Losing it just a little bit maybe?

Donald Trump met with the heads of several monopolistic private health care corporations in Palm Beach on Wednesday. Bloomberg reports that “A person close to Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter said he also participated.” Trump was soliciting their advice on whether he should force the Veterans Health Administration (VA) to outsource more of the care of our nation’s veterans to monopolistic health care corporations. The comic book executive at least had no apparent conflicts of interests.

How the hell can several competing firms be monopolistic, and the VA the only and only provider of veterans health care, not be a monopoly?

Is the rest of Washington Monthly this bad too?

18 comments on “Losing it just a little bit maybe?

  1. Sounds like knee-jerk subMarxist drivel of a remarkably old-fashioned kind: perhaps the Soviets have penetrated the Washington Monthly? That bloody Putin, eh?

  2. Because the US healthcare “market” is full of local monopolies? Because it’s the hardest country in the world to work as a doctor qualified outside the country?

  3. “Sounds like knee-jerk subMarxist drivel of a remarkably old-fashioned kind: perhaps the Soviets have penetrated the Washington Monthly? That bloody Putin, eh?”

    It’s the whole Stalin’s Zombie Sockpuppets phenomenon. They’re just mindlessly carrying out their programming without even realising why they’re doing it.

  4. A, but ‘monopolistic’ is a word spelled the same as the word we recognize from our education, culture and experience, but it is a different word. It uses four syllables to mean ‘evil’, which needs but two, and therefore displays the greater learning and erudition of the writer.

  5. Aren’t the private healthcare providers in the US specifically exempted from competition laws, and indulge in practices that would land companies in other business sectors in court?

    On suspects that they could well be described as a State enabled cartel, rather than a monopoly. Highly competitive they ain’t.

  6. “Any industry with state-mandated pricing is ripe for an upstart startup.”

    An industry with considerable State mandated barriers to entry as well…………………as well as the private barrier to entry of the medical professional bodies (which in turn are State enabled in their monopolistic practices of course).

    Healthcare is an industry where the patient comes well down the list of interests, below medical professionals, hospital employees and the pharmaceutical industry.

  7. Jim,

    “Aren’t the private healthcare providers in the US specifically exempted from competition laws, and indulge in practices that would land companies in other business sectors in court?

    On suspects that they could well be described as a State enabled cartel, rather than a monopoly. Highly competitive they ain’t.”

    Indeed, especially when you consider they are also protected by “certificate of need” laws in many States.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinerestrepo/2014/10/29/certificate-of-need-bureaucrats-blocking-your-health-care-options/#2d4afc144631

    https://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily-podcast/cronyism-certificate-need-laws

  8. Remarkable that no one mentions the basic problem – the VA is leaving people to die without treatment because of their utter incompetence and no one cares, no one is fired, nothing is changed and nothing improves.

    If the state system is so damn efficient, why is this happening?

    If Trump privatises the VA he will deserve to have his face on Mount Rushmore.

  9. @Jim,

    It’s a good thing that there is a law that says I can’t call myself a medical doctor and charge people for it. There really are some areas in which caveat emptor is not good enough. In the US it goes a bit too far.

  10. SMFS has it.
    The VA makes North Stafford look a model of healthcare. It’s been shit for years, no one has dared do anything about it.

  11. There is nothing to stop a truly private health system offering all manner of degrees of training depending on the customer.

    Going to an untrained surgeon cos he is cheap would eliminate a few nitwits who would have been eliminated by their level of stupidity anyway.

    Being a genuine graduate of a genuinely excellent school of medicine should give patients everything they get now and more.

    If qualifications are essential then perhaps a universal medical exam which any one –including the self-taught –could take in stages. Going from very simple procedures to much more complex. Fail at any stage and you can go no further until you retake successfully –a max of 3 tries say.

    It could be done. The idea that the fucking state is some kind of quality guarantee in anything is just stupid.

  12. “It’s a good thing that there is a law that says I can’t call myself a medical doctor and charge people for it.”

    Its less good now that huge swathes of medical knowledge is available to all to consult on the internet. Its quite often the case that if you have an unusual complaint that you will end up knowing more about it that your GP does. Why this situation requires GPs to to be paid £100k/yr escapes me. The fact that people have managed to impersonate GPs for years, even decades without any great problem would suggest that doctors are not the great panjandrums they like to think they are.

  13. Jim, my niece is a medical doctor, and I assure you she knows a lot of stuff. She is worth the money she makes.

    However, her knowledge is finite. All doctors knowledge is finite. They don’t know everything.

    My first wife – the Good One – died from non-Hotchkins lymphoma. The doctors really didn’t know what to do. Not because they were bad doctors, but because they didn’t know what to do. I have hoped for thirty years that at least the doctors learned something from her case, so that others may have been helped.

  14. “All doctors knowledge is finite. They don’t know everything”

    This should be tattooed on every doctors forehead when they qualify, just to remind them. It might stop them acting like arseholes so much.

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