Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Advocates for a purely Market-driven approach to healthcare seem not to understand its monopolistic nature. Lasik is an example of the kind of heathcare that can be marketized, along with other elective, non-life-threatening procedures like breast augmentation, but those are the exceptions; most procedures require highly sophisticated decisions but most people don't have enough knowledge to know what decisions to make, and even if they do, they're not going to compromise on their health. Suppose you're experiencing some symptoms so you Google around looking for the diagnosis that fits your imagination, and find one: cholecystitis. (This is a super common malady so if anything could be marketized, it could.) Assuming the pain is bearable while you're researching, you've got to decided whether to get an MRCP for further diagnosis, or perhaps an ERCP, or maybe just have a cholecystectomy, maybe via laproscopy. What CBC value would prompt you to go with an MRCP first? Will you be outpatient, and if so, will you be flying to your cheapest surgeon or driving yourself? Unfortunately, you've probably got a bit of Altered Mental Status from your illness so your cognitive abilities may be impaired, and BTW, you could die, but not for a while. Next on the possible list of marketable medicine is gallbladder or peptic ulcer surgery, but those things stretch the envelope of what intelligent people can understand, let alone your elderly mother.
You might be able to make it work for you but when you have icteric eyes, episodic pain, and the threat of death, could you negotiate the deals? Let's say you don't use Google, you spring for a real doctor. Imagine it's a drive-through franchise with acceptable prices, but of course, it's market-driven, so it's their own brand of boutique medicine, and they only offer the profitable stuff; or maybe you could hire a medicine broker who gets a cut for finding the cheapest surgeon, but that doesn't sound like a very good plan.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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