So, a couple weeks back, I made some unfair comments directed at fellow medbloggers. It was very snarky, I was in a snarky mood. It was wrong to assume that they don’t care about the uninsured. It’s just, from my perspective, the policies they advocate for would only complicate the problem, not fix it. But hey. My perspective. Shouldn’t have gone into snarky personal mode. Sorry about that.
The issue I think that the aforementioned bloggers and I will probably never see eye-to-eye on is government’s role in health care. I advocate for the government’s role in _paying_ for health care (not running it), because as I see it, the 30+ years of corporate-based, employer-based care has gotten us nowhere but pre-existing conditions, care denials, fraud and scandal, and worse health indicators than other developed nations. To be fair, I’ll admit that the outcome of the early 90s HMO boom *did* cause outcomes to be tested better, and made our system more efficient. That being said, our costs are still rising faster than most other countries, and our health indicators still aren’t good.
On the flip side, if I understand their perpsective correctly, we would be better off without government sticking its nose into healthcare. If we didn’t have Medicare or Medicaid or S-CHIP, we would be better off, and it’s government regulation that causes a lot of the problems in health care, not fixes them.
So, yeah, I don’t think we’re going to ever come around on that one.
Onto other subjects, I like to pick on PhRMA because they do such a great job on picking on the sick. Drug costs up 22% in three years? Inflation hasn’t been *that* bad. Collusion? Fraud? More DC lobbyists than members of Congress? Their goals have little to do with improving the health of the public. Their goal, as any business’s is, is to make money. Legally, or illegally, in their case.
Many people try to argue that innovation is only driven by self-interest, by profit, by money, but I just can’t be convinced. Look at the open-source movement. Look at creativity. Look at curiousity. Many people (myself included) innovate because we want to solve problems, not because we want to make a profit. Because our minds love challenges. Innovation *can* be driven by competition and profit, but innovation will never wither away without them.