Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"CRFB to President Obama: It's All About Costs""

Hey, Committee For a Responsible Budget, thanks for clearing that up. All this time, I had thought that the purpose of health care was to make Americans healthier.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I don't think Americans look to what we both call Serious Medicine to make them "healthier". If Americans wanted to be healthier, they would eat less, exercise more, stop smoking, and stop drinking so much. No, they look to Serious Medicine to fight and win battles against Disease, Injury, and the Incapacitation That Comes with Aging. If any of us loses a loved one, it will be to one of these three, not to Al Qaeda.

    Anyone who has had being a customer of Serious Medicine thrust upon them will know first-hand that no price is to high if we win, and no price is too low if we lose. This mirrors America at war--we have never cared much how much we spent as long as we achieved Total Victory.

    The irony in terms of our current Health Care Reform debate is that "winning" is what *really* cuts costs. Serious Medicine has a very different cost curve from manufactured goods. When we have no treatment, we have very little in the way of medical costs (e.g., when Dwight Eisenhower had his heart attack, all modern medicine had to offer was bed rest). "Not-very-good-but-still-worth-doing" treatment, such as a CABG costs the earth and is very hard on the patient. "Good" therapy such as angioplasty+stents costs much less, and *decisive* therapy (e.g., a drug that will dissolve plaques off the inside of our arteries) will be very cheap indeed.

    So if you *really* want to Save Money on Serious Medicine, the way to do that is to "win"--innovate our way to decisive therapy. (And prevention, such as Gardasil for preventing cervical cancer, is even better.) Obamacare translated into military terms is a strategy of "Lose Cheaper"!

    --Jim Woodhill