Friday, July 23, 2010

All your health care are belong to us Pt. III

The hit machine that is Dr. Donald Berwick (President Obama's hopeful for heading up Medicare and Medicaid and who will now be subject to Senate confirmation) keeps on rolling (Pts. I and II can be found here).

If the terms "rationing", "regime" and fascist pig somehow offend you with respect to ObamaCare, we suggest you listen to the man himself.


"For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained."

You can pretty much kiss medical innovation good bye because innovation costs money (with the hope of a return (see also, evil profits)) and we now worship at the altar of cost containment.

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

We love showing this quote and those similar made by other ObamaCare acolytes to women in our age group who have benefited from early detection. Let's just say that their reaction is usually less than favorable.

"I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."

"Health care has taken a century to learn how badly we need the best of Frederick Taylor [the father of scientific management]. If we can't standardize appropriate parts of our processes to absolute reliability, we cannot approach perfection."

"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."

"Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support."

"The U.K has people in charge of its health care—people with the clear duty and much of the authority to take on the challenge of changing the system as a whole. The U.S. does not."

Translation: All your health care no longer belongs to you. That physician-patient relationship? Forget it. Standardization is simply code for rationing. Rationing of medical goods and services that have passed through the bureaucratic wickets of Berwick's "people" who will, with missionary zeal, enforce equality over quality.

Follower update: Nickie Goomba and What Makes Us Right are in the house.


drozz said...

"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."

is it me, or does that quote seemingly clash with the hippocratic oath?

Dean said...

Drozz, that's a very interesting point. The Hippocratic oath has changed over the years (the original greek oath was taken as a pledge to the greek gods and contained a provision that prohibited administering abortions) so one might say it is a, ahem, "living document".

However, to the larger point of the physician-patient relationship, here are the first two lines of what is considered the modern Hippocratic oath:

"I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism."

Now, that does seem to be at odds with Berwick's fixation with "standardization" and down-playing of physician autonomy.

Berwick doesn't want the doctor playing God... he'd prefer "the machine" to do it.

Would love to hear others' take on drozz's question.

Thanks, drozz.