Why Medicare Is the Solution — Not the Problem

Why Medicare Is the Solution — Not the Problem

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Not only is Social Security on the chopping block in order to respond to Republican extortion. So is Medicare.

But Medicare isn’t the nation’s budgetary problems. It’s the solution. The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.

Let me explain.

Americans spend more on health care per person than any other advanced nation and get less for our money. Yearly public and private healthcare spending is $7,538 per person. That’s almost two and a half times the average of other advanced nations.

Yet the typical American lives 77.9 years – less than the average 79.4 years in other advanced nations. And we have the highest rate of infant mortality of all advanced nations.

Medical costs are soaring because our health-care system is totally screwed up. Doctors and hospitals have every incentive to spend on unnecessary tests, drugs, and procedures.

You have lower back pain? Almost 95% of such cases are best relieved through physical therapy. But doctors and hospitals routinely do expensive MRI’s, and then refer patients to orthopedic surgeons who often do even more costly surgery. Why? There’s not much money in physical therapy.

Your diabetes, asthma, or heart condition is acting up? If you go to the hospital, 20 percent of the time you’re back there within a month. You wouldn’t be nearly as likely to return if a nurse visited you at home to make sure you were taking your medications. This is common practice in other advanced countries. So why don’t nurses do home visits to Americans with acute conditions? Hospitals aren’t paid for it.

America spends $30 billion a year fixing medical errors – the worst rate among advanced countries. Why? Among other reasons because we keep patient records on computers that can’t share the data. Patient records are continuously re-written on pieces of paper, and then re-entered into different computers. That spells error.

Meanwhile, administrative costs eat up 15 to 30 percent of all healthcare spending in the United States. That’s twice the rate of most other advanced nations. Where does this money go? Mainly into collecting money: Doctors collect from hospitals and insurers, hospitals collect from insurers, insurers collect from companies or from policy holders.

A major occupational category at most hospitals is “billing clerk.” A third of nursing hours are devoted to documenting what’s happened so insurers have proof.

Trying to slow the rise in Medicare costs doesn’t deal with any of this. It will just limit the amounts seniors can spend, which means less care. As a practical matter it means more political battles, as seniors – whose clout will grow as boomers are added to the ranks – demand the limits be increased. (If you thought the demagoguery over “death panels” was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.)

Paul Ryan’s plan – to give seniors vouchers they can cash in with private for-profit insurers — would be even worse. It would funnel money into the hands of for-profit insurers, whose administrative costs are far higher than Medicare.

So what’s the answer? For starters, allow anyone at any age to join Medicare. Medicare’s administrative costs are in the range of 3 percent. That’s well below the 5 to 10 percent costs borne by large companies that self-insure. It’s even further below the administrative costs of companies in the small-group market (amounting to 25 to 27 percent of premiums). And it’s way, way lower than the administrative costs of individual insurance (40 percent). It’s even far below the 11 percent costs of private plans under Medicare Advantage, the current private-insurance option under Medicare.

In addition, allow Medicare – and its poor cousin Medicaid – to use their huge bargaining leverage to negotiate lower rates with hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies. This would help move health care from a fee-for-the-most-costly-service system into one designed to get the highest-quality outcomes most cheaply.

Estimates of how much would be saved by extending Medicare to cover the entire population range from $58 billion to $400 billion a year. More Americans would get quality health care, and the long-term budget crisis would be sharply reduced.

Let me say it again: Medicare isn’t the problem. It’s the solution.

[This is drawn from a post I did in April, also before current imboglio]

Robert Reich served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Labor under President William Jefferson Clinton from 1992 to 1997. He shares many of his thoughts and columns at Robert Reich, where this post first appeared.

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84 Comments on "Why Medicare Is the Solution — Not the Problem"


Guest
Jul 25, 2014

Good post. I definitely love this site. Thanks!

Guest

Very Informative. Looking forward to reading more.
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Guest
Barry Carol
Jul 25, 2011

Peter and Nate –

I don’t think Greece is a relevant comparison for anything we are discussing. According to a colleague who is married to a Greek and travels there with some regularity to visit family, the Greek economy consists mainly of a large government sector, agriculture and tourism. The remaining private sector is tiny and tax evasion is an art form. Moreover, according to my colleague, if things go wrong economically in Italy, Portugal, Spain or Ireland, they will say “we screwed up.” In Greece, by contrast, it’s never their fault.

Guest
Dr. Mike
Jul 25, 2011

At least here patients don’t have to bribe the doctors like they do in Japan and eastern Europe

At least here patients don’t have to wait up to a year to get a CABG like they do in Canada where the father of one of my physician friends nearly died waiting for his.

At least here if you have cancer on your colonoscopy you get surgery in less than a couple of weeks, unlike Australia where my mother in law just died because it took them 6 months. Oh and the bronchoscopy missed the biopsy of the 7cm pulmonary lesion and the family wasn’t told she had widely metastatic colon cancer until a few weeks ago, even though the symptoms have been present for months….

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steve
Jul 25, 2011

We really should not resort to anecdotal evidence. There are plenty of horror stories about US care. If you want some, I have plenty.

Steve

Guest
Barry Carol
Jul 25, 2011

“OECD statistics show that when you look at “whites only” the U.S. ranks 19th among 28 OECD countries for maternal mortality. How do you explain this?”

Maggie –

I think the most likely answer is the greater incidence of poverty in the U.S. Just because a woman is white doesn’t mean she’s rich or middle class. As you well know, there are plenty of poor white people in America. As I understand it, the TANF segment of Medicaid pays for 40% of all births in the U.S. Presumably, a significant percentage of those are to white women.

Even if a poor person has access to the finest prenatal care anywhere, she may continue to smoke, eat unhealthy food and not fully comply with prescription drug regimens. Personal behavior counts for a lot when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.

Another possible explanation might be the increasing number of women well into their 30’s and early 40’s trying to have babies as compared to other countries. Risks are far higher at those ages than for women in their 20’s.

Poverty and inequality are separate issues from the quality of our healthcare system. Many of the Western European countries and Canada made a conscious decision to pay for a more robust social safety net and less income inequality with higher taxes, lower long term economic growth and less economic opportunity. Long term in this context means since about 1970.

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Peter
Jul 25, 2011

Maggie,

The only reason you are upset with this blog is because people call you out. You come across as a know it all every time you speak. No one likes a know it all. Go back to your own blog, please.

Guest
Peter
Jul 25, 2011

“In Greece they pay a very high % of a very small amount and thus all the cheating”

Yea, it’s onerous(that’s sarcasm), especially given the social services they get(got), especially pensions and health care.

“The Greek public sector spends about EUR13 billion on health each year, or 5.8% of gross domestic product. If private health expenditure is also counted then the amount jumps to EUR25 billion,(10% GDP)” said Dimitris Maroulis, senior economist at Alpha Bank.

http://www.worldwide-tax.com/greece/greece_tax.asp

“Tax evasion, endemic among Greece’s wealthy middle classes, meant that the Government’s tax revenues were not coming in fast enough to fund its outgoings.”

“Maybe Greece needed to wake and accept that two homes, regular holidays, private tuition for the kids, and meals out every other day must now stop.”

U.S. rates:
http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

this whole greece tax thing got me thinking, how can people claim US spends twice as much on healthcare if you can’t even measure GDP accurately?

If people are paying doctors under the table and doctors aren’t reporting the income then all those % of GDP numbers are meaningless.

Came across this interesting tidbit reseraching;

“According to estimates provided by experts of the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network, between three and ten percent of the healthcare budgets throughout Europe are lost because of fraud and corruption. This translates into billions of Euro in Germany”“, says Anke Martiny, member of the board of directors of Transparency International Germany, during the presentation of the updated edition of the policy paper “Transparenzmängel, Korruption und Bertrug im deutschen Gesundheitswesen. Kontrolle und Prävention als gesellschaftliche Aufgabe”.”

Medicare is on the high side of fraud and waste, at least its not twice as bad? Actually I guess that means our criminals are slacking and should be doing better?

“Today an employee is expected to pay 14% of their annual income to healthcare. The burden is also shared with the employer who usually covers up to half of the cost. The employee contribution is approximately 6.5% of their salary after the employer pays their share.”

If our public employee unions we all forced to pay this much we could save billions

Guest
Jul 25, 2011

Nate , Margalit and everyone

Nate: We’re not simply talking about infant mortality. We are talking about
maternal mortality as well. OECD statistics show that when you look at “whites only” the U.S. ranks 19th among 28 OECD countries for maternal mortality. How do you explain this?

We are also talking about life expectancy for all adults. When you look at life expectancy from brith white women in the U.S. rank 23rd, when compared to women in 28 other countries, white men rank 19th. (28th represents the lowest life expectancy. 1st represents the longest life expectancy.)

As Dr. Steven Schroeder, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007:
“it is remarkable how complacent the public and the medical profession are in their acceptance of” our low ranking when it comes to life expectancy, “especially in light of trends in national spending on health, ” “One reason for the complacency may be the rationalization that the United States is more ethnically heterogeneous than the nations at the top of the rankings, such as Japan, Switzerland, and Iceland. But,” Schroeder pointed out, “even when comparisons are limited to white Americans, our performance is dismal (see table below) And even if the health status of white Americans matched that in the leading nations, it would still be incumbent on us to improve the health of the entire nation.” (My numbers come from the table he refers to)

Overall, when it comes to life expectancy,only Cuba, Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal trail the U.S.
See the chart that money-manager Barry Ritholtz posted on his financial webblog, The Big Picture– here http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/odd-chart-of-th.html
He labels the chart “the most embarassing story never told.”

In fact, OECD numbers show that if you look at life expectancy after age 65, Americans do somewhat better, but compared to women in other OECD countires, white women in the U.S. rank only 10th (living 19.8 years past 65, while Japanese women live 23years) and white men in the U.S. rank 9th living 16.9 years past 65 while men in Iceland live 18. years/)

We do better when you look at longevity from age 65 rather than from brith because in the U.S. wealthy people live much longer than the poor.
A great many poor, white Americans don’t make it to 65. In the U.S. poor people die 8 years sooner than the rich, and the “longevity gap” has been widening in recent decades.
In the countries that outrank us, the gaps between rich and poor are not as great.
Citizens of countries that don’t tolerate as much inequality enjoy longer lives. According to numbers from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, a baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. In the U.K., an ’04 baby can expect to live 78.7 years; in Germany, 79 years; in Norway, 79.7 years; in Canada, 80.3 years; in Australia, Sweden, and Switzerland, 80.6 years; and in Japan, a newborn can expect to live 81. 4 years.

)

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

“OECD statistics show that when you look at “whites only” the U.S. ranks 19th among 28 OECD countries for maternal mortality. How do you explain this?”

Different record keeping?

More single moms giving birth alone?

http://www.turner-white.com/pdf/hp_jan01_fetal.pdf

“Yet a general underreporting of deaths and lack
of consensus about how to define maternal mortality
hinder efforts to understand and address this topic of
growing import.”

“Other major institutional groups
and investigative panels have proposed further refinements.
Moreover, many countries interpret the classification
schemes differently, an inconsistency that complicates
data collection and interpretation even more.”

According to this study White women don’t rank behind that of 18 other countries, in fact I can’t find any study that puts us anywhere close to that.

“We are also talking about life expectancy for all adults. ”

And you have yet to explain how auto accidents, murder, and diet are a reflection of our healthcare system, all of them have more to do directly with life expectancy then the healthcare system.

“white women in the U.S. rank only 10th (living 19.8 years past 65, while Japanese women live 23years) ”

Why would you compare white women to Japanese women, are you trying to be unscientific? Why not compare Japanese women to Japanese women?

“white men in the U.S. rank 9th living 16.9 years past 65 while men in Iceland live 18. years/)

Iceland, they eat a lot of fried food there don’t they? Smoke a ton to? You just don’t get the difference between causeation or corelation. Our healthcare system didn’t feed white southern men fried food their entire life. Nor force them to smoke or cause auto accidents. Your doing a flawed comparison. Did you even read the link on how to set up a proper analysis and what is requireD? Obviously not so let me provide it to you again.

Measuring Health Care Systems

Any statistic that accurately measures health-care systems across nations must satisfy three criteria. First, the statistic must assume actual interaction with the health care system. Second, it must measure a phenomenon that the health care system can actually affect. Finally, the statistic must be collected consistently across nations.

Under the first criterion, the phenomenon being measured must be one in which the individual actually has contact with the health care system. More specifically, he must have contact with a health care professional, be it a doctor, nurse, lab technician, etc. A statistic measuring the rate of cancer survival satisfies this criterion, since diagnosis and treatment of cancer requires health care professionals. By contrast, a statistic measuring the rate of car accidents would not satisfy such a criteria since health care professionals are not essential to identifying car accidents.

Some statistics may assume interaction with the health care system, but the phenomena they measure are not ones on which the health care system can have any meaningful impact. Take, for example, the rate of cancer incidence. While this statistic assumes interaction with the health care system (an incidence of cancer cannot be known without the diagnosis of a health care professional), there is little a health care system can do about the rate of cancer. Rather, cancer incidence is affected by factors such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, etc., over which the health care system has no control. Thus, to be an adequate measure of the effectiveness of a health care system, a statistic must measure a phenomenon that health care professionals can actually affect.

Finally, a statistic must be collected consistently across nations. While this seems simple in theory, in practice it is quite complicated. Nations use diverse definitions of health phenomena. This leads to some nations excluding a segment of their populations from the collection of a statistic while other nations include those segments. In such circumstances, cross-national comparisons are largely meaningless. Thus, for health care systems across countries to be meaningful, there should be little to no variation in how statistics are collected.

As shown below, both life expectancy and infant mortality are poor measures of a health care system because each fails to satisfy at least one of the above criteria.

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

We’re not simply talking about infant mortality. We are talking about
maternal mortality as well. OECD statistics show that when you look at “whites only” the U.S. ranks 19th among 28 OECD countries for maternal mortality. How do you explain this?

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/80743.php

A rise in the number of caesarean sections — which now account for 29% of all births — could be a factor in the increased maternal mortality rate, some experts said. According to a review of maternal deaths in New York, excessive bleeding is one of the primary causes of pregnancy-related death, and women who have undergone several previous c-sections are at particularly high risk of death.

Some studies have found that race and quality of care also factor into the maternal mortality rate. The maternal mortality rate among black women is at least three times higher than among white women. Black women also are more susceptible to hypertension and other complications, and they tend to receive inadequate prenatal care. Three studies have shown that at least 40% of maternal deaths could have been prevented with improved quality of care.

The rise in obesity also might be a factor, some experts said. According to researchers, overweight women tend to have diabetes or experience other complications that could affect pregnancy outcomes. Overweight women also might have excessive tissue or larger infants, which could make a vaginal birth more difficult and lead to more c-sections. More women also are giving birth in their late 30s and 40s, when risks of pregnancy complications are higher, according to the AP/Post (AP/Washington Post, 8/24).

In addition, the report says the increase in maternal deaths “largely reflects” more states’ use of a separate item on the death certificate indicating pregnancy status of the woman. According to the report, the number of maternal deaths does not include all deaths of pregnant women, but only those deaths reported on the death certificate that were assigned to causes related to or aggravated by pregnancy or pregnancy management (NCHS report, 8/21). California, Idaho and Montana in 2003 changed death certificate questions,

What does obesity have to do with healthcare system?

C section is usually a personal choice

nothing supports any of your arguments except you throwing the two numebrs together

Guest
steve
Jul 25, 2011

Nice summation of Greek not paying taxes issue.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/05/kicking-the-can-to-the-end-of-the-road/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBigPicture+%28The+Big+Picture%29

Here, you see is that their tax burden is not that high for the OECD.

http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0522/032a.html

Better summation here.

http://www.tax.com/taxcom/features.nsf/0/ce758cb00a0cf6dd85257737005ac0d4?OpenDocument

I read Reinhart and Rogoff’s book on vacation. Greece has been in default about half of the last 150 years. This is a chronic problem for this country. It is the result of bad government, not left or right wing government. (While the US does not default, we lead the world in the frequency of banking crises.)

Steve

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

how does a government that doesn’t exist equate to a right wing government? Lets use barber licensure for example, if one is not required then the government is picking winners how? Trade law would be to set rules betweent he states not to get all up in business owners neather regions for every little thing

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steve
Jul 26, 2011

You have just created a utopian right wing government, but that is not really how governments anywhere function or have functioned. Bad right wing governments become authoritarian just like bad left wing governments. They spend too much on defense or interfere too much with business. They create police states and pick winners and losers in their economies. An ideal right wing government will not default, but neither will an ideal left wing government.

OTOH, banking crises are inimical to all governments, but trend to be more frequent amongst freer market economies.

Steve

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Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

” It is the result of bad government, not left or right wing government.”

I would disagree, this is clearly a problem with socialism. A far right limited government that only provided national defence, legal system, and trade law could never develope such a problem. Governments fail, the more you trust the government to do the larger the failure. If you rely on government for everything you end up with a mess like this.

The left in America is demnading we implement greece of 10-20 years ago ignoring the result, Greece 2011. When ObamaCare kicks in and our debt skyrockets we will be no different. Obama’s current spending already has us on the cusip.

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

maybe you can have your wife explain this to you Peter but more important then the amount is the rate or %. Ideally you would pay a very small percent of a very large amount in taxes. In Greece they pay a very high % of a very small amount and thus all the cheating

Guest
Peter
Jul 25, 2011

“What’s Greek Healthcare going to be like when they collapse?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/world/europe/02evasion.html

Nate, by your definition the Greek economy should be thriving given the amount of tax they pay. Republicans should be envious of the Greek capacity to avoid taxes.

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

Peter do you even desire to say something useful even once in your life or do you relish your roll as a byte waster? It wouldn’t be so annoying if you were at least good at it. But you can’t even read and build a sliver of truth into your comments to make them funny.

If you really want to play another round of point out how stupid Peter is then fine lets play;

“Greek economy should be thriving given the amount of tax they pay.”

Based on what Peter, no where in the article does it say how much tax they pay. With the information you provided they could be paying higher per capita taxes then anyone else on the world and we wouldn’t know it. Just because their shadow economy is 25% that doesn’t give us the ability to calculate what they do pay in taxes, they might pay 70% on the 70% of income they do claim.

“Republicans should be envious of the Greek capacity to avoid taxes.”

Why? Its democrats that design a tax system so susceptible to cheating and its Democrats most likely to take advantage of it.

From Daily Beast on a review of politician tax cheats

Turns out Republicans have the bigger names—Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham—but Democrats have the most tax scandals by a margin of 18 to 7

From another article

The IRS says stores accepted false W-2s and faked data to get clients the earned-income credit for the poor. The amount underpaid through returns prepared by 125 stores was estimated at $70 million.

Who do you think claims the majority of those credits?

From Politico

Legislation that would force government and Hill staffers to pay back taxes or lose their jobs was pulled from House committee markup today after Democrats hit the brakes.

Thanks for the insightful and intelligent contribution Peter, keep up the good work

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tim
Jul 25, 2011

Nate,
When you argue with Mr. Reich, you are “angry, angry, angry”. When you agree with him, you are “informed” and “reasonable”. This is just name calling. This, from the people who decided that conservatives suffer from “epistemic closure”. In actual sophisticated circles, ad hominem arguments are a sign of intellectual breakdown.

Both sides of the political debate have their echo chambers.

By the way, I’m one of those MBA practice managers, and I can tell you that the laws of economics have not been repealed in medical billing, any more than they have anywhere else. To talk about the simplicity and efficiency of Medicare to cherry pick the transaction for the parts you like. They are easier to deal with, in the same sense that the menu at The Billy Goat Tavern is simpler to order from. Cheeseburger, or cheeseburger? You don’t negotiate with CMS, you don’t argue with CMS, you don’t appeal to CMS, and that their rules are uniform and simple is not meaningful. As a provider, you pay for it, and then some.

Medicare may be good for patients — that’s a different discussion — but to argue they represent good business practice for providers simply indicates you don’t understand your own business.

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

Thanks for the perspective Tim, it sounds like pratice management is like healthcare, 20% of the population responds to tight managment like Kaiser, apparently those people are more comfortable having Medicare tell them exactly how to do everything and 80% prefer some choice and control in life

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

I was trying to solve some questions in my head last night with little success. Are we trying to design a healthcare system sustainable in the broad meaning, measured by the life of mankind, or a system sustainable for the life of our government?

A universal healthcare system could work if you were only trying to design a system to last as long as the government that supports it. Governments tend to have a short life span so all the flaws inherent in them die when the government collapses.

Only a truly free market healthcare system can survive during and through the collapse of government. The collapse of government usually comes when they overextend themselves into the daily lives of the population, i.e. socialized healthcare.

While socialized medicine has delivered more equitable care it’s never delivered better care. When the government supporting it does collapse though healthcare takes a huge hit, i.e. eastern Europe. Do we want to replace a good system with slightly inequitable care, by some standards, that can last forever with a more equitable but no better system we know has a short life expectancy? How do you justify the years of turmoil and rebuilding and what it will do to those generations for a marginally easier time today for a small margin of society?

What’s Greek Healthcare going to be like when they collapse?

Guest
steve
Jul 25, 2011

Except that there is no functional free market health care model anywhere in the world. Get some of your red states to try it out for us.

Steve

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

define functional for me and get your blue states to stop dictating failure to us and we would be happy to.

Its been a year since your God Obama and his blue state duddies got all up in our semi free market and told us what sort of plan we had to sell, who we had to cover, how to charge for it and everything else.

There is no functional social healthcare system in the world either

Guest
Barry Carol
Jul 25, 2011

Maggie –

I think you know the data as well as anyone. As Steve Schroeder noted in his Shattuck Lecture a few years ago, health outcomes are determined 40% by personal behavior, 30% by genetics, 20% by environmental factors and socioeconomic status and only 10% by the quality of healthcare one has access to. Even if you compare white Americans with whites in other developed countries, this doesn’t change. Diets vary widely even within the U.S. – ore fried food (and more obesity) in the South, for example. Many more people in some European cities ride bikes to work. We generally drive or, in big cities, take mass transit. Poverty plays a significant role as well both in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality. You cannot cite these relatively poor U.S. rankings and imply that it’s due mainly to inadequacies in our healthcare system despite the enormous amount of money we spend on healthcare.

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

“You cannot cite these relatively poor U.S. rankings and imply that it’s due mainly to inadequacies in our healthcare system despite the enormous amount of money we spend on healthcare.”

Why does this standard not apply to education? We spend more then every other or almost every other nation on education and have terrible results but are told the solution is we need to spend more.

Guest
steve
Jul 25, 2011

Not so big a difference when you look at teacher pay as a percentage of GDP per capita.

Steve

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

numbers don’t add up

“American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each year.”

Average school year is little under 180 days and 6.7 hours for total time in school of 1206 hours. Teachers don’t teach a full day and also get vacation, I don’t see any way they can be close to 1080 hours. Looking online I see a ton of CBAs that only require 5 50 minute classes and schools trying to get 6 classes out of them. 6 50 min classes is 5 hours times 180 days is 900, and that would mean no vacation.

“The average public primary-school teacher who has worked 15 years and has received the minimum amount of training, for example, earns $43,633, compared to the O.E.C.D. average of $39,007.”

This number looks like salary ignoring all benefits. Throw in benefits and 70K plus is the right number

Public school teachers in Wisconsin earned an average of $49,816 in salary plus $25,325 in benefits for a total of $75,141.

The GDP comparison is meaningless, one has nothging to do with the other. Wheat or other commodities don’t change price based on GDP

Guest
Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

this blog post says the way OECD gathers the data is suspect as well

http://jaypgreene.com/2011/06/28/flawed-comparison-from-oecd/

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Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

I can’t think of single OECD country that offers health insurance any where close to the average teacher plan. Remember our poor rankings in comparisons are from government plans driving up cost and poor and uninsured not having coverage. All the way on the other end of the spectrum are the cadilliac plans and teachers are at the top of the list.

I believe our pensions are also better then those.

THis site says we pay more and they work less then most….

http://www.worldsalaries.org/teacher.shtml

Compulsary deductions are lower then most as well

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steve
Jul 26, 2011

“This number looks like salary ignoring all benefits. Throw in benefits and 70K plus is the right number”

This is a comparison with other OECD countries. They all get benefits there which at least equal those of American teachers. Probably better since education is free in some of those countries. What this shows is that other countries pay their teachers better than we do when you adjust for the relative wealth of the countries.

““American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each year.”

I assume they include prep time.

Steve

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Nate Ogden
Jul 26, 2011

do you have a link to those figures?

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steve
Jul 26, 2011

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/teacher-pay-around-the-world/

Have others archived somewhere if not sufficient.

Steve

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Peter
Jul 25, 2011

On infant mortality from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality#Comparing_infant_mortality_rates

“UNICEF uses a statistical methodology to account for reporting differences among countries:
“UNICEF compiles infant mortality country estimates derived from all sources and methods of estimation obtained either from standard reports, direct estimation from micro data sets, or from UNICEF’s yearly exercise. In order to sort out differences between estimates produced from different sources, with different methods, UNICEF developed, in coordination with WHO, the WB and UNSD, an estimation methodology that minimizes the errors embodied in each estimate and harmonize trends along time. Since the estimates are not necessarily the exact values used as input for the model, they are often not recognized as the official IMR estimates used at the country level. However, as mentioned before, these estimates minimize errors and maximize the consistency of trends along time.”

UNICEF comparisons here:

http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Metadata.aspx?IndicatorId=0&SeriesId=562

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Nate Ogden
Jul 25, 2011

Maggie;

“That no one else bothered to intrude on this thread’s group fantasy (promoted by a “group” of roughly 2 1/2 people) simply demonstrates that informed readers no longer take THCB seriously.”

7 people clearly said Mr. Reich’s arguments will disproven and outdated propoganda. A couple of whom fall on the left side of the spectrum, what do they call this in DC, a bipartisian debunking of Mr. Reich.

What does it mean to be informed? Someone who agrees with you and Mr. Reich’s erronous statements is informed and anyone that disagrees is angry?

“The very best posts and threads on THCB remain excellent and offer solid infromation coming from a wide audience. But they are becoming few and far between. And when 2 1/2 bullies take over a thread it dissolves into
something so meaningless that no one cares to respond.”

Reading through the comments a number of people were having a very nice and respectful exchange of ideas until you joined calling names and riling everyone up. I’m being to think you just like to antaganize people, come on insulting people, cite made up arguments you know aren’t true then watch everyone respond them attack them for being angry and responding. Actually you didn’t even wait for a responce before attacking.