Do we want the consumer-driven marketplace to rule in such a way that untrained, vulnerable individuals can order for themselves expensive medical tests that have no proven benefit and may carry incalculable opportunity costs? Do we want entrepreneurial efforts to increase consumption of highly profitable drugs, regardless of cost and any consideration of what might be best for medical care? Do we want a system that rewards the creation of expensive and profitable services, such as NICUs, without consideration of need? Do we want to continue to witness the compromise of the integrity of basic medical research in the name of profit?As these questions are framed, the answers are obvious. Clearly, it is necessary to overhaul our health care system so that decisions are made to improve health, not the bottom lines of corporate enterprises. Current issues in health care that politicians debate (universal health insurance, medical malpractice reform, a drug benefit for senior citizens) are important, but dealing with them will constitute mere tinkering with a system that needs more than a patch here and a stitch there. Rather, fundamental assumptions about medicine’s role in our society need to be considered. It is a wonder that we allow such a flawed system to persist. It a greater wonder that the basic question of what health care should be, a business or a social service, is not even on the national agenda.
Very well articulated conclusion to a post on E-patient Dave’s blog… as supplied by e-patient @StaticNrg
Is Healthcare a business or a social service? It is certain that the current reform debate will not address this basic question. Nor will it address many of the fundamental flaws that exist in our current system.
We will soon witness a politically motivated, “save face”, *health care reform* package heading for passage through the Congress…(perhaps even using reconciliation for the funding provisions…) and in the end, very few of the major flaws in the system will have been addressed. Opportunity missed…