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Fixin' Healthcare

Friday, July 08, 2011

Great Expectations and High Hopes

It is conceivable that modern medicine began in the 1960s with Medicare and Medicaid. The era started with great expectations and high hopes. The sudden and increasing flow of money created excesses and continues to generate the biggest financial bubble of all. Mere hints of discovery are a sensation. Researchers and professors become rock stars and start companies. The process has corrupted the academic world. Even a deliberate investigator can have their head turned by the commercial rush to judgement that comes with fame and money. Universities became big business and partners in the process with reluctance to stem the flow of resources, not to mention the desire for institutional fame. Politicians rant about the necessity to provide medical care for everyone. Medicine dominates the health field and the public no longer understands health except in terms of sickness and medical care. Who knows, the genome and its practical application might take us to optimum health status even if it is a long and expensive road. False starts are to be expected. They are factored into the cost.

The medical care bubble is the most severe risk to the country at this time. It is the major contributor to financial strain and it distracts from the basic and necessary understanding of health by the American public.

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