Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Care Crisis

The health care "debate" rages on, fueled at times by hysterical fears and plenty of outright falsehood.

What seems lost to many is the growing need among millions of Americans for basic health care.

Take a look at the video. It first aired on "60 Minutes" in 2008 before the Presidential election.

Sustainability and scale are the key challenges facing "free clinics" like the ones featured in the report. We need to find a way to care for one another, and that means everyone.



Anonymous said...

This is a frighting statement about the care we give to the citizens that make up our country. That this effort by this good man and his team of volunteer doctors and nurses is needed at all is an indictment of our failure as a society. And yet, we have so many voices saying we should not make needed changes.

How do these people live with themselves at night?.

Anonymous said...

They live with themselves, that's why they are ignorant to the plight of others.

Chris said...

Perhaps we could have the great care:) of socialist countries if we didn't have to spend so much on medical innovation which other countries get to take advantage of. Of all the medical innovations in recent years, most have been invented or developed in the US. America is responsible for 80% of the world's medical innovations such as MRIs, CT scans, knee and hip replacements, statins, ACE inhabitors and mammography to name a few. American scientists, or ones who have done their research here, won Nobel Prizes 29 of the last 34 years.

The investment required to develop new drugs and procedures is substantial. From start to finish the process takes 12-15 years and can cost anywhere from $800 million to $2 billion. And in the end only about 30 percent of all medicines actually turn a profit. These investments will become even less profitable under a government system in which prices are artificially depressed.

Just as it is no concidence that the great life-saving inventions of our time came from the greatest medical minds, it is no concidence that the vast majority of those inventions were developed in America. The scientific and productive processes are both delicate and expensive, and require a free and dynamic system to flourish. If Americans are content to see health care innovation dwindle and stagnate in the future, they should openly embrace the "public option" supported by Obama. But if we still value innovative and all the benefits that come with it, we should fight to kill the public option before it kills us.

We could reform the present system without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We may be the black sheep of the world's health care systems, but that does not mean we should go die our wool to resemble the rest of the world.

(From D.C. Writeup)

I might add that so far everything Obama has done has failed and we want to trust him with our medical care?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Larry James said...

Let's keep it civil and respectful.

Chris said...

I was going to respond to anonymous, the one Larry removed. He said something about it being a myth that the US is responsible for the most innovations. If he was not civil I missed it.

Anyway, my information originally came from Dr. Scott Atlas of Stanford University. He also said that the top 5 hospitals in the US conduct more clinical trials than ALL the hospitals in any developed country.

I named seven innovations that are used daily that were invented in the US. What are some that were invented in other countries?

Larry James said...

Chris, the comment I removed is the one to which you refer, but you evidently didn't read the last line. I found it in poor taste and having nothing to do with the point you were making.

That said, I continue to disagree with your view. The notion that medical innovation results from our making health and health care a community to be traded on the NYSE or bought and sold to the highest bidder simply doesn't hold water. In fact, the federal government supports and underwrites much of this work through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research from its 27 centers. Research and innovation is not driven by profit motive alone or even in major proportion--that is a commonly held myth. In fact, on its face and if true, would place the medical community in a rather dim light as to motivation. Hospital systems, even some non-profit systems, often develop treatment centers for the insured and the wealthy to market their treatments to underwrite the rest of their more routine care centers. In short, our making and treating health as a product or a commodity is not only drives costs up, it is also unethical in my view.

Chris said...

A light bulb went off in my head a few minutes later:)