PHYSICIANS/BLOGS: Disheartened? Maybe

I love people commenting on THCB, and 99% of the comments are very, very thoughtful. But I am a little dismayed that while only one person wants to comment on my long piece on the individual insurance market, one other on VC in health care (and that someone I wrote about clarifying a point she made) and none on my experience at the consumerism conference—28 people have something to say about a malpractice study I just point to!

People, malpractice is one percent of the dollars, and it’s about 17th on the list of major health care problems and issues we face in this country! It’s the abortion issue of health care—polarizing way way beyond it’s importance.  <sigh>

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opitScott RobertsonG. Leo DuMouchelMarcGary Levin Recent comment authors
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Blog comment can be motivated by a desire to open another facet of a post’s topic for discussion. That isn’t going to happen as much ( at first anyway ) with a thoughtful and comprehensive essay. You aren’t the only author to think comment frequency to be an effective gauge of reception : it isn’t proven.

Scott Robertson

Don’t be sad – I read your blog nearly every day and enjoy the content. Unfortunately, most of your readers are probably very hard working individuals, and I for one don’t have the time to post.
Keep up the great work!

G. Leo DuMouchel
G. Leo DuMouchel

I meant individual insurance in the last paragraph.

G. Leo DuMouchel
G. Leo DuMouchel

In 2004 only 24 million people inthe US were covered by private individual health insurance–about 12% of those having private health insurance. In the aggreagate it isn’t that important. The WSJ, wanting to free employers form having to deal with health insurance, wants everybody to buy indidvidual health insurance in a nationwide marketplace. They eschew community rating and guarantee issue–pointing to the much higher rates in states with community rating. First, each state’s individual insurance rates are set based on provider contracts in their local area and local provider practice styles. You can’t buy New Hampshire individual health insurance and… Read more »


I have to agree with Peter. Unfortunately he paints what I think is a particularly accurate picture of the state of this country. Now I’m really depressed.
And as far as this blog, it doesn’t do much good preaching to the choir. I happen to agree with most of what you say. We need to get those on the other side of the issue to see the error of their ways.

Gary Levin

Matt, the article was great, but every time I read one of these I get a headache and have to make an appointment to see my shrink!. The newest entity amongst medical providers to replace the IPA is called a “messenger organization”. Keep up the great stuff, read you all the time, and don’t be SAD.

Eric Novack

Matthew- I strongly disagree about your analogy to abortion. Medical liability is a central concern to nearly every physician involved in the delivery of healthcare. The 1% number is terribly misleading. It implies the dollars are spread evenly throughout the system. They are not. Medical negliglence can ruin lives. Meritless lawsuits ruin careers and have the result of exponentially limiting the access to care for others who might have benefited from seeing a physician who no longer takes ‘call’, who no longer will take care of complex conditions. David Studdert’s study in the NEJM today saying that nearly 1/3 of… Read more »


Matt, I did read your long piece on the individual market. Too many number relationships that needed analysis for me to make much of a comment on. I have chirped in on the comments now on that thread. I am quite disheartened and cynical (can’t you tell from my comments) about the future of healthcare and any hope for a solution prior to near catrastrophy. If you read the comments on the malpractice thread there are sidebar comments on the whole system and there is somewhat of a tie to all the problems we face. The poloarization we see comes… Read more »