OK, the title is “tongue in cheek”, and a bit misleading. Let’s start at the beginning…
In most cases, when you go to a doctor, you are going there to get help for a physical problem. You may not have thought about this, but as a living being, you know deeply that if you are going for healing, you want, must, perceive the goodness and honesty of your doctor. Intuitively, you feel that if you don’t like a doctor, you may have bad luck with him/her. People are in awe of doctors, and awe should be reserved for God only. I am not in the same boat. Because of over 100 years of negativity against chiropractic, most of my new patients come in to me in a cautious way, and I must prove to them that I am “OK”.
The reason we have separation of powers is because our founding fathers were wise enough to know that you can’t trust man with great power, (at least you can’t trust his subconscious.)
I believe that some group outside of medicine should oversee medicine and health-care in general.
Case in point:
The above link goes to a news article which says that Medicare is taking surgeons to task for unnecessary complex back surgeries.
The graph to the right illustrates the
numbers of simple vs. complex back surgeries over a six year period.
Here is a quote from the article:
“What’s more alarming is that the findings suggest these more challenging operations are riskier, leading to more complications and even deaths.
“This is exactly what the health care debate has been dancing around,” said Dr. Eugene Carragee of Stanford University Medical Center.
“You have one kind of operation that could cost $20,000 and another that could cost $80,000 and there’s not good evidence the expensive one is being used appropriately in the majority of cases,” Carragee said.
Add to that the expense for patients whose problems after surgery send them back to the hospital or to a nursing home and “that’s not a trivial amount of money” for Medicare, said Carragee. He wrote an accompanying editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association where the federally funded study appears Wednesday.
The cost to Medicare, just for the hospital charges for the three types of back surgery reviewed is about $1.65 billion a year, according to the researchers.”
All year, and longer, radio show hosts all over the country have the conservatives in an uproar about the government stepping in and overseeing this huge drain on our economy. The clarion call: “Nobody should step in between the sanctity of a patient and his/her doctor!”
I am not attacking or accusing here, (I don’t think.) What I do believe is that while people, (and doctors are people,) consciously attempt to do the best thing, they subconsciously make decisions based on subconscious needs.
I believe that some group, outside the field of health care, should step in and control this. If the government is paying the bill, you can bet they will eventually root out a lot of the waste, over time.
Those that say that the government can’t do anything right are blind to their roads, police, municipal maintenance, buses, schools, Medicare, Social Security, fire departments, etc…
There are two types of people in this world: the peacemakers and the finger-pointers. They are inside of each of us. The professional finger-pointers will tell us that the schools are no good, Medicare is in the red, (it’s not supposed to make a profit,) Social Security is going broke, and the list goes on and on.
The extreme of this is that we would have no taxes, none of the above amenities, and survival of the fittest. They are in awe of capitalism, and believe that capitalism and charity would fill the gaps that would be left behind, and we would all be wealthier. Maybe that is somewhat true, but I believe many would be left in abject poverty. We are talking about going back two hundred years in how this country takes care of its citizens.
Without federal re-distribution of wealth, Arkansas would be more like it was one hundred years ago.
Even they, and certainly their offspring, would hate such a situation in short time, if actualized. Such a world may have been good two hundred years ago, but we know a country can do better for its citizens now.
I just read today that 47% of Americans pay no income tax.
A national sales tax to replace the income tax would be more equitably spread, but would increase smuggling. How much? I don’t know, but the taxes on cigarettes have gone up astronomically over the years, and I have heard of almost no smuggling issues.
One more thing about government involvement in health care, there are those who make their living capitalizing on fear to control others. The radical clergy around the world will serve as one example. They whip people up into a frenzy about imagined enemies and threats. I remember sitting in a pretty fundamentalist church in the 1970’s, and the preacher was going on about the “Equal Rights Amendment”, and how we were all going to have to use “unisex” bathrooms. People just eat that stuff up. (No pun intended.) It gives them something to get angry at, and we apparently need that.
But the sky is not going to fall, and you are not going to have to deal with “death panels”. Unless you want something imaginary to get angry at.