. The louder the liberals talk about the need to pay more, the faster they flee from helping out the most vulnerable members of society who fell through the safety net shredded by George W. Bush, etc. etc.”
Is that true?
Yes this is well known the medical home concept where specialists are consultants only. Actually go a step further and use nurse practioners as the primary care person with physicians and specialists brought in on a consulting basis. On lab tests have you compare the price if you pay upfront with that by insurance. For example a typical screening test that can cost $600 if done thru insurance, can be had either at screenings for $129 or thru any lab test now for about $90. The big difference is cash on the barrel head at the time of the test instead of having to involve the billing bureau.
Of course on prescriptions insisting on generics unless there is no alternative makes sense, then use the $4 or $10 programs at various stores or by mail. The local drug store is the highest priced place in all likleyhood, mail order is better, but of course that makes the local pharmacist unhappy and thus the politicians.
Further I would suggest for elective surgeries such as joint replacements and the like medical tourism. If the US were ever to get over its mad with Cuba (likely after Fidel et.al. depart this world) then there would be a big chance to build hospitals there. (Someone is already doing this in Grand Cayman)
It is true, according to this source:
Lyle, I didn’t go into the savings from generic drugs nor any extraordinary changes to practice. There seems to be ~ 1/3 to 1/2 of available savings of annual total costs for health care by having patients take responsibility.
It does make a case that the Ryan Budget Plan might just possibly work at saving Govt HC costs and lowering HC costs overall. What we need is more common sense solutions, and the training to allow our HC users to take advantage of them.
AFAIK Doctors’ income have not even kept up with average income gains — the latgter doubled since 1968. AFAIK average income for doctors was $150,000 before Medicare and Medicaid, after which the average rose to $180,000. AFAIK, today, $360,000 is the average income for the highest paying specialty, radiology.
Medical insurance double and doubles and redoubles — what is with focusing on doctor’s incomes?
A doctor in my cab told me that in his other career as a Navy helo pilot the new beast (Blackhawk) has three engines and 60 miles of wiring — everybody can see the difference between that and the Huey. When people go to the hospital all they see is the bed.
Ever think unions are unrealistic not wanting management to count the ever increasing cost of medical insurance in negotiations? Isn’t the whole country like that? Do we really expect to pay the same for more and more and more medical advances?
How to get the cost down to European costs level — half? Simple; govern ourselves like Europe. Govern ourselves — instead of left and right elites taking turns governing us. RE-UNIONIZE THE ONLY WAY THAT ACTUALLY WORKS: SECTOR-WIDE LABOR AGREEMENTS. Cut the Gordian knot at the heart of almost every other poliltical issue — re-balance the labor market — and simultaneously the political forum — so the labor market actually works to insure fair prices — automatically — just like Republicans say markets do. Then all the common sense reforms will be absorbed (automatically?).
Say the words: S-E-C-T-O-R W-I-D-E L-A-B-0-R A-G-R-E-E-M-E-N-T-S.
I have plenty of problems with Ryan’s Budget Resolution. Meanwhile, I don’t see any worthwhile counter proposals on the table. The best hope for a viable alternative appears to rest on the efforts of the Gang of Six U.S. Senators and/or whatever the President intends to offer on Wednesday.
Where are the formal Democrat proposals aside from the President’s forthcoming deficit reduction plan to be announced tomorrow and the efforts of the Gang of Six? The complaints by the liberals about Ryan’s proposal don’t answer the mail.
I am confused about the President’s response to Ryan’s proposal. First, the President submitted a FY2012 Federal Budget proposal that extends projections out to FY2021. Now, the President is preparing to release another deficit reduction plan. What does say about his FY2012 Federal Budget proposal? What does say about his leadership or the lack of such on resolving problems associated with the nonsustainable long term Federal Budget picture?
The Congressional Democrats – while in majority in both Houses – failed to pass appropriations in support of a FY2011 Federal Budget. The Congressional Democrats failed to let the Bush II era tax cuts expire. The Congressional Democrats failed to significantly reduce National Security and Department of Defense spending now or in the outyears.
Do the Congressional Democrats have a viable Federal Budget plan for the future? If so , where is it?
President Obama looks weak on this issue as he didn’t take the lead. The President sat on his hands after receiving the Fiscal Commission report. It appears that Ryan’s proposal has forced the President back in the game.
A future response by the Gang of Six appears to be taking precedent over any response from Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Fine. What about Pelosi and the Democrats in the House?
Let me add an area that hits morality as much as economics: How much do we spend to give someone another month of life, or a year, is the 100k treatment that extends life a month to be paid by society? What is the limit? Clearly $100 billion for a month is out of line but where the limit is is unclear (if you can afford it privatly its another matter) Partly its working out a way to have people think about this earlier when the issue is not pressing. Also its likley that we need to put cut off ages for some proceedures.
Lyle, on this issue I would tend to rely on common sense. Instead of: “its likley that we need to put cut off ages for some proceedures.”, a refinement would be to limit payment for those same procedures. When we add that wording we are actually just recognizing today’s norm for practices.
Certainly there are abuses to this current informal process/policy, but I’m not sure we need an over arching policy/law to manage for them. Otherwise we just get into the discussions over how much a life or for the exceptions that specific life is worth.
“The Congressional Democrats – while in majority in both Houses – failed to pass appropriations in support of a FY2011 Federal Budget.”
Because puting those numbers in official, document form, would show that the budget now includes as its base-line, the, “one-time, gotta pass it now or we all die“, stimulus spending.
Couldn’t do that in an election year.
On the other hand you’ve got these folks: http://www.fiscalstrength.com/
“Simple; govern ourselves like Europe.”
You were doing just fine until that statement…….and now you have driven over the edge. Sector Wide Labor Agreements in the Health Industry is last thing that should happend. People like you are threatening the rest of us….Move to Europe Please!
I hope I wasn’t too confusing. I meant sector-wide as the ultimate solution — to almost all political issues. If the average person were running things — with equal (union) financing and pervasive union lobbying (David Broder, late dean of the Washington press corp said that 50 years ago the lobbyists were all union) and of course, the overwhelming majority of votes (the latter of which is not doing us any good these days because we are missing all the former) — our reps in Congress would be fawning after us instead of the highest corporate bidder.
My medical insurance point was just that doctors pay cannot be linked in any way to the exploding costs of health care. Whatever form our future system might take — there are options; I’ve read that ours is a conglomeration of all options — common sense would rule again, eg., doctors would not have to keep up with the rules of 100 private insurers whose job it is to deny care and add 30% or whatever to costs, the government would actually be allowed to bargain with drug manufacturers so we wouldn’t have to order from Canada (a book by a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine states that the top 10 drug companies earned more in 2003 than all other Fortune 500 companies put together) — while most so-called “research” seeks to come up with copy-cat patents instead of new cures.
I end every topic with sector-wide agreements because that is the only way this country is ever going to function sensibly again. No sector-wide no country — you may have to tell your kids to move to Europe. 🙂
In other news a new report from publiccampaign.org details how 12 multinationals all household names spent $1B total in lobbying while paying little to nothing in federal income taxes. http://publicampaign.org/reports/artfuldodgers/
Buy government wholesale from lobbyists! Why pay retail income taxes?!?? They’re for the little people as Mrs. Helmsley observed…
Will John Boehner’s reign as Speaker be shorter than Michael Steel’s chairmanship of the GOP? His weeks long brinkmanship on the budget deal failed to keep his own caucus on board as 59 GOP reps voted no today. Nice majority you got there.