Mr Obama and those in his coterie want to press for a major shift in our healthcare system to one which far more strictly controlled by the government. I think Mr Obama’s interest in healthcare in this manner is likely a charitable impulse for the 10% at the bottom combined alas with a disregard for the state of the middle 85% which will likely be substantially harmed by this shift and the realization that those at the very top (of which he is one) will be unaffected. The question for future elections will be how well will the Democratic party be able to re-write history and shift blame for the disaster that this will become. For if they fail that project then their predicted demographic demise of the GOP will not occur, but that a decade from now the two-party system which naturally arises in the American project will not include one which coins itself the “Democratic party”.

In the interest of completeness, is should be pointed out that the AMA hawking for market control of healthcare is a somewhat disingenuous plea. The AMA strictly controls their medical school graduating population into the various specializations in a centralized manner attempting to predict and fix the markets and quantities of various specialty (and generalist) numbers. Their plea for market forces is more in the nature of a complaint that power which had been theirs might be lost.

Today it was noted (by a liberal blogger no less) that approximately 10% of medical expenses go the mostly loudly demonized portion of the industry, i.e., the pharmaceutical companies. Given the effects of the advances that internal medicine has been able to achieve in the last few decades if that the result of 10% of our expenditure … there should be no grounds for complaints. Those touting “gains” in efficiencies of the proposed system fail to recognized the following (or at least have failed to counter them in anything I’ve read):

  • To get a drastic gain in efficiency has to mean that today there are drastic inefficiencies. To this matter, a question should be asked. In your visits in hospitals and doctors offices do you see Doctors the nursing staff just doing busy work? Or are they at at task dealing with patients? In my experiences with medical staff, one sees busy doctors and the industry standard “waiting room” time is on account of emergency and other over-booking and under estimates of the time it takes to deal with individual patients. The point is, if doctors and nurses and other practitioners don’t have idle time and are actually working close to capacity … where’s this big gain in medical capacity going to come from?
  • It is claimed that government involvement will streamline and make the paper work and billing matters more efficient and more streamlined. Why just stating this doesn’t cause those touting this notion’s head to explode with the cognitive dissonance is beyond me. Government. Increased efficiency. Aren’t those antithetical concepts? There is no project, no task, no aspect of life in the past 2000 years that government bureaucracy has added efficiency and smoothed out the wrinkles. Less paperwork and lower costs with more government involvement. Riiiight. Name just one time in the past where that transpired.
  • If improvements in medical costs and quality of care are to be actually realized, it’s going to be when more and more of your medical interactions are in the form of something more like a internet subscription service, i.e., far fewer doctors managing a largely automated network. It’s going to take real innovation and paradigm shifts in how medicine is done. So let me ask, will entrenching our medical culture and industrial complex into a large government beaurocracy will make things more or less amenable to large changes? Less likely seems the realistic answer. If you think the answer is “more likely” … again I’ve failed to even see this issue addressed anywhere … so what is the argument to that.
  • Finally, the insistence that increased administrative efficiency and methodology is where the solution to the so-called healthcare problem is to be found is harmful in that it causes thousands if not millions of people to be looking for the solutions in the wrong place.

Here are three fatal flaws with every “unified government run” healthcare proposal such as the ones that the Democrats are pushing.

Filed under: Mark O.MedicinePolitics

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!