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.)