Monday, March 11

When it comes to health care, the U.S. is asking all the wrong questions

"…we do not have a health care system in America. We have a disease-management system -- one that depends on ruinously expensive drugs and surgeries that treat health conditions after they manifest rather than giving our citizens simple diet, lifestyle and therapeutic tools to keep them healthy.
"The brutal fact is that we spend more on health care than any other country -- an estimated $9,348 per capita in 2013 -- and get shockingly little for our money.
"The U.S. 'currently ranks lowest on a variety of health measures,' concludes a new report from an expert panel commissioned by the National Institutes of Health. Specifically, Americans have more obesity, more sexually transmitted diseases, shorter life expectancies and higher infant mortality than the inhabitants of nearly all of the 16 developed 'peer' countries studied.
"Why? A major culprit is a medical system based on maximizing profits rather than fostering good health."


  1. Dr Weill is an interesting source to see you cite.
    He over simplifies, too.
    US life expectancy is a lot higher (1st on world by some studies) when you control for our violent and car-accident prone culture.
    And it's been well documented that being overweight by the standard BMI measurements (which do not distinguish muscle from fat) correlates with higher longevity.
    We should be wary of proceeding to policy from positions born of questionable rigor.

  2. I didn't realize he was into homeopathy, which I think is bunk. Nonetheless, I do think it's possible to agree with someone's idea conceptually, without buying in to every single thing that they believe in. This idea: "we do not have a health care system in America. We have a disease-management system" is correct.

  3. Right, one should not toss out all ideas from a person just because some of them are questionable.
    Disease management makes a lot of sense in many cases as when to intervene - preventative medicine has not proven a great tool ( )
    Though the phrase disease management seems at odds with his later claim "But modern American medicine treats almost every health condition as if it were an emergency."
    That we need to be provided diet and lifestyle 'tools' is a little silly, too - we have these great tools we were born with. When we use our asses for walking, running, climbing... our arms for lifting, pushing, throwing... as opposed to only sitting and clicking, we develop and maintain health. The feedback system is also pretty effective, too.