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Americans worry More About Health Insurance than Terrorist Attacks: US Family Costs Soar 13%, set to hit 17% of GDP

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
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It will be like the electricity market in CA. People will take these price increases for a while, and then they'll say enough is enough and impose price controls or worse.
The industry better think carefully about it's long term future.
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
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Originally posted by: rudder
Tort reform would help.
That's a diversionary argument to blame the lawyers. If you think the drug or healthcare industry would pass the lawsuit savings to the consumers, you are illusional. Their goal is clearly to charge as much as the market will support, nothing to do with expenses.
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,940
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It's too bad their President is not listening, to help them out in the homeland rather than his own lusty self-indulgence foreign-occupation schemes.
 

amok

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
1,342
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Originally posted by: SuperTool
Originally posted by: rudder
Tort reform would help.
That's a diversionary argument to blame the lawyers. If you think the drug or healthcare industry would pass the lawsuit savings to the consumers, you are illusional. Their goal is clearly to charge as much as the market will support, nothing to do with expenses.
Of course that's their goal, its the goal of any business. Tort reform, however, would decrease the cost of being in the insurance business, and some companies would take advantage of that and try to gain marketshare by bringing reasonable prices to the table. After bleeding off some customers, the older established companies would also lower their prices to stay competitive. Its the way deregulated business works, as long as you can keep the big companies from gobbling up all the small fries.
 

rudder

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
19,434
84
91
Originally posted by: SuperTool
Originally posted by: rudder
Tort reform would help.
That's a diversionary argument to blame the lawyers. If you think the drug or healthcare industry would pass the lawsuit savings to the consumers, you are illusional. Their goal is clearly to charge as much as the market will support, nothing to do with expenses.
I will try to find a link, but I was reading an article about malpractice insurance. One specialty, obstetrics, has been hit hard by cost of malpractice insurance. Obsetrics is only second to neurosurgery in the cost of malpractice insurance. This is causing many physicians to drop the ob from their ob/gyn practice. I am not necessarily blaming the lawyers for this problem, but if some type of limits were placed on lawsuits you would not have so many physicians running scared. In the case of OB either the cost having having a baby delivered in a hospital will skyrocket or people will have to start finding midwives. I think in some cases like this, tort reform would help the consumer.

 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
0
0
Originally posted by: amok
Originally posted by: SuperTool
Originally posted by: rudder
Tort reform would help.
That's a diversionary argument to blame the lawyers. If you think the drug or healthcare industry would pass the lawsuit savings to the consumers, you are illusional. Their goal is clearly to charge as much as the market will support, nothing to do with expenses.
Of course that's their goal, its the goal of any business. Tort reform, however, would decrease the cost of being in the insurance business, and some companies would take advantage of that and try to gain marketshare by bringing reasonable prices to the table. After bleeding off some customers, the older established companies would also lower their prices to stay competitive. Its the way deregulated business works, as long as you can keep the big companies from gobbling up all the small fries.
The problem is we are talking about essentials here. If you are sick, you'll pay almost anything. So why would they want to pass these savings to you if they can just pocket them? You are assuming that tort reform will result in some sort of a price war, but I don't see that happening.
 

Bigdude

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
1,087
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Why do we pay 300% more for drugs made in this country, than they charge when they export the drugs?
 

Spencer278

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2002
3,637
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When are people going to realizes that health insurances cost more then being uninsured and pay for what you get in most cases.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,420
5,485
126
Originally posted by: Spencer278
When are people going to realizes that health insurances cost more then being uninsured and pay for what you get in most cases.
people already realize that, its simply that most people are risk averse when it comes to their health.
 

Bigdude

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
1,087
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Originally posted by: Spencer278
When are people going to realizes that health insurances cost more then being uninsured and pay for what you get in most cases.
You are correct, if you talk about a young person. Basically medical insurance subsidizes healthcare for older people. You typically will spend 90% of healthcare costs on the last 10% of your life.

 

UltraQuiet

Banned
Sep 22, 2001
5,755
0
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I wonder what the revocation of the special patent exemption that drug companies currently receive would do to the price of drugs?
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
I wonder what the revocation of the special patent exemption that drug companies currently receive would do to the price of drugs?
It would of course bring the price down. The only problem is, the current drugs would be the last ones you'd ever be able to slap price controls on, since there wouldn't be any new ones to come along after to price control. Without IP protection the pharmaceutical companies would stop bothering to put R&D money into developing new drugs. Why would you spend a billion dollars or more developing the cure for (insert disease here) if you didn't have exclusive sales rights to the formula to recover your costs? Putting price controls on drugs would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
126
Originally posted by: glenn1
I wonder what the revocation of the special patent exemption that drug companies currently receive would do to the price of drugs?
It would of course bring the price down. The only problem is, the current drugs would be the last ones you'd ever be able to slap price controls on, since there wouldn't be any new ones to come along after to price control. Without IP protection the pharmaceutical companies would stop bothering to put R&D money into developing new drugs. Why would you spend a billion dollars or more developing the cure for (insert disease here) if you didn't have exclusive sales rights to the formula to recover your costs? Putting price controls on drugs would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I disagree. Price controls exist worldwide. Not here though. The auto industry didn't stop making cars when safety requirements were added, although it acted like it would. Yes, drug companies can stop making drugs. and Ford can stop making cars. Wouldn't be very good for business.
 

amok

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
1,342
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Originally posted by: WinstonSmith
Originally posted by: glenn1
I wonder what the revocation of the special patent exemption that drug companies currently receive would do to the price of drugs?
It would of course bring the price down. The only problem is, the current drugs would be the last ones you'd ever be able to slap price controls on, since there wouldn't be any new ones to come along after to price control. Without IP protection the pharmaceutical companies would stop bothering to put R&D money into developing new drugs. Why would you spend a billion dollars or more developing the cure for (insert disease here) if you didn't have exclusive sales rights to the formula to recover your costs? Putting price controls on drugs would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I disagree. Price controls exist worldwide. Not here though. The auto industry didn't stop making cars when safety requirements were added, although it acted like it would. Yes, drug companies can stop making drugs. and Ford can stop making cars. Wouldn't be very good for business.
They might not stop making drugs, but they would stop making costly new drugs. The reason that drugs are so expensive here is because of the price limits set everywhere else. Its the only place where these companies can recoup massive R&D costs (and massive advertising costs ;)).

As for your analogy, it kindof sucks. Did they demand that Ford lower the price of their cars along with adding those safety features? Does it take them 5-6 years of designing and testing each new car's safety features?
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
126
Originally posted by: amok
Originally posted by: WinstonSmith
Originally posted by: glenn1
I wonder what the revocation of the special patent exemption that drug companies currently receive would do to the price of drugs?
It would of course bring the price down. The only problem is, the current drugs would be the last ones you'd ever be able to slap price controls on, since there wouldn't be any new ones to come along after to price control. Without IP protection the pharmaceutical companies would stop bothering to put R&D money into developing new drugs. Why would you spend a billion dollars or more developing the cure for (insert disease here) if you didn't have exclusive sales rights to the formula to recover your costs? Putting price controls on drugs would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I disagree. Price controls exist worldwide. Not here though. The auto industry didn't stop making cars when safety requirements were added, although it acted like it would. Yes, drug companies can stop making drugs. and Ford can stop making cars. Wouldn't be very good for business.
They might not stop making drugs, but they would stop making costly new drugs. The reason that drugs are so expensive here is because of the price limits set everywhere else. Its the only place where these companies can recoup massive R&D costs (and massive advertising costs ;)).

As for your analogy, it kindof sucks. Did they demand that Ford lower the price of their cars along with adding those safety features? Does it take them 5-6 years of designing and testing each new car's safety features?

If they had, Ford would still make cars, or they could choose to go out of business. R&D costs are expensive, and I know something about that, but the greatest cost now is that even more ecpensive advertising. Sorry, but you are not going to convince me that pharmaceutical companies have to raise prices at an even higher rate than the increasing cost of research and development. As far as the "good" drugs they are releasing..

Nexium- that purple pill... which has no advantage over Prilosec
Clarinex- ditto with Claritin.

I know why they do this. "Me too" drugs are profitable and easier to produce than novel medications. If we let drug companies double their prices, would that go away? No.

Drugs companies can charge less and do just fine. They do not need to be bankrupted, but reeled in a bit would be nice.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
I will try to find a link, but I was reading an article about malpractice insurance. One specialty, obstetrics, has been hit hard by cost of malpractice insurance. Obsetrics is only second to neurosurgery in the cost of malpractice insurance. This is causing many physicians to drop the ob from their ob/gyn practice. I am not necessarily blaming the lawyers for this problem, but if some type of limits were placed on lawsuits you would not have so many physicians running scared. In the case of OB either the cost having having a baby delivered in a hospital will skyrocket or people will have to start finding midwives. I think in some cases like this, tort reform would help the consumer.
True and false . . . for instance few countries in the world perform half the number of Caesarian sections as the US and there's currently a vigorous debate about the utility of the majority of hysterectomies. To a certain extent, insurance rates reflect risk . . . neurosurgery cannot avoid the risk of opening up the cranium b/c it's called neurosurgery. Unnecessary surgery in OB/GYN is a legitimate issue that will not be addressed at all by tort reform.

You are correct, if you talk about a young person. Basically medical insurance subsidizes healthcare for older people. You typically will spend 90% of healthcare costs on the last 10% of your life.
You shouldn't overburden the old farts. Neonatology has ushered in an era where the first year and last year consume a huge amount of our finite healthcare resources.


It would of course bring the price down. The only problem is, the current drugs would be the last ones you'd ever be able to slap price controls on, since there wouldn't be any new ones to come along after to price control. Without IP protection the pharmaceutical companies would stop bothering to put R&D money into developing new drugs. Why would you spend a billion dollars or more developing the cure for (insert disease here) if you didn't have exclusive sales rights to the formula to recover your costs? Putting price controls on drugs would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Your argument makes sense but alas does not reflect reality. BigPharma is putting relatively little money into "new" drugs. NIH provides the vast majority of funding which goes into the true exploration of new frontiers. Various academic spinoffs or collaboration with Biotechs and BigPharma takes over in the case of promising therapies. The great expense of drug development comes from clinical trials. Despite the lies told by BigPharma even large chunks of the clinical research is now federally-funded.

I have a federally-funded training grant to work with two separate research groups. Essentially all of our facilities/staff funding were paid for by the state of NC or NIH. The majority of our current clinical projects come from US taxpayers NOT BigPharma, although BigPharma will use our results (assuming they are positive) to make their claims during their pretty commercials.

One of my PIs is also a biotech company founder. The untold truth is that billions of dollars are wasted each year b/c BS flies just as well in biotech/pharma board rooms as anywhere else. Scientists, PhD and MD alike, have egos and donkey poo ideas that never die but eat of thousands of work hours and billions of dollars before someone manages to kill them. By the same token old concepts/therapies that lack the enthusiasm of IP copyright riches . . . sometimes languish.

The take home is that price controls may indeed stifle some research but ultimately may produce better AND cost-effective therapies. We cannot afford current drug cost inflation so something has to give.
 

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