Health Myth #6: “Government-run universal health care would increase the international competitiveness of U.S. companies.”

This is the sixth in a series of commonly believed health myths based upon the research from Fox News analyst James Farrell.

More Information:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disagrees with the theory that “government-run universal health care would increase the international competitiveness of U.S. companies.”

The CBO says, “Replacing employment-based health care with a government-run system could reduce employers’ payments for their workers’ insurance, but the amount that they would have to pay in overall compensation would remain essentially unchanged.”

They add, “Cash wages and other forms of compensation would have to rise by roughly the amount of the reduction in health benefits for firms to be able to attract the same number and types of workers.”

[Source: CBO, “Key Issues in Analyzing Major Health Insurance Proposals,” December 18, 2008]

Here are the topics for the entire series:

    3 thoughts on “Health Myth #6: “Government-run universal health care would increase the international competitiveness of U.S. companies.”

    1. F Michel

      I guess the fact that a larger fraction of our health care spending than any other country goes to administer myriad numbers of confusing different health insurance plans, pay pharmaceutical salesmen enough to spend half their time skiing and playing golf, and on primetime Viagra commercials doesn’t come into play here.

    2. Dr. Walt Post author

      Fred,

      Do you really think a government run system will have lower administrative costs? Really?? What kind of Kool-Aide have you been drinking???

      I have worked with Medicare and Medicaid for almost thirty years, and I can tell you that from the perspective of a physician in the field, there’s no savings in government administration. I’d recommend you consider reading the CBO report I’ve referenced above. I think you’ll find it educational and interesting.

      In fact, Medicare and Medicaid pay be less than the cost of my providing services to their insureds. As a result, I, like most primary care docs have to strictly limit the number of Medicare and Medicaid patients I see in the private practice at which I work. I think that is a shame and it saddens me.

      As to the marketing plans of pharmaceutical companies, the only cost that runs up is the cost of medications.

      I also have worked this last year at at a clinic for patients with no medical insurance. So, I’m very grateful to be able to choose among scores of generic medications offered at $4 per month or $10 per three months at many pharmacies in town. I thank God for each of them (Wal-Mart, Sams, CVS, Safeway, King Soopers, Walgreens, etc.).

      Now, like you, I’m no fan of pharmaceutical company marketing. I don’t see the representatives. I don’t accept their gifts. And, I oppose direct-to-consumer advertising. I believe the data shows all of these to be of no or little help to consumers.

      But, I’m very grateful for a program called Pharmacy Assistance. It allows my office to work with my patients who are uninsured or underinsured to obtain expensive medications at no cost. We help the patient fill out the forms (they are complex), and send the forms to the company. The company, if it approves the application (which they virtually always do), sends us the medications for the patients at no cost.

      Hope this information is helpful to you.

      Dr. Walt

    3. F Michel

      Well the truth is those “socialized, universal care” countries that you so despise, pay HALF as much per capita and as a percent of GDP on health care as we do in the US. Countries like Norway, Canada, Sweden even the UK. Plus they live longer, have lower infant mortality rates and are healthier overall. Yet for some reason you and your FoxNews friends oppose any efforts at reform. I think you are the one drinking kool aid.

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