I was checking out potential book titles when I cam across this site, Health Care for Dummies. Given that I’ve spent some of the week beating up on the AMA, and spent some of yesterday touching on why the health care system looks like it does today—mostly based on Paul Starr’s book. But the real conspiracy theory is much more fun (even if I can’t exactly vouch for the truth). Read on for an amusing Friday diversion.

I’ll see ya back here on Tuesday


5 replies »

  1. Jack, the difference in the UK and Canada is that the government is the insurer. It uses tax money to pay for healthcare and so views money paid as an expense to the country. By having that base foundation in which equipment makers, drug companies and docs are paid by the government, costs are controlled and expenses kept down for the benefit (although not perfect) of everyone. Adding an MRI on every street corner and having hostpials compete for patients has produced over supply the hunt for revenues, be damned the costs to the patients. Why does the U.S. spend twice as much on healthcare as those universal care countries with not any increase in health benefits. I thought free enterprise could deliver more for less and higher efficiency with profits thrown in to boot.

  2. “But the main premise in the piece/rant, etc. is that medicine in the U.S. is built on sickness being a profit center”
    I find this curious.
    How do you propose we change this? Do we give doctors money based on every day their patient stays healthy? You do realize that will be MUCH more expensive than a sickness based system, correct? If I was a doc, i’d love to work in that system. I could take on a bunch of really healthy people and get a bunch, and then when one of them gets sick, I can drop them from my practice and tell them to get lost, that way I only have healthy people on my list.
    I also want to know why you think thats unique to the US? Isnt it true that in Canada, or Europe, that doctors get paid based on the number of sick patient visits and procedures they do? Please show me a system, anywhere in the world, that operates according to your model.
    What you and the raving lunatic on that website are asking for is something thats totally unprecedented in the history of the world. If you want universal healthcare or socialized medicine, then lets use the CAnadian or European model and do it. But what you propose has never been done before in any modern economic system.

  3. You all know I have no liking for how medicine is organized but I see no problem with licencing as a method to control quality. I’ve learned there’s a lot of bunk out there. Problem is once the practitioner has his/her license it is almost impossible to revoke it given the built in protections in the system. Licensing has a dual edge, it also restricts competition, expecially with lawyers. But the main premise in the piece/rant, etc. is that medicine in the U.S. is built on sickness being a profit center, I agree and think that foundation is why we have the most an expensive model in the world.

  4. Thanks for the kind word Jack. Would you like to invest in my new internal combustion engine that gets 1,000 miles to the gallon running on dog poop? The guy who told me about it was rubbed out by GM, Chevron, Firestone et al….no wait that was the LA Red line…no wait that was the plot from Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  5. Its obvious that you got many of your ideas from that rant, I swear it reads just like you!
    At any rate, his fundamental premise that licensing is unnecessary is contrary to everything on earth. NOBODY runs a nation with no licensing laws. You wont find a single modern nation on this planet in which anybody can be a lawyer, engineer, doctor, judge, teacher with no licensing/qualifications.
    He also contradicts himself. He rants about how doctors in teh early 1900s killed millions of people, yet when licensing and standards were created to improve the profession, he faults it? I guess he prefers the “good old days”
    Doctors can be fauled for some things, but licensing/qualifications is NOT one of them. YOu guys should go read the Abraham Flexner report of 1919 before you wax nostalgic about the “good ole days” of medicine.