The operation was a success, but the patient died

I do not believe that we have a health care crisis in the United States.

I do believe that we have a serious problem with the financial aspect of the health care industry.

I also believe that the biggest contributor to the health care financing crisis has been lawyers.

Personal injury lawyers like John Edwards, who can claim a large portion of the credit for crippling the obstetrics field in his home state.

The cost of health care has skyrocketed in the last few decades, while the actual income of physicians has not kept pace. In some cases, it’s declined tremendously. That means that a lot of money is going into the system is getting sucked out before it reaches those who actually provide the services.

Some of it is leeched out by the personal injury lawyers, both directly (through lawsuits) and indirectly (through malpractice insurance premiums).

Some of it is sucked up by the tremendous bureaucracies instituted by the insurance companies, whose purpose is to minimize how much money gets through them to doctors and other health care providers.

Some of it goes into the increased overhead of doctors, who have to comply with zillions of regulations from health insurance companies and the government.

I have no idea what the solution is, but I have a fairly solid notion of what will NOT work.

It’s been a tenet of mine that if you want something done in the most inefficient, most ineffective, most cumbersome, most expensive, and most unproductive way, have the federal government do it. (Line lifted from this posting, when I ‘teased” this one.) And I do not think that our health care funding crisis is so bad that anything would be an improvement — especially getting the federal government involved.

So when someone talks about getting “the government” to fix the health care crisis, remember the last time you dealt with the DMV or Social Security or the IRS or Immigration or any other government bureaucracy — and imagine them being responsible for your health care.

Thanks, but I’ll pass.

A Gun In Your Face
Underpants, lies, and statistics