[FoRK] Accidental theorist lost, wanted back

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 14:49:41 PDT 2009

It's the fear factor that keeps us at their beck and call, and they at ours.

Simply putting,

On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 5:43 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

>  J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> On Jul 16, 2009, at 1:50 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
>>> As just one clear example of the kind of artificially enforced
>>> inefficiencies:
>>> Many people have severe snoring and sleep apnea, which is now known to
>>> cause several issues.  You can buy a CPAP device and mask for as little as
>>> $300 that cures the problem with essentially no risks to a reasonably
>>> healthy person.  Except it is RX only, so the minimum costs of the process
>>> and equipment amount to $2000-4000.
>>> Or people who go for appointments ($100-180 for a specialist) to have
>>> measurements taken that could have been done at home.  Temp and blood
>>> pressure devices are available at the pharmacy, however pulse/Ox and ECG
>>> machines are supposed to be RX only.  You can get a pocket pulse/ox for
>>> <$100 and a pocket, recording ECG with display for $400.  An office ECG
>>> probably costs $200 each.  (They are better, but the pocket device is good
>>> enough for many checks.)
>> In other words, deregulation of the medical industry would markedly reduce
>> cost.
>> Yet all the standard paternalistic arguments for the regulation still very
>> much apply in the cases you cite above. Are we finally at the point where we
>> as a society are willing to slightly increase the incidence of bad outcomes
>> for significant reductions in cost? I doubt it.
> There has to be some room to improve, possibly drastically.  I do what I
> can: I self-diagnose, use over the counter when it works as well (or better
> in a couple cases), and find other efficiencies.  I think I've mentioned
> before that I found that I could get an xray to rule out fracture for $20 at
> my chiropractor.
> I've been galled by the system a lot too though.
> The thing is, we have more worse outcomes now than we would with a more
> informed, self-service medical pattern.  People avoid going to the hospital
> because it is far too expensive and usually ineffective, avoid the doctor,
> stop treatment, etc.  I just met a woman Sunday who had 3 broken ribs and a
> collapsed lung who avoided going to the hospital for a week.
> If we could see the nearest "medic" for 5 minutes to solve or rule-out
> problems, we'd all be much better off.  The amount of time wasted on
> appointments, missed work, travel, waiting, etc. is terrible.  We don't put
> up with it in much of the rest of our lives, but we're stuck with the old
> model for medicine, mostly.
> sdw
>> J. Andrew Rogers
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