The state of healthcare in the United States is deplorable. The quality of care is marvelous … if you can afford to pay for it yourself. If you don’t happen to have 6 million dollars kicking around to try to save your life during and after a transplant, that’s just too bad. Even if you die, your family is still responsible. We do offer payment plans. If this seems like a joke, it’s not. Here are five books you can read to see and understand the terrible costs of for-profit healthcare and how socialized medicine will decrease costs.
1. “The Healthcare Fix: Universal Insurance for All Americans”
Laurence J. Kotlikoff’s book about universal healthcare has some good ideas, but it goes in the wrong direction. Kotlikoff envisions not really universal healthcare but universal insurance coverage. He’s right to say that people shouldn’t be denied coverage for spurious reasons like pre-existing conditions and high-risk diseases from which they suffer. He’s wrong, however, to say that universal insurance is the answer.
2. “What Do We Know about Quality of Care in For-Profit and Nonprofit Managed Care Plans?”
This book goes into great detail about the dangers of the profit motive in doctors. When healthcare is run like a business, including the prospect of pleasing the shareholders, profit inevitably takes over the front seat and relegates actual patient care to the back. The book cites inappropriate uses of a nerve-testing apparatus simply so the doctors could collect extra money for the organizations of which they were a part and also for their “cut.” This is just one example of how this is bad for the level of care in the United States.
3. “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back”
Along the same lines, Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal makes the following observations in her book about healthcare in the United States:
•”… the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.”
•That in the present model of healthcare, there would, instead of a polio vaccine, be iron lungs in multiple colors controlled by your very own iPhone apps
—“An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back,” Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, Penguin-Random House, April 2017
Dr. Rosenthal minces no words. She points out, correctly, that it is collusion between greedy doctors, even-more-greedy companies, and a mad devotion to the for-profit model that has left the American healthcare system in tatters.
4. “Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Implications of For-Profit Enterprise in Health Care; Editor: Bradford H. Gray”
This book turned 30 last year, but it has proven to be remarkably perspicacious in predicting what has happened over the last 30 years. The core of the thrust of this book is that injecting profit into the bloodstream of American healthcare creates conflicts of interest in everyone involved. Doctors, for example, sometimes need new equipment. If they’re forced to buy it at ever-increasing prices, they are then forced to get the money somehow to buy the equipment they need to deliver cutting-edge care. As another example, the administrator of a private hospital is put into the unenviable position, in many cases, of deciding whether shareholder interest or the saving of a human life is the more important thing.
5. “The Book of Matthew”
The prophet Matthew was very direct:
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 8:10 Yes, even the Bible supports the idea of socialized medicine. Note the part about “freely have ye received, freely give.”
Socialized medicine removes financial conflicts of interest. It reduces overall cost because they are fewer administrative costs involved. Doctors could then be free to attempt to cure patients rather than keeping them sick to treat them the rest of their lives just to make a profit.