Carol Platt Liebau: A Very Wrongheaded Plan

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Very Wrongheaded Plan

Is this story for real? Governor Schwarzenegger really thinks it's a good (and fair!) idea to tax 2% of doctors' gross incomes to help pay for universal healthcare?

As the doctor in the story points out, why not tax teachers for improvements in education? I'd add -- why not tax politicians to close budget deficits (that would restore some sense of fiscal responsibility in a hurry!)? How 'bout taxing lawyers to pay for the additional costs irresponsible litigation imposes on hapless consumers?

Doctors are not the reason that medical bills are high -- in fact, many of them have fees set by the federal government. And the last thing California needs is to start driving doctors out of the state the same way that businesses have been effectively evicted over the past years by the state's anti-business environment.


Blogger Earth to Carol said...

A true story. A 78 yr old woman was admitted into a hospital. Two hours later she left because the hospital was filthy and the nurse refused to wash her hands. No medical procedures had been performed. The bill came to $10,000. The elderly woman called Medicare immediately on receiving the bill as she felt the charges were fraudulent and was told not to worry about it. It had already been approved for payment.

Another true story... 52 year old woman went to emergency ward with difficulty breathing. After 8 hours of waiting to see a doctor, a nurse gave the patient beta blockers and two hours later 2 ml of morphine, after which the patient stopped breathing and her heart stopped. She was resuscitated approximately 8 minutes later. The time is approximate because the nurse was not monitoring patient, so exactly when the patient stopped breathing is unknown.

Four mistakes were made. Patient was in waiting room too long before seeing a doctor, beta blocker depresses breathing, a morphine drip should have been used and patient should have been monitored as morphine also depresses breathing.

The patient suffered brain injury, was put on a breathing machine in ICU for a month and moved to standard care for three months and then died. A very brilliant lady with two doctorate degrees, a member of honor societies and on the board of director of several hospitals had been turned into a dying vegetable by a careless nurse and over worked doctors.

This is a premier hospital and to maximize profitability and provide the executives with wonderful pay and benefits, at night when no one is watching, 60 patients are assigned to one intern who works 24 hour sifts.

The hospital bill came to over $ 1 million dollars.

2:24 AM  
Blogger duckenvy said...

I really enjoyed your blog. Its refreshing to find a reasonable intelligent right winger.

5:26 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

the state's anti-business environment.

From Wikipedia:

As of 2005, The gross state product (GSP) is about $1.62 trillion, the largest in the country. California is responsible for 13% of the United States gross domestic product (GDP). As of 2005, California's GDP is larger than all but seven countries in the world (and all but eight countries by Purchasing Power Parity)...

Per capita personal income was $48,460 as of 2005, ranking 13th in the nation

Amazing how such a rich place and such an important part of America's economy is solid Democrat.

5:53 AM  

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