The Wrong Debate?

I agree. It’s appalling that such a wealthy country as the U.S. has over 25 million people, including many children, without healthcare insurance. (Which is not to say I want a Socialist solution.)

But I think the financial-coverage debate should be secondary to a debate-dialogue about what the hell we’re buying with the megabucks going into our current healthcare investment.

We spend a ton and a half of money on patching ourselves up … and rank 40th in life expectancy worldwide.

Correctable, in the main, errors in hospitals cost us over 100,000 lives per year.

Correctable errors cost us perhaps 2 or 3 million wounded in hospitals, doctors offices, etc.

Spending wildly overemphasizes after-the-fact fixes rather than prevention and wellness.

Incentives wildly favor specialists who save a few lives (e.g., mine) and their specialist tools over Internists, Family Practice, and Public Health.

My rant: Let’s spend as much time and energy fixing the fixable enumerated above, 99% independent of the insurance debate, and seeing if we can tease out longer lives as a result of our investment. If our life expectancy is so damn low compared to those spending much less, aren’t we at some level getting screwed? I know that’s crude and bizarrely over-simplistic—but there’s also a big kernel of truth to the intemperate statement, isn’t there?

(My current picks re healthcare reading:

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, by Atul Gawande
How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman

Both are excellent writers.)

Tom Peters posted this on July 9, 2007, in Healthcare.
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