New answers tagged

1

Also, almost the entire population of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has been tested (3,063 PCR tests for the 3,711 passengers and crew). This actually provided a way to calibrate the "death rate" (technical term: case fatality rate, CFR) in other countries/regions. (For the Princess, the CFR was 1%.) Additionally, the Princess has provided us with an ...


3

Iceland has come close Since their first cases in late February, Iceland has provided free COVID-19 testing to anyone with no requirements for symptoms and travel. So far (as of 4/1), they've tested >5% of the population. While this is not a fully random sampling, since asymptomatic people still have to opt-in, but it provides a much better sampling of the ...


6

In many "poorer non-first world countries" it's going to be very challenging. People often need to work every day in order to "eat" the next day, which prohibits social distancing measures. They have a problem with the availability of sanitation - for hand cleaning. The density of the population in some of these countries is also very significant, which can ...


12

To delve a bit into philosophy here, Trump demonstrates a distorted form of what Nietzsche called 'master morality,' which might seem alien to most people. Nietzsche's master morality values strength, power, beauty, victory, wealth: all the material/physical symbols of practical success are interpreted as moral goods, and all their opposites or lacks are ...


45

Trump is weighing the economy vs lives saved. That is his job No leader wants to be in the position Trump is in. For instance, it has been stated that Winston Churchill knew in advance of a bombing raid on Coventry but chose to take no action. Ignoring the controversy over the assertion, this comment at the end is apropos "But even if Churchill had known ...


0

I have now been through more than one week of "social distancing" in Toronto. And, Canada has not slowed that you would notice. Still a doubling time of pretty much 4 days. If we are going to slow this thing, we are going to need to be a lot more active about it. There is one simple thing that might have been done that would have made a difference. ...


101

I can't speak for Rebecca's judgement in interpreting those words of Trump, but for instance a NYT article says: “Our people want to return to work,” Mr. Trump declared Tuesday on Twitter, adding, “THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” In essence, he was raising an issue that economists have long grappled with: How can a society assess ...


3

"From the helicopter" there is now a more general claim (e.g. in the following McKinsey slide) that Western countries are trying to emulate China and/or South Korea's response: The devil might be in the details, of course. Getting to the details might be too involved/broad in a question like this, not specific to a pair of countries. There's for example a ...


1

It's an interesting question, and one that I hope we (Canada) will answer in the affirmative. Short term, in an emergency context like this, I think notion of privacy is turned around a bit: a sick person, unless at home, should have no expectation to keep their status private, quite the opposite. And, once recovered, that previously sick person could ...


1

No, because in the US (and Western democracies in general) patient privacy is very important and the kind of surveillance that the Chinese/South Korean/Singaporean model involves would be politically impossible. See source: There is something fascinating about reading Singapore’s government-supplied coronavirus outbreak information. The data is organized ...


3

According to the www.imperial.co.uk Coronavirus would infect 80% of US citizens and kill about 4 million if no action is taken at all. Does that answer it?


9

The small Italian town of Vò has tested and retested its entire population. Through testing and retesting of all 3,300 inhabitants of the town of Vò, near Venice, regardless of whether they were exhibiting symptoms, and rigorous quarantining of their contacts once infection was confirmed, health authorities have been able to completely stop the spread of ...


6

The Dutch have begun a project to test donated blood for the antibodies to SARS-COV-2. (sources: Reuters, NLtimes) The motivation for this project seems to be similar to that in your discussion. The blood antibody test is different than the swab tests, however. The swab PCR tests seem to be designed for patients who have a significant probability of having ...


1

The Health and Human Services(HHS) Secretary can make that determination in conjunction with the CDC. From the CDC website Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries ...


14

It's a balancing act. You want to save as many people from the virus as possible, but you also don't want to disrupt the economy any more than you need to. This isn't just people being greedy either, many people living paycheck to paycheck cannot handle a recession. Some of these people will, after losing everything, commit suicide. Others will turn to ...


5

Federal The CDC, under the Health and Human Services Secretary, has some authorization to do quarantines (emphasis mine) Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries ...


2

Because you would potentially destroy some businesses Understand that minor and temporary inconveniences can be absorbed by the market, but if those distortions last for long periods of time, they can carry serious consequences. For instance, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is offering full refunds through the end of July Effective March 6, 2020, the new ...


3

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment held a small random sample test among hospital staff in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant. Outcome indicated that about 4% of staff was infected with COVID-19. From 6 to 8 March 1097 hospital workers were tested of which 3.9 per cent was indeed infected with COVID-19. The percentages ...


36

Shutting down schools, banning large gatherings and pushing people to do home office has a massive economic cost. Of course you never get the exact numbers on either death or cost but essentially you have to answer questions like: How many death does one need to prevent to make a 10% reduction of annual GDP worth it? This is a complicated ethical question ...


66

Specifically with reference to the UK, an article in the Guardian reports that Experts have warned about the risk that if tough measures are taken too soon, “fatigue” may set in, prompting the public to disregard the advice just as the virus reaches its peak. Effectively the argument is that, absent some sort of enforcement squad if people are told to ...


2

Like any alert system, this is the highest level of alert they can issue. What does this exactly mean, however? That's not as clear In some ways, declaring a pandemic is more art than science. “Pandemics mean different things to different people,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in February. “It really ...


5

Very little, practically speaking. From the WHO: "Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this #coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do"- @DrTedros As discussed in this Q&A, the definition of "pandemic" is fairly arbitrary. It does ...


6

I am unable to find any instances of random samples for Covid-19 tests being drawn from the general population (at the time of writing, see other answers for more recent developments). Current random test samples seem to have been drawn from populations most likely to be infected with the virus, such as healthcare professionals or those who have recently ...


0

I can certainly understand where my own health insurance is concerned because with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), my health insurance premiums tripled in size the first year it took effect. Yes, there was a subsidy in place to help compensate for my expenses, but it still means that more money entered the health care marketplace courtesy of ...


0

In 2018 Kevin Drum proposed this graph which shows the percentage of US population uninsured from 2010 to 2018:


0

Two quick things. I think health is going through two transition phases, one is baby boomers are placing huge demands on the sector and also companies are trying to maximise their profits for new drugs and devices while they can. Three hundred years from now drugs and medical equipment will be so commonplace you may have an MRI in your home


4

In addition to CDJB's answer, there's an extra reason to delay, delay, delay. During the SARS outbreak I read, I believe it was John Barry's 1918 Influenza book. A good read, on a number of levels, including the laborious birth of non-quack Western medicine. He made the point that the influenza became progressively less lethal. I.e. you had better chance ...


17

While it has clearly been shown by the virility of the virus so far that travel restrictions will not stop the inevitable community spread of the illness, and that their effectiveness as impeding the spread of the virus is small, the aim of the policy is no longer to stop the virus, but to delay it. This was confirmed as current policy in the UK's response ...


6

Because health insurance is intentionally designed to subvert market forces. Competition of the sort that tends to lower prices requires meaningful consumer choices and accurate consumer knowledge. Health insurance subverts choice by coercing consumers into group policies tied to their employment, and restricting which providers the consumer can use and how ...


-4

A general reality is that under bad management, costs will always rise to meet or exceed the resources allocated. Pumping money into poor management only incentivizes and grows the bad management. If your toaster oven is worth about $20 and you have a buyer at that price, but you can sell it to the government for $40 (half the price being taxpayer-subsidized)...


9

Let me answer the question at the end, which is really simple. How do existing nationalized healthcare systems seek to mitigate this issue? In most countries where healthcare is universal and free-to consumer (i.e. they don't specifically make payments for individual treatments) the funding comes from mandatory contributions, usually levied on employers ...


10

removing the ability of private health insurance companies to compete will give rise to a natural monopoly in the industry, leading to an overall increased cost to the taxpayer. Emphasis mine - and this is where the free-market assumption is utterly wrong. Private health insurance, private hospitals, and private everything has one focus in mind. Return on ...


-3

The price of healthcare has about quintupled since 1970. That's after adjusting for inflation. We can speculate on why, but the question of the healthcare debate in the United States, maybe the only question, is how to distribute those losses. And distribute them we must: neither the market nor the electorate (which are really the same thing in the end, ...


8

The premiums are there to cover the cost of drugs, hospital prescription drugs, reagents and lab testing compounds, and hospital machinery, mainly. US pharma companies invest a great amount of their funds into stock buyback, purchasing their own shares to satisfy investors and pay corporate exec bonuses. https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/...


-9

The wrong question is being asked. For starters, the term, "Universal health care" is a misnomer and is not what proponents of socialized medicine have in mind. What the OP is really asking about is why a totally government-run healthcare system is inferior to a totally free-market healthcare system. What you'll find by studying the US healthcare system is ...


8

Maybe I read too fast, but I didn’t see this. After working ten years for a large non-profit health care system, much of that in the financial department, it is my unproven opinion that part of it is because the insurance companies make contracts with doctors to accept certain amounts, and there’s a limit to how low a doctor will go before refusing the ...


18

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Many factors impact prices. Competition doesn't necessarily mean that prices will be lower year-over-year. Competition means that prices will be lower than they would be if there was no competition. If prices went up by 5% but they would have gone up by 8% in a non-competitive environment, then competition ...


98

How free is the US health care market really? The reason that free competition has not made health care in the US cheaper is that free competition has in fact been severely restricted for decades. As described in this article, regulation of the health care industry has been continuously expanded (decreasing the supply of drugs, doctors, etc.), while ...


13

Because that's not how insurance works Insurance is about risk management. When private companies enter this arena, their number one goal is to make a profit. They have to figure out how much a person should pay over time, estimate how much they'll have to pay out, and still come out with a profit margin. It's all probabilities. If you're paying $200 a ...


2

Fundamentally, because the insurance companies don't set the prices of medical care. Sure, they can bargain, and often get price reductions, but there are limits to that. Doctors & hospitals need to cover operating costs, drug & medical equipment makers aren't interested in selling below cost, &c. As for why medical costs (and hence insurance ...


39

I place the blame on the fees charged by drug makers, doctors, nurses, and hospitals. The market for healthcare does not have the "supply and demand" dynamic. Patients just have to "pay-up". After a cycling accident fractured my clavicle, I didn't call 3 or 4 EMT services for price quotes. Someone else had to dial 911, the EMTs took me away to the ER ...


144

What the other answers fail to address is a fundamental flaw in capitalism for certain types of business: Your average human places their continued survival above all other priorities. This concept is called 'inelastic demand'. In order for supply and demand to work properly, both entities need to be free to disengage and seek other options. But when one'...


4

Some parts that has not been mentioned yet. Part of the evil cycle is that the "price" to become a doctor in the US is much higher than elsewhere. Then there is the lack of transparency. You cannot get a price for something like a childbirth. (If you can prove it is coordinated it would be illegal) But I really don't understand why a big employer like ...


12

In my experience, when the affordable care act came out the first year there were quite a few choices in my city so you could shop and compare. By the second year there were fewer choices and then I moved from northern VA to central VA, just 80 miles away and my insurance didn't work anymore and now there were less choices and completely different. What I ...


6

The most logical thing is Supply and demand. Healthcare has a high demand due to it being pretty much mandatory due to the consequences of nothing it being disastrous. This in contrary to many other products/services on the market. (there is for example no downside to not going to a movie theater or not buying a new tv) A practical example that i ...


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