• Hoisted from the comments: health care is like managing nuclear power plant safety

    Pat S  writes,

    [Health care decisions are] not like the decisions that auto owners make about how and how often to change their oil. [Putting consumers in charge of health decisions] is more similar to giving electrical power customers the decision as to how much and when to spend on safety for nuclear power plants. The information is just as esoteric, even more fraught with emotional and physical danger, and just as likely to elicit wildly varying reactions depending on the immediate setting and perceived risks of the moment.

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    • [Putting consumers in charge of health decisions] is more similar to giving electrical power customers the decision as to how much and when to spend on safety for nuclear power plants.

      Let us remember that the median voter has not done such a good job with that. If it goes through Government it is the median voter who will decide.

      The Japan nuke plant damage, with so far zero casualties, still commands far more attention than the tsunami’s tens of thousands of deaths. Consider also:

      When, in 1975, about 30 dams in central China failed in short succession due to severe flooding, an estimated 230,000 people died. Include the toll from this single event, and fatalities from hydropower far exceed the number of deaths from all other energy sources.

      http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/04/fear-water.html

    • Disagree.

      Pat S. is lambasting market based reforms as a free for all unfettered capitalism. I do not know many reformers who take this approach. As well, market based reforms do not equate with complete decision making capacity.

      As well, you have to deal with that patients DO make these decisions already without considering consequences or the right information. The current system encourages complacency because there is barely any incentives for a patient to know. The current system is set up as he would prefer, aka healthcare is magic so do not try to understand it. This is one of the main reasons their is a huge cost problem.

      I guess he wants to continue to have patients be in the dark about their healthcare decisions and options. I wonder if physicians prefer an educated patient or an ignorant patient. Are we now encouraging patients to not take care of themselves? Let the doctor tell me what to eat and how to live.

      To me his position sounds rather elitist and impractical. As well, his position sounds quite ironic because he is writing this on a blog. The purpose of this blog is self-education. After all, he believes we should not allow education to the masses because telling citizens how safe nuclear energy really is and how nuclear energy is a green technology would be detrimental to society.