I can buy guns. LOTS of guns. No questions asked. But if I want to buy a prescription strength ibuprofen, I need to talk to a doctor first. There is something basically wrong with that.
It’s rather odd that in the healthcare debate doctors seem to be sliding out of shouldering any of the blame. I don’t see them on talk shows answering questions as to why their services are so hard to navigate, why their prices are so high, why prices are dictated by insurance companies and corporations, or why their profession is the third leading cause of death. Yeah, that’s right. THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA IS DUE TO MEDICAL MISTAKES. Look–>here. Or here.
This does not begin to take into account the amount of people who die every year as a result of the physician started opioid epidemic. Or the Type II Diabetes epidemic started by the deluge of sugar rich food pumped into the veins of Americans–physicians didn’t speak out about that either.
All other professionals are held accountable when there is gross negligence in their field. Automakers: reference the recent Volkswagen scandal or Takata airbag issue. Justice system: reference any number of cases of abuse of power either through police officers or court officials. Industry: when a company is found to be releasing toxic chemicals into the environment or putting out a dangerous product they must answer in court. Doctors? Nah, they largely get a pass and we just keep booking appointments in the most antiquated system available to consumers. Sure there are lawsuits, but is there massive fines, social stigma or overall loss of business and revenue? No.
Have you ever noticed that there is no price list in a doctor’s office? In the Emergency Room? Hanging at the end of the hospital bed? Why? Because it is all a shell game. You pay one price, your neighbor pays another, and insurance companies pay yet another. This is done intentionally to keep the prices a floating mystery so no one is able to compare prices and comparison shop. Hospitals and medical professionals will tell you that they have no idea what the cost is of their services. Emergency Room docs literally don’t know how much each test they order costs, and this is also intentional. Can’t have the patient making informed choices or doctors not ordering unnecessary tests when a patient’s ability to pay is a concern; that would make too much sense. Just rack it up and send the bill via mail a week later.
Is there any other business we interact with where we order goods and services without knowing the price? No. It is bullshit that we allow healthcare to get away with it.
Look at how Amazon has revolutionized shopping. Uber taxis. Airbnb accommodations. Why have doctors not produced the same innovations in their own space? Because they would have to compete with one another, and lose money. In fact some doctors are actively trying to stop technology that would lower costs and be of great efficiency. Optometrists are at this very moment trying to use the power of the state to block innovation in their space. Basically, an App could provide a diagnosis and give a patient the prescription for glasses without the need for a visit to the optometrist. The test is still read by a licensed professional, but some are trying to use the power of the state to stop such innovation and force customers to accept less convenience for more money. Look here.
Always remember that doctors use the power of the state to force their services and solidify their position. You cannot buy prescriptions without seeing them. You cannot order a variety of medical products without their approval. Yet guns and booze are open for everyone. See the problem? Medical professionals sacrifice a lot to take care of their fellow human beings and their achievements and altruism should be commended, but they should also be willing to take the blame when things go sideways. And looking around, the healthcare system seems sideways.