In response to a New York Times op-ed on health care by Christy Ford Chaplin posted on June 19, 2017, in the New York Times (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/opinion/health-insurance-american-medical-association.html), an anesthesiologist posted a helpful comment on the facts that are needed and questions that should be asked to address healcare in the USA.
Wesley Clark - Brooklyn, NY
Although the article's highlighting of the AMA's destructive role in all of this is welcome, the article itself does absolutely nothing to prove that prepaid physician groups are the way forward. It identifies a real problem, but in response to it says, essentially, "Hmm - well, I don't know - maybe we should try this - ?"
We need a clearer answer, and we should start with a few facts and questions: 1) Other countries do it much better and for less money - what are they doing differently? 2) Upper-management salaries in medicine have ballooned to obscene levels lately - why are we paying them so much money? 3) Doctors make much more in the US than in many other countries - is there any reason for this? 4) Drugs cost much more here than in other countries - why should we put up with this? 5) American medical students overwhelmingly choose lucrative specialties as opposed to primary care - should we regulate this? 6) There seems to be a generalized, clunky inefficiency in American medicine (recent ER waits for non-life-threatening conditions: New York - 5 hours; Austria - 0 minutes) - what is going on here?
By the way - the AMA and other physician organizations are still at it. In my specialty (anesthesia), I regularly receive messages from my professional group asking me to lobby against allowing nurses to do various tasks that they are perfectly well qualified for. Doctors are no less self-dealing than anyone else. They must not be allowed to regulate themselves.