Armed with information

A PBS show about a successful but financially strained state run health care program for the poor in Tennessee featured someone–a state representative dead set against the program–who said: not all problems can be solved with money. Fair enough. But all money problems can be solved with money, and that was a money problem. David Broder isn’t far away from that when he writes:

>What I learned about Leavitt in his years as governor is that he is blessed with vision that sees future policy challenges and developments more clearly than most politicians. In this case, he is visualizing a radically different kind of medical marketplace, in which families armed with specific information about the treatment success and prices of hospitals and doctors can shop at will for the best quality and most affordable care.

There’s no shortage of information about health care success. Here’s one that even I know: seeing a doctor for basic health care needs increases one’s healthness quotient. The primary shortage, as anyone can tell you, is access to affordable health care for millions of employed as well as unemployed people.

3 thoughts on “Armed with information”

  1. So it’s a market for medical care, they want?

    Maybe they should tap the E-bay system. Bid on the heart surgery you need being offered by user “DoctorNic,” and then after the procedure, rate your new heart on a scale from 1 to 5 stars.

    This would truly capitalize on the full potential of market forces. Think of the efficiency of such a peer to peer system! Really, we wouldn’t need medical review boards, or anything. Doctor has a low star rating from botched operations? Don’t go to him! The system runs itself!

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to “arm” myself–with information or anything else–before attempting to get medical care. That’s why I go to a doctor; they’re the ones with the info.

  2. I think these people (Brooks and Will) are consciously spinning b.s., but I also get the feeling that they really, really have no clue what it’s like not to have insurance.
    In these partisan (and it kills the that access to medical care is a partisan issue) debates, sometimes you can tell whether someone is arguing something absurd out of ignorance or simply lying. On this issue Brooks is probably guilty of both.

  3. I think that’s basically right, Dagon, but this time we’re talking about David Broder. He tends to be guilty of something similar–not realizing he’s spinning b.s.

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