Health-Care Cost Reduction Plan: Refuse Treatment

Health-care industry trade groups seem to have noticed, finally, that making nice with the president on reform might prevent them from being completely obliterated by President Obama's Exciting Socialized Medicine Scheme.

Key players have volunteered to reduce the rate of cost increases by a princely 1.5 percent per year. This could actually equate to big savings over the next decade -- up to 2 trillion dollars! So of course that will never happen, but now President Obama has a letter from various industry groups saying they'll "try" to do this hypothetical thing and he can use it to shame them when they inevitably fail.

So that's what the big-time lobbying groups are up to. But you might be wondering what you, the individual citizen, can do to bring down the cost of health care.

Here's a cheap, simple solution: just don't go to the doctor. And when you do go with, say, a mangled face and a concussion, or maybe an infected kidney stone, just walk out of the office before they have a chance to treat you. It's horribly painful, but oh well!

Even as rising unemployment strips people of health insurance, sending many to emergency departments for care, doctors on the front lines say the lingering recession is also prompting an unexpected outcome.

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More patients, they say, are refusing potentially costly procedures ranging from tests to confirm heart attacks to overnight stays to monitor dangerous infections.

Ah yes but America has the best health care system in the world! The evidence is the massive numbers of people fleeing emergency rooms around the country because their fear of bankruptcy just slightly exceeds their fear of dying from untreated medical conditions. When you've got a system like this, why on earth would you change a thing?

Medical industry analyst and hovercraft salesperson Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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