Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Serious Medicine Strategist, zeroes in on why, if present trends are allowed to continue, healthcare costs are headed higher, no matter who's in charge

In critically analyzing the Washington DC debate over the debt ceiling, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the well-known British journalist, makes a portion of Serious Medicine argument in a concise nutshell of a parenthetical paragraph.  In describing the difficulty of controlling federal spending, he suggests that the forces of the healthcare status quo--that is, the folks who currently gain from rising healthcare costs--are part of the problem.   Indeed, he is saying, they are the driver of the problem:

(The great health care cartel is in my view the villain here. It is the root cause of US ruin, and is itself responsible for the epidemic of diabetes, Alzheimers, and several other mass ailments afflicting America. It has systematically failed to keep up with the scientific literature, and refuses to abandon grievous policies when shown to be wrong. Americans need to confront this huge vested interest (nearly a fifth of GDP) before it destroys the country. But that is a rant for another day.)

Evans-Pritchard makes an interesting point.  Surveying the enormous cost of Alzheimer's--nearly $200 billion a year, according to the Alzheimer's Association--one has to realize that somebody is benefiting from the spending of all that money.   Nursing homes are one beneficiary, so are nursing home service workers.  So cui bono,  Evans-Pritchard is saying.

The answer, of course, is to raise up countervailing interests--starting with the American people as a whole--who understand that cures are a better health strategy than care.   We need both, of course, always, but if we have more of the former, we will need to spend less on the latter.

And that's the path to not only spending less money on healthcare, but to improving the lives of all Americans.  And the peoples of the world, too. 


  1. Cures are a better health strategy than care both for the patients' health, her pocketbook and her insurance companies payments.
    By capping malpractice awards through binding 'arbitration panels'; allowing health insurance companies to compete over state lines for patients and for the medical staff needing malpractice insurance, - these changes will lead to less costly bids for services, ... and lower premiums.
    Also federal licensing of medical personnel allows the arbitration boards to lift licenses in the USA of "quacks" who cause bad medicine. With these practices in place, doctors will no longer have to 'over-test' to satisfy potential law suits.
    When I put forth this plan: Doctors like it, patients like it too. And insurance companies would like to compete for business in all 50 states.
    So what's the problem? I think the Hill People are corrupt. Because the answer above is so obvious, what else could it be? We need to identify these crooked representatives who aren't doing our will and vote them out each November because they are costing us too much!

  2. The ketogenic diet looks promising for Alzheimer's but there is no profit in it. What is needed are controlled studies that looks at the outcomes for this diet. I think what we have here is market failure.


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