I recently published my second piece on what I call “Costco Health Care”. This latest one is at the AAFP’s Fresh Perspectives Blog, whereas the first was at Physician’s Practice. While the two articles are actually quite different in their approach, the common link between them is the waste that we have in our health care system. Unfortunately, a lot of this is unrecognized without hindsight, but the majority of it is known beforehand.
“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets,” and the US health care system is the least-efficient, least consumer-centric industry in the developed world. It’s an extremely convoluted system, with so many superfluous, redundant, confusing, expensive, and deleterious parts, that very few experts/analysts actually understand it! (see Ezekiel Emmanuel’s Reinventing American Health Care for a full explanation of how few people really get it.) To identify such an industry as socialist misunderstands the lack of central organization in it’s structure; to identify it as capitalist ignores the presupposition that the consumer can have full understanding of the implications of their “rational” choices. The system is (and likely ever will be) fully caught in the middle of these two ideologies and can thus never experience the benefits of either, but likely just the harms of both. Hopefully we can at least keep Costco in its intended economic role, instead of permeating our health care system.