HealthCare Reform (cont)
Let’s continue this conversation. And again, let’s repeat — this is not HealthCare reform. It is economic reform. And it is not even sound economic reform. It is simply a shell game. Most unfortunately, the administration, with the most timely and admirable of goals, has backed itself into a corner. Deliver this or else. But the “or else” is the 80 pound gorilla. Will it be the best solution? Will it be a good solution? Will it be a solution at all?
Many have asked this question — how is this going to be funded? Where are the funds? Various answers have been offered. We will save money in one part of the system to fund another part of the system. You understand even this makes no sense.
Read the superb treatise by Kevin Phillips — Bad Money. Read the classic The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith. Nothing arises in a vacuum. History is important. Private, public and international debt loads are rising to unsustainable proportions. This is relevant.
Chuck Schumer speaking on HealthCare was interviewed on Meet the Press this morning. A new variation of the oft repeated shibboleth — “the system is wasteful, duplicative and inefficient.” How many times have we heard this before? The red badge of courage for all politicians — if only we could just root out waste, fraud and abuse…
You understand that these concepts assumes that society is a machine that can be carefully tuned for high-performance. Like a Maserati or Corvette. Like a Formula One car. Or a centrally-controlled economy. We will return to algorithm-driven medicine later.
This simple observation leads us to this inevitable conclusion. The most costly “advances” in medicine over the last 10, 20, 30 or 40 years is a result of technological discoveries and implementation. Machines are not cheap. The array of diagnostic imaging machines proliferates.
When I was studying the National Health System (NHS) in Britain in the 1971, I was astonished to observe very few University offices had typewriters. typewriters — not computers. For the next 10 years there were less than 3 CT scanners in the entire country.
It always comes down to this. It is a form of NIMBY. We need to root out waste, fraud and abuse — except when it applies to me or my family. Do you really want to short change any of your loved ones? The reality is the quality of care already is plummeting at an alarming rate. So in a sense, you would already think there is a degree of rationing being meted out.
This is not medical reform. Medical reform would be true change. It would be evolutionary or revolutionary. A new paradigm. And that new paradigm is Functional or AntiAging or Longevity medicine. Active prevention.
So I offer you today’s inanity: wasteful, duplicative and inefficient. Let’s think about this and discuss this more in the next few days.
2 thoughts on “HealthCare Reform (cont)”
Cogent and thoughtful arguments.
You state that “Health insurance has become a club membership.” You are correct. It is a membership that is costing the average business owner a staggering amount.
If you look at the recent demographics of layoffs in the US you will find that many of the layoffs in high tech businesses are occurring in the 45-65 year old range. Why is that you ask? It is not only because that range draws a larger salary than younger workers but, and more importantly, the cost of health insurance for these workers grows at a huge rate. It is a double savings in the short term to lay off these workers rather than to use the old FIFO (first in, first out) metric used 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, as a result we are beginning to see repeating failures we haven’t seen in 5+ years because those left in charge don’t have the experience to avoid common mistakes solved on the past.
How do we solve the problem of staggering health costs? How about better competition among the insurance agencies. Right now I feel that insurance companies are little better than protection rackets. They will cover you as long as you don’t make a claim.