I think of all the talk recently about the overhaul of the US healthcare system, one point made on Midmorning a while ago, sticks with me: when did people cease to be patients and become customers?
That's a question I'd dearly like to hear answered. I'm a patient, I am ill, I am going to a doctor/nurse/etc for care. I am not interested in buying healthcare services, I am interested in care. I don't want hospitals and other providers of care to be profit motivated.
Why? In all my reading and experience, anything that goes to profit motivation eventually falls into the myopic whims of idiots with more money than sense. Penny-wise and pound-foolish becomes the rule of the day. The enterprise self-destructs as if its management is some sort of insidious cancer. Best case example I can think of: ATT; not the current one, the old one. Read a bit on it.
In my own personal experience, all the nurses in my family (the good ones anyways), didn't get into nursing for the money, to service customers. They got in it to help make people better, or at least, hurt less.
I think the debate on this whole topic needs to be reworded. And the financial hand-wringers need to shut up. It will cost some in the short. But in the long, it will be cheaper as we all become healthier and need less treatment over time. We need to care for each other, to provide care to patients. We don't need to provide services. No options but a public option: sure, let the current companies manage the handling of paperwork and such, they already know how to do it.
I no longer want to hear free-market fantasies on healthcare. I don't care if the upper 1% can't get their third ivory back scratcher this year. The upper 1% has, by and large, never really "re-invested" or "created jobs". This is myth, pure and simple. They've "re-invested" just enough to keep their private, buffered and pampered life-style. You want proof: take a drive through the Hamptons, or Beverly Hills, or West Palm Beach, or Grosse Point, provided you can enter past the community gates.
9 months ago