Cartoon for November 10

Best Damned Healthcare System in the World, or so they say.

Click on the cartoon to make it bigger.

38 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That’s right Ted. And opening up the system to EVERYONE (for free) is really going to shorten those wait times.

    Fucking genius.

  2. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    So what do you suggest, anonymous-fuckface? Doing nothing, as always? Ted’s point is that “the best system in the world” sucks and sucks harder every single day, and assholes like you want to keep it just as it is.

    You’ll deserve your cancer when it comes.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Well, about a 3rd of america can’t afford to go to see a physician at all, so I guess you’re right, it sure cuts down on those wait times 😛

    -Duh

  4. Anonymous Says:

    MoeLarryAndJesus proves once again that liberals are just full of hate. Read his comments everyone, and feel the hate. Thanks MoeLarryAndJesus for proving once again why America does not agree with hate-filled liberal lunatics.

  5. Susan Stark Says:

    Canada has socialized medicine, and they have a life expectancy two years higher than we do, and the “evil” French have the same system with three years higher life expectancy.

    My suggestion to for those who do not want to pay for universal health care–don’t pay for it. Those who want universal health care can pay for it ourselves. Just don’t you dare come to our hospitals expecting free treatment.

  6. Ohio Moderate Says:

    Universal health care means we ALL pay for it—in taxes.

    And could it be that the longer life expectancy comes from the fact that we fill ourselves with huge portions of crappy foods?

    I doubt the French and Canadians supersize as much as we do.

    There are good things about socialized medicine—but be prepared to wait to get that physical.

    And moe,larry,andjesus—real classy in wishing someone cancer.

  7. angelo Says:

    I have to agree with anonymous-hannity-watcher (although, I think he is joking). The system that works amazingly in every other country will not work here. Even if math and reading skills ever do improve, basic observational skills will be left out of the lesson plan for the forseeable future.
    What do you think anonymous? Am I on?

  8. Dennis Says:

    Hey moron (Anon). We liberals only bother hating on punks like you. You, on the other hand (assuming you’re a war and poverty enthusiast), like to spread the hate to far off lands and actually kill people. You need a little hating. Such is life.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    To Anon mocking Moelarryandjesus; Right wingers have all the hate and then some, and half the brain. You’d show ten times the hatred, except you think you “Win” these things by crude mockery.

  10. Hairhead Says:

    What is it with Americans who say that the health care system cannot be made open to everyone? You can put men on the moon. (Yay!) You can spend $400 billion attacking non-threatening countries and killing 600K – 1 mil people. (Ugh!) You can claim to be the biggest and best and the smartest and the richest and strongest — and yet when it comes to providing your citizens the kind of medical care which dozens of other countries offer, you throw your hands in the air and whine “impossible!”

    I sense some cognitive dissonance here.

  11. SDS Says:

    I think there’s a much larger problem here that is missed entirely by the right and somewhat by the left. And Ted is nailing it dead on the head: we’re a country that spends inordinate monies when people become sick. This is true in our “free”, and private systems. If there’s one big difference between the US model and those evil socialized ones, it’s this: doctors elsewhere are properly incented to drive their patients to healthier lifestyles. If you consider how much of the long term health expenditures come from chronic illnesses like cardiac problems, obesity, diabetes, and respiratory problems, you can see a way to avoid this: get doctors to be actively involved in your life regularly. We don’t live that way, but it’s a middle ground that will reduce net doctor visits on a per-patient basis. Talk to someone who runs a hospital and they’ll generally agree. In this model, the “wait times” problem becomes a red herring. More simply, if we all had regular checkups, listened to our doctors, and tried to live well, we’d do better for it. It doesn’t fly here for a variety of reasons, mostly stupid ones.

  12. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    “ohio moderate” tells me off for “wishing cancer” on an asshole.

    Wow. First of all, “ohio moderates” are called “conservatives” by honest people, and “ohio moderates” are almost universally 2-time Bush voters and scumbags.

    It’s not possible to “wish cancer” on someone – but if anonymous gets it, I can certainly say there won’t be any tears shed at my house. The anonymi of the world don’t care if kids die due to a lack of basic health care, so why should they expect to be treated with “class”?

    As for my “hatred,” I certainly do hate the Bushpigs and all those who continue to support them. I also hate child molestors – I figure the moral equivalencies are dead on in both cases.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    MoeLarryAndJesus again shows his deep level of hatred for the average American. I’m glad this is the typical liberal attitude because it reinforces what America already knows about the liberal left: they’re a hateful group of people who think the government should take the form of a nanny state that will take care of all their needs, on the backs of working class Americans.

    Sorry MoeLarryAndJesus. Your motivations are transparent. Red state America is not going to allow you to make a beachhead with “socialized medicine”. Next thing you’d want is free luxury housing and a guaranteed six-figure salary.

    Not going to happen pal.

  14. ohiomoderate Says:

    Ah, the old refrain continues—“If you don’t agree with me than you must be a conservative-retard”.

    Nice try oelarryandjesus. This “ohiomoderate” voted straight down the ticket Democrat in 2006 and for Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000. Did you get much voting done?

    Sure, we Ohioans are simple folk and can’t understand what the people in the big citys say what with the big words and all. We sure need your help to understand anything!

    So, by your reasoning, all moderate ( i.e. thinking) Ohioans who voted Democratic are scumbags. Again, classy!

    No wonder the Democrats keep losing this state.

    Moderate—as being able to question the party line—left and right.

    And “deserving cancer”— it sounds a lot like asshole religious nutjobs who say homosexuals deserve AIDS. Congrats—you just got in bed with those pricks from godhatesfags.com.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    You are all missing the point. Canadians, live longer because they have better beer. And the French, have some good wine. It’s not all that hard to figure out. Better beer, and good wine = longer lives. Plus it makes us guys look better at closing time. And that’s good for you too.

  16. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    If you voted for Kerry and Gore then you’re not a moderate by Ohio standards, chuckles. You’re an ohioliberal. Actual Ohioan moderates support torture and the war in Iraq – Ohioan conservatives support actual genocide against anyone who even looks like they’re from the Middle East, just like Rudy Giuliani does.

    And Bush supporters actually do deserve to get cancer, because they’re criminal bastards at this point. Sure, I could pretend I’d feel badly if Dick Cheney had a heart attack, but I really wouldn’t. Get my drift?

  17. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    As for the latest anonymous claims that I’m some sort of socialist who wants a nanny state, it’s the conservative Bush-suckers in this country who live in total fear who are throwing away our rights and want to be babied by Big Brother. These worthless nitwits don’t even blink when they hear about some poor woman being forced to drink her own breast milk at an airport – NATIONAL SECURITY demands it!!!

    Morons. Trillions of dollars to murder people halfway around the world who are no threat to us, but poor kids can die because giving them health care would be “socialist.” Sheesh. What do you call the lost billions given to corporations to waste in Iraq?

  18. Ted Rall Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen: I play rough and I enjoy a spirited discussion. But let’s keep the name-calling to a minimum. It’s been a while since I said this here, so I’ll reiterate that I delete comments that don’t add to the debate.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    moelarryandjesus,

    When Ted Rall (a man who said Reagan is “turning crispy brown”) has to admonish you for being too aggressive, it confirms you are a typical hate-filled liberal.

    You couldn’t possibly be more hateful than if you were Ted himself.

  20. Ted Rall Says:

    Anonymous:
    I was talking about you too. Calling people who disagree with you “hateful” isn’t constructive debate. It’s a form of name-calling.

  21. angelo Says:

    to all anonymice, make up a name instead.

  22. angelo Says:

    To Ohio Moderate and all of the anonymice:

    Socialized medicine costs less per person. read this and weap.

    I find it very telling that none of you have tried to challenge this point. Come on. Don’t just let me push you around. Stand up to me. Come back at me with some facts. Humiliate me and make me eat my words.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    angelo,

    You haven’t read my point: it’s a matter of principle. Ok? My belief is that it is dangerous to allow liberals to make a beachhead with “socialized medicine”. Go ahead and recite your facts. This isn’t Canada, it isn’t Sweden. It’s America, and it’s a brutal competition. For there to be winners there must be losers.

  24. ohiomoderate Says:

    Angelo,

    You may be right: it may cost less per person.

    But then again, do you really want the government in control of your health?

    Let’s not talk about waiting in lines or anything that’s been hashed ad nauseum before. Having someone else in charge of your choices concerning your body is never a good thing.

    What if, in some near-future scenario, a state funded goverment health system decides if you can or can’t: smoke, drink, eat fatty foods, engage in certain sexual practices, have body art,have children ( or abortions) or any number of other things Americans should be able to CHOOSE for themselves.

    It fascinates me that people who fight so passionately for abortion, same sex marriage, and freedom of speech ( all choices that should be free) are so willing to give up control of your bodies to Big Brother.

    Some might say that this would never happen, that a goverment sponsered would be respectful of choices, or limit it’s powers. I’m not so optimistic.

    Tell me the goverment would never butt into the choices you make with your body and I’m 100% behind you, Angelo.

  25. ohiomoderate Says:

    The opposite side of the coin as well: if I lived in a socialized medical system I would resent those who didn’t take care of them selves.

    “Why should I have to pay to treat the 400 pound ,chain smokers lung cancer and diabetes?”

    Been to Wal-Mart lately? Lots’o 400 pounders walking around…..

  26. angelo Says:

    anonymous (I’m just gonna call you Stacy), when you talk like that, it becomes clear that you have not even evaluated the arguments on your own side of the issue.

    “It’s America, and it’s a brutal competition. For there to be winners there must be losers.”

    You are probably just trying to get a rise out of blog commenters, who take themselves too seriously.
    What a waste.

    Still, no response to the fact that socialized medicine is cheaper and better than our system.

    Ohio, there is no debate, man. Our system loses against almost any real country’s system.

  27. John Says:

    Anglo’s right. The facts are that the US system is generally ineffective and incredibly expensive. It is reality and we really should look at other systems in the world to see what is wrong here. I’ll attempt to start a meaningful debate looking at a few key facts.

    Comparing effectiveness of healthcare systems is tough. A lot of socialogical issues affect life expectancies and health, so a common rule of thumb is to look at infant mortality rates. Infants cannot make any decisions about their heathcare, and tend to be much more reliant on the system than older people are. I did some data searching a couple of years ago, and the US was #26 in the world at 5.8/1000, just behind Cuba which was 5.7/1000 at the time. (Don’t quote me on the exact numbers, I’m doing this from memory, though the relative position behind Cuba is accurate. I couldn’t quickly find the latest data, since the UN website where I got the statistics rounds the data to the nearest person now. Cuba and the US show the same rate in the 2005 tables because of this.) Anyways, we lag behind Western Europe and Japan in this key indicator of healthcare effectiveness. The UNICEF data does still show this. Check it out for yourself.

    One thing that this blog shows (other than a general lack of civility between different sides of debates in the US these days), is that Americans tend to ignore facts when debating issues like healthcare, especially where we could learn from other countries. I myself have lived in Japan and Germany–Germany having socialized medicine and Japan having a variant of our system. In all honesty, both systems provided better healthcare than our system in my opinion. Germany has the “evil” socialized system that supposedly makes you wait in line for need care. (I never experienced a wait longer than here. They were usually shorter waits with honestly more effective care.) Japan has a private system much like our own with one key difference–price control. Most countries understand that heathcare shows an extreme inelasticity of price. Economic textbooks usually use insulin as an example of an extremely inelastic price response with respect to demand.

    Medical licensing and the power of the AMA having been given legal authority to deny other groups from practicing medicine (if you do not have an licence approved by the medical board, you cannot use such words as “cure” and “diagnose”. You can be thrown in jail for using them.) This monopolistic control without an artificial price control creates extreme form of a monopoly– one that can set its own price and control who practices with the power of law behind their decisions. Our system makes an inelastic demand curve even more inelastic.

    Any supply side economics person (such as myself or anyone who calls themselves a conservative) knows that monopolies tend to produce higher priced products with lower quality. It looks like that is what we have in the US–a high price for medical care at an overall lower quality. Some data for lower quality was shown above. The data again shows the reason for higher price. At forbes.com (a really liberal publication), the top 8 paying positions on the “highest paying jobs” list are different types of medical doctors. Number 9 was CEO’s. Woudn’t that be the real reason for the high cost of healthcare in the US? (Not lawyers or the high cost of malpractice insurance. Mr. Rall had an excellent article looking at the facts of the real cost of malpractice insurance a while back.) That is why I think the Japanese have strict price controls on their doctors. They understand the dangers of price inelasticity in monopolistic situations. (BTW, they do have the highest lifespan and at 3/1000 are in the group of countries with the lowest infant mortality rates. The US’s numbers are not as good for either.)

    It will take some significant changes to fix the healthcare problem. It could be socialized medicine like Germany. It could be price controls like Japan. It could be a more market-oriented approach like allowing other groups of practicioners to be on even footing with the current medical establishment to create serious competition. This has worked in the US before. Anyone remember the stink put up by some doctors when paramedics first started practicing? These doctors claimed that paramedics weren’t “licenced doctors” and would provide “bad care.” Obviously, paramedics are not quacks, and the medical services they provide w/o being MDs or DOs are quite valuable and excellent. I think it was Milton Friedman brought this point out in one of his books.

    The facts are is our system is excessively expensive, and the data does not show it to be particularly effective. Instead of resorting to namecalling (i.e. liberal, socialist, neocon, etc.) or a form of jingoism (our system is the best because we are the US), wouldn’t it be prudent to accept the system is in serious trouble, probably not viable for the long term, and to work together to come up with a solution?

  28. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    ohiomoderate doesn’t want the government in charge of health care – he wants to keep HMOs and insurance companies in charge. He wants the same deteriorating, cost-spiraling system we have in place now to remain in place.

    Well, that’s just swell. That it’s a recipe for disaster doesn’t seem to matter.

    Governments don’t HAVE to be run by fuck-ups, despite the evidence of the Bushpig administration. Repeating crap about the US “having the best healthcare system in the world” doesn’t make it so, which is also the point of the original cartoon.

    Every other advanced industrial western nation has moved to universal health care. Most of them are healthier than we are. If ohiomoderates or ohioliberals have a better idea, let’s hear it. But please, no more bushit.

  29. ohiomoderate Says:

    John,

    A very reasonable argument. Bravo!

  30. ohiomoderate Says:

    Sigh…..obviously if you have a different point of view, you are a stooge of the corporate masters. This is a debate that would affect all Americans, left, right, center–surely other viewpoints should be welcome and not discouraged?

    I don’t advocate the current sytem. God knows I pay enough each month for insurance.

    However, the US has a peculiar quality of going overboard on just about everything. What civil rights will be lost when the Government has complete and total access to your medical records? Talk about Big Brother! Or perhaps, Big Doctor?

    Give the government power and they will use that power. There are obvious positive qualities and there will be numerous negative qualities that will worm their way to the surface.

    Also, does anyone care to postulate if a change to a socialized health care system will create a two-tiered system: the free one for the masses and the alternate one for the rich ( i.e. the one where people are paid well for their work). Where do you think the best doctors, researchers, and administrators would go?

    Again, a free system would be lovely but let’s work the kinks out before we switch to it.

  31. angelo Says:

    John,
    It seems to me that it is not about conceiving a system that works, because that has been done to death in many places. The same can be said of education and virtually all of the basics of running a country. I think it is, rather, a matter of removing obstacles to progress. After that, it will be a more trivial affair.

    The whole world continues to cut and paste from our 1950’s and 60’s space program. Japan and Russia copied the space shuttle to an embarassing extent. But thats what you do when you want something to work. You start with a working system. You don’t re-invent the wheel. But getting back to removing obstacles…

    More than half of a congressperson’s time and effort is spent trying to keep their seat. This has many bad consequences. Here are a few:
    1.)Unable to spend time consulting experts and researching solutions, problems like poor healthcare and education go on and on.
    2.)Individuals with alot of money pay lobbyists to push lawmakers to do things their way.
    3.)Individuals with alot of money contribute to those who do things their way irrespective of constituents at large.
    4.)Individuals with alot of money pay to get unsympathetic lawmakers out of office.

    This is a design flaw. In an attempt to hamper tyranny through institutionalized inefficiency, the constitution actually calls for this perverse incentive structure.

    If the whole point of the USA was to be an improvement over old Europe,
    and European countries beat us in all of the categories that count, then the US must be a miserable, unmitigated failure of a country.

    Even taking a totally hobsian view on countries, we can say that the ultimate measure of a country’s success is the welfare of its people. It does not matter how much ass we kick in other categories.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    I still haven’t seen ohiomoderate’s idea for an alternative to a national health plan – just some paranoid bullshit about how terrible it would be if the gubmint had access to “yer recuds.”

    What sort of moron thinks they don’t already have that access?

    It’s not a serious objection to universal coverage. It’s just stupid.

  33. ohiomoderate Says:

    An alternative plan? I’m no policy expert but how about one where you don’t have to pay for other people’s bad habits?

    I’d love to see other plans—bring them on! Surely there must be a middle ground between no insurance and socialized insurance? Everyone is for health care for children but do you want to have to pay for some guy’s gastric bypass surgery?

    It’s also interesting that so many people on this site have expressed paranoid viewpoints on the Bush administration and the “guvment” ala the Patriot Act. Why shouldn’t there be legit reasons to distrust our soon-to-be medical overlords as well? Would coverage change for different procedures under different administrations? No abortions when the Reps have power? Abortions for all when the Dems have the saddle?

    When the government gets powers it uses them. Cases in point: the Patriot Act and torture.

    Also—why the characterize me as a hillbilly? Id much rather prefer an extremely paranoid, compound-dwelling, militia guy, holed up in some fortress in Montana with five hundred RPG’s. See? No effort and a complete character is created!! Please be slightly more creative with the presumptions in the future. I expect more from the readers of this site! Even the anonymous ones….

  34. John Says:

    Angelo,

    You have made some more intelligent points, though I was trying to make the point that our system does not work well, especially for the price, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at systems that work better, copy them within a framework that would work taking into account this country’s–for lack of a better word–paranoia about government. The last anonymous comment brings that out. Maybe I was trying to get people to think w/o activating that distrust of other countries or activate that steak of gingoism that many people in the US tend to show when someone suggests that things are done better in another country. (As an aside, I believe this is from lack of experience with different cultures and societies. I saw the same tendancies with people in Japan who were unfamiliar with foreign cultures.)

    I probably recognize the failings of our medical system more than most. Maybe this is because I have seen things being done in a better way in other countries. I also know people who work in the system, so I know second hand (and sometimes firsthand with friends and family) of the serious problems with the US system. One detail I will state: I do vote with my feet. I do leave the country (Yes, I have full medical insurance) when I need specific treatments. I have found that I can get better care outside the country than within it. I do pay for it out of pocket, but it is really better care (and nowhere near as expensive as paying for it would be in the US, so it is possible for me to to this). Unfortuately, many do not have the money to take this option. Also, even fewer have the expertise to make these desicions on their own. (Fortunately I do have enough related training to make informed desisions myself.) It would also be nice to be able to fully utilize the insurance I have and not pay for care out of pocket.

    Angelo, you may also be alluding that you think that the current system will have to collapse before anything significant is done. I could not argue against that–if that is part of what you are saying. You have a high probability of being right.

    “. . . Man has dominated man to his injury,” Ecclesiastes 9:11. Solomon had it right over 2000 years ago. It is partially an issue of government, but what will fix government seeing that issues with government has been around for thousands of years? Maybe the US’s paranoia about government is justified. Though, other countries have managed to have viable, operating healthcare systems. I believe this problem is fixable. These are tough calls.

    To get back on subject: there are medical systems in place in this world that do do a better job of providing more effective healthcare, significantly cheaper than the way the US does. Implementing sigificant change will have to come from more than just the government. The last attempt to do that by Ms Clinton had people’s paranoia activated (with help from commercials funded by the current medical establishment) about having government manage healthcare. That paranoiac response would probably happen again w/o a total collapse of the system. Then a “New Deal” form of healthcare would be hoisted on everybody. No one would be satisfied. (I might end up getting routine checkups outside the country!) There are other options available–a couple were suggested in my last comment. It will take a lot of will to fix this system before the probable collapse.

    There is one concept weaved through many of these comment that I would like to dispel: higher price = better care. Another incorrect subordinate concept is more procedures = better care. If that was the case, then people in the US would live longer and have better health than anyone else in the world. (We have the most expensive healthcare system and we tend to get more treatment than other countries.) To quote the Hippocratic oath: “do no harm.” Sometimes less is better. That is why some top hospitals in this country are adopting salary instead of pay for procedure payment schemes for doctors. It is very hard for anyone to suggest doing less when you are paid for doing more. It makes economic sense to remove the incentive for overtreatment. That in itself will lower costs while improving people’s health. You will still have people demanding treatment when it is pointless, even harmful (Think about people demanding antibiotics when they have the flu. This happens with surgery also.). At least this would not reward practioners for giving into unreasonable patient demands.

    I have myself refused treatment suggested by doctors, having them feeling relieved afterwards. Sometimes hospital policy is to do all of the tests, whether the physician thinks that this is the best thing for you or not. Sometimes when a doctor gives you an option not to do something (they will state “hospital policy requires me to do procedure or test x” or something like that), he is implying that he thinks that you really do not need it, and the risks probably outweigh the benefits. He is just not allowed to not do the procedure unless you refuse. That is an opening to have a frank discussion becuase you are now questioning why this is being done. You can then have a discussion on the merits and risks of the procedure suggested. It frees him because of the “Patients Bill of Rights” practiced most places that allows you to make your own decisions about treatment whether or not you agree with the attending physician. Remember more is not necessarily better, and many medical procedures have their own set of risks involved. Question, ask, be informed. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own health.

  35. angelo Says:

    ohio is not a moron. He is committing the “fallacy of the golden mean”. I learned about it way back in debate class.
    It happens when you assume that the middle position is always the most correct.

    It is a fallacy because if Hitler had only killed 3 million instead of 6 million, it would have still sucked more than if he killed zero.

    the middle ground is neither.

  36. John Says:

    Angelo,

    Debate class? No wonder your comments make sense.

    It’s been fun to read this blog once the namecalling stopped. Keep it up!

    I haven’t been in formal debates since high school.

    Thanks for your input.

  37. Angelo Says:

    I wonder if this is a valid argument in any debate:

    The problem with implementing your proposal is that idiots will stop it from happening. So, it is not practical for us to even try, even though the facts show that it is the best option.

    The fact of the matter is that people like us, and politicians should have NO say in the matter. We need to hire experts from a country who has mastered this, to implement it here.

    If Americans are too xenophobic to accept this, then they deserve to die early, and lose their babies.

  38. John Says:

    So, your comment proves Ec 9:11 again. It was said that Solomon was the wisest person who ever lived.

    Maybe not xenophobic, jingoistic yes–though you are correct in that a portion of xenophobica is necessary for jingoism. One has to have some xenophobia to come to the crazy conclusion that all good ideas come from your part of the world, from your particular people.

    It is just a pity that you need an excessively high level of intelligence, scientific training + intuitive understanding on how the scientific method can be twisted to come to a desired conclusion, and the economics behind using twisted desisions.

    As you can probably tell, I worked as a scientist for almost 20 years. I have patented inventions. One of my expertise was the biological protection of polymeric films, so it is relatively esay for me to translate medical lingo into a form I can understand.

    Unforutately, some the conclusions given by doctors in this country are obivously derived to sell care. Let me give you an example.

    I used to work with someone (PhD who I used as a consultant to help me figure out ways to protect polymers from biodegredation) who used to run the lab. at one of the world famous hospitals. We were having a discussion about statins and how I think that the levels set for high chloresterol were too low in this country. They were 200 mg/dl at the time, and they were talking about lowering them to 180. My level is 240, and has stayed at that level my whole life. From living in Germany, I knew that high levels started at 240 there. We were disccussing this, and she made her argument that lower is better (a very American attitude–I nicknamed it the SUV Attitude). I knew she ran the lab at this hosipital. I asked her what was the mean, median, and standard deviation of the numbers from the testing you did there. She told me that the mean and median were about 240. (I forget what the stand. dev. was, I think it was about 25.) I then asked her what a normal level for chloresterol should be. She looked at me, and said 240. She told me never thought of it that way. Lowering the acceptable number to 180 would place about 90% (assuming my std. dev. number is correct) of the population in the “high chloresterol” or “sick” part of the population. That makes for a lot of sales. Plus, statins work by turning off a portion of the liver that produces chlorosterol. How many people have had an in depth discussion with their doctors on the dangers of that? That should always be done no matter what form of treatment is being suggested. If the doctor won’t have a meaningful discussion, find another.

    That is the problem with one group of people providing, regulating, providing information on, and charging for something. Abuse will occur without some form of checks and balances. It could be socialized medicine, removing the financial incentive for overtreating, it could be opening up the market to true competition. Unfortuately Angelo, there is a serious lack of opposing views allowed in the US about medical care. That is really the problem, esp. when you see intelligent people like my friend lack the experience (my knowing “high levels” outside the US) to question something that just is accepted as “truth,” which in this case is the lower the chloresterol, the better your health. Again, 99% of the population was less knowledgeable about this than she (I include myself in that number), yet she didn’t consider questioning that number.

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