I’m 41 today. Sort of. I was born on leap year, so today is my pseudo-birthday. My second driver’s license read 21 on Feb 28, 1993 so the state has established official precedent.
I have a very indulgent birthday plan, going on a road trip for a concert. Hint: we probably won’t hear the greatest song in the world, but could hope for a tribute.My road trip buddy for today is a major beer aficionado, and I’m a no-sugar-no-grains guy, so this should be interesting.
OK enough about me. To the question…..
If you live in the US (And from my blog stats, not all of you readers do, which blows my mind) you are used to hearing a piece of conventional wisdom that is just accepted as a statement so true and obvious, it’s like saying that we breathe air. But maybe it’s time to ask if this conventional wisdom is true, or at least, if we define it properly.
Here it is:
America has the best healthcare system in the world.
I think it’s fair to deconstruct that claim. I think it’s time to deconstruct that claim.
If I would suffer a gunshot wound, terrible car accident, or develop a rare brain tumor, then absolutely, no question, I am a flag-waving patriot and I am making my first choice the good old U S of A.
But if I were an alien, visiting the earth and observing the humans on it, I am not sure that I would conclude that this population clearly has the best healthcare. Our technology is top notch in responding to acute problems. But in preventing chronic problems?
I have more thoughts on this, but they aren’t well formed. So maybe it’s time to invite more input here. I don’t ask for comments much, but now I am. I don’t have a forum function on the blog, but I would love to hear from you.
Poll question for your consideration:
What does a good healthcare system look like?
Forget the specific arguments of current policy, economics and politics. I am personally tempted to just point fingers at the AMA, the FDA, the AHA, etc etc… and we’ll still do that here. But for now, let’s have a conversation. All viewpoints are welcome, and I am especially inviting non-US perspectives, and those of people who work in the system. Another day we’ll discuss Steven Brill’s epic 36 page cover story in Time on the healthcare costs. He asks the question: before we decide who pays the high bills, why not ask why the bills are so high? That is a dense article, and worthy of your consideration.
But right now, the question is general: what does a good healthcare system look like?