Economics of Healthcare

in #capitalism4 years ago (edited)


This is a debate article and a reply to @denmarkguy and his excellent blog post about healthcare, which can be viewed here. It would make more sense to read his article first, since the focus on this blog post is to reply to his and thus I don't know how fair I represent his point: To be human is to have flaws 😉

I will cut through straight to the meat of the issue, which in my opinion is a faulty starting ground:

 How do you reconcile a system whose primary edict and measure of success is profit maximization and growth to an industry whose primary measure of success and efficacy is — in essence — minimizing the need for itself?  - @denmarkguy

A fair assumption, that comes from a good place - But, is sadly wrong. Why? Well, the hospitals is responding to needs that occur from human action. The aim of the hospital is not to eradicate all illnesses from the world and make it so no one gets hurt ever again, its is simply put a mechanics shop for humans. People will get sick and break legs outside of any recommendations of the doctors.

Case in point: The American (or rather, western in general) obesity epidemic. This epidemic is one of the top reasons for death in the west - And we have the formula for how to not be obese and die from it. We have doctors specializing in diet, we have a world of information regarding this at our fingertips all for free. We have tools that allow us to plug in weight and calorie intake and it will spit out a eating plan that will remove the problem over time, with some effort. Yet, fat removal surgery and similar quick fixes is a multi-billion dollar industry, devouring a huge chunk of the health industry's time, resources and attention.

It is, simply put, out of the health industry's hands how we come to this point and they are simply responding to a need since there is an incentive to do it. Just like the phone screen repairman is waiting by his shop for the moment someone drops their new #iphone to the ground and needs it fixed.

 Its competition that will drive down the price, not the eradication of the need for hospitals. We have virtually removed a lot of diseases, yet the need for hospitals is ever increasing.

                                               DECENTRALIZATION OF HEALTH CARE

 What I am making a pitch for is an entirely new approach, because clearly what we have isn't working, and socialized medicine is typically also less than ideal.If anything, I'm making a pitch for healthcare and medicine as a "zero sum game" rather than a "for profit" game. A "game" in which the primary objective is a healthy and happy healthcare recipient, not a bunch of "happy investors."  - @denmarkguy

This proposal is merely trying to change the distribution of currency-for-health and I can see the micro-economic strength for a system change, but you are merely toying with the business model and are not touching the simple facts of reality that even a change in the system can remove: The staff needs salary in some form and the upkeep of the hospital needs to be tended to, machinery will get old and need fixing for example. Cleaning and sterilizing the operation rooms needs to be done by someone and that requires outside goods, unless the hospital is also a self-sustaining cleaning-product factory.

Change the hospital monetary input to a block chain system all you want, the nurses still wants a home and food at the end of the day. Philanthropists are donating to hospitals today and hospitals do surgeries pro bono, making the economics more transparent through a block chain tech might theoretically improve these two factors? I don't know. What I do know though is that if more people had a healthier lifestyle their personal need for hospital visits would be severely cut and through that a better personal financial situation.

---- Alex Utopium ---  [Steemit] [Minds] [Twitter]

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The Utopium blog is a small project to bring an english-speaking audience my musings on Scandinavian politics. Maybe you want to read about how I am Supporting the Norwegian King with tax money?

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