Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Damage We Have Done.

In political discourse, it is called framing the debate.

Example: 90 years ago, Congress was debating whether or not to install a national income tax. Today, we have the Federal Income Tax, and no Congressional debates on whether we need an income tax, just how much we should pay. That debate has been framed.

Health care funding, on the other hand, is a very current debate. After watching the CBS 60 Minutes segment on an organization named, Remote Area Medical (RAM), I think someone should ask another question. I wish someone would re-frame the debate.

RAM goes to remote areas of the world to provide desperately needed health care. A few years ago they took the idea local and brought the services to parts of the USA. Hundreds of medical professionals, from dentists to surgeons, met in Tennessee somewhere for a one-day, free service to all comers. The physicians and nurses were doing something they love for people who needed it -- and appreciated it (the report is very clear on this point, see link below).

What does this have to do with a debate? Organizations like RAM are filling a void that should not exist. And it makes me wonder if all of us wouldn't be better off by eliminating the pounds of paperwork and constant threat of medical malpractice, like RAM does on their missions. Why can't we go back to simpler system where an MD is concerned more with the patient's health, than with paperwork and litigation? If the professionals could provide care that way, there, why not in their home office?

Am I being naive? Probably.

But I go back to the title of this post, what damage have we done by allowing medical lawsuits and burdensome paperwork ruin common medical care?

We will have a national healthcare system in the next 5 years -- which reminds me of a political notion as old as the Roman Republic: the loss of personal and civic virtue ushers in decadence and usurpation follows in the name of order.

We live in the American age of centralized government usurpation. It will get worse.

CBS 60 Minutes report on RAM:


The Whited Sepulchre said...

Well said, sir.

And if we could get the legal and insurance professions out of the medical profession, how much do you think it would lower the cost of a Dr's visit?


I think that, combined with a loosening of the definition of "Doctor" would go a long way toward making healthcare affordable.

Francis Shivone said...

At least 50%, and if a lower level degree could do some prescription and common cold stuff, even more. I'm not as much as a "let the market determine the qualification" guy as you are, but I am sympathetic to the idea that common sense does not require a degree.

Thanks for the comment.