Saturday, February 23, 2013

USA medicine 2013—the economy doesn't get much more real


My God!  Reality has entered the world of establishment journalism.  They are FINALLY getting to the important question of USA medicine—Why is it so damn expensive?  I mean, if folks could afford it, they would probably love their medicine.

Anyway, this serious piece on medicine's COSTS was written by Stephen Brill and it's what folks used to expect from journalism—thoughtful, informative, well written, comprehensive.  Time freaking Magazine gave it 36 pages!

Turns out that organizing medicine around the economic concept that sick people should be treated as prey doesn't work very well.  It's why the affordability of medicine is one of those issues that should transcend politics.  Yet the medical-industrial complex spends billions on a highly productive effort to corrupt the political process.

Wow—treating the sick as prey not only diminishes health care, it bankrupts a nations and corrupts politics.  Hard to imagine a worse idea.

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

By Steven Brill Feb. 20, 2013


Taken as a whole, these powerful institutions and the bills they churn out dominate the nation’s economy and put demands on taxpayers to a degree unequaled anywhere else on earth. In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries. Yet in every measurable way, the results our health care system produces are no better and often worse than the outcomes in those countries.

According to one of a series of exhaustive studies done by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm, we spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. We may be shocked at the $60 billion price tag for cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. We spent almost that much last week on health care. We spend more every year on artificial knees and hips than what Hollywood collects at the box office. We spend two or three times that much on durable medical devices like canes and wheelchairs, in part because a heavily lobbied Congress forces Medicare to pay 25% to 75% more for this equipment than it would cost at Walmart. more


  1. 26,000 words but I transferred them to my Kindle and am going to read the whole thing later today.

    Don't get sick, the bill will kill you.

    1. Got that one right. There is a reason why we can spend so much money on medicine in USA and have worse outcomes than about a dozen other countries—poverty WILL make you sick so any medical treatment that reduces you to poverty is hardly worth the effort.


      How sad is it that you have to go to a humor magazine to read a story that should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country?