The recent Veterans Administration scandal has the country's attention. It should. It's the perfect example of government health care. It really isn't a scandal... it's the normal way government health care operates.
Any time government is in charge of health care, it determines what it will pay for. We saw this back in October 2008 when Medicare decided it will stop paying for certain "preventable conditions." These conditions are almost always avoidable. Worse, they're often caused by gross negligence.
Medicare stopped paying for the following: infections that occur in the surgical site of certain elective orthopedic procedures, surgery for obesity complications of poor blood sugar control, deep vein thrombosis following certain orthopedic surgeries (like knee replacement).
These conditions are added to other hospital-induced problems like: foreign objects left in the body after surgery, giving the wrong blood type, pressure ulcer, falls and trauma, catheter-associated infections, and heart cavity infections after bypass.
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Medicare insists it's not about saving money but improving patient care. I certainly second that. But I wonder who will pick up the cost of doctor- and hospital-induced injuries. Will you get billed for the complications of their negligence? And if you don't directly, then will the hospital jack up the prices it charges to everyone else to cover its shortfall?
Someone has to pay. In government health care, the government only pays for what it wants to pay for. In the case of the Veterans Administration, the men and women who served this country ended up paying the price with their lives. Again, this is just the beginning.
I do have one suggestion. Unless you are in imminent danger to your life, avoid hospitals at all costs. Practice the prevention strategies you learn about in these pages to reduce your chances of ever needing a visit to a hospital. It will prolong your life.