He left this as a comment to yesterday’s QotD, but it’s too important just to leave there:
I’ve said it before. The pre-Obamacare healthcare market was already distorted by perverse, unnatural market forces, and that this sort of problem whose root cause was complexity was not going to be solved by adding additional complexity to it.
The only thing additional complexity would do would be to shake things up, find a new set of winners and losers, and generally cost everyone.
Coming off my yearly engagement with the think tanks, I’ve heard, for the first time, a series of data points coming from hospital CEOs that add up to one thing: the admission that exercising a hospital’s primary function is no longer a source of value and revenue, it is viewed as entirely cost, risk, and liability. Consequently, they are no longer building any capacity, and are in fact looking for ways to reduce their capacity and eliminate hospital beds.
The aging boomers are gonna love that when it comes home to roost.
Again, I think it bears repeating: the healthcare industry now views exercising its particular expertise and primary function as primarily a source of cost, risk, and liability.
That, as they say, isn’t sustainable.
In desperation, they’re looking to preventative care across their collective “healthcare community” (defined by what?) to save them, but at the end of the day, preventative medicine comes down to 3 things: “Don’t smoke, don’t be obese, and get a checkup once a year, do what doc says if they find something”. That will get them something, but not a whole lot. Humans being what they are, horsehair shirts never work.
The dark portent dripped across the whole thing is, of course, the premise that any lifestyle choice that potentially affects health becomes a matter of public policy, because it’s now a matter of public expense.
Welcome to the endarkenment, a peculiar state of nature.
I’m going to close this post with a quote from the Starship Nostromo’s AI “Mother”:
“The option to override detonation procedure has now expired.”
American healthcare is all over but the screaming.