Letter: Greedy players
The problem with Obamacare is that it involved making a deal with the devil. The premise was that all the special interests would rise above their own self-interests for a “higher cause”: public service. It is more like a bunch of hungry lions scraping over a fresh kill, with the prize being more akin to an ongoing slot machine payout. That’s the first mistake made in assuming universal health care.
So, who are the players? They are four big industries: insurance, hospital, specialist and pharmaceuticals.
Insurance will weasel out of everything it can to avoid any payouts; the fewer the payouts other than to executives and lobbyists, the better.
Hospitals are the second-biggest employer in the private sector. Hospitals overcharge for goods, promote by default, provide poor nutrition and work their employees 12-hour shifts.
Specialists earn two-three times as much as primary care physicians and have their ethic backward: “Intervention before prevention.” They have expensive, redundant, planned obsolescent equipment, performing unnecessary surgeries with less than stellar results.
Pharmaceuticals with their thousand percent markup also preclude foreign competition, and have ongoing markups for existing drugs, while delaying generics by tweaking formulae and charging more for drugs to buy off timely generics.
The second mistake was to believe Congress could fix it. So who believes, as it was once predicted, that a bunch of monkeys left in a room with typewriters could create a Shakespeare work? It’s more likely that the clouds would paint the Mona Lisa.
Thanks to Dr. Feinsinger for making us aware of all these pitfalls enumerated in Robert Pearl’s book. May the powers that be accept the state of things, and follow the ongoing advice to “right” the system.