The System is Broke

By | October 28, 2011

The national coffers are nearly as empty as this old cash register.

The current cutbacks in healthcare, whether by the government of by private insurance companies all stem from the fact that the American healthcare system is not only broken, but is broke. Broke, busted, threadbare, moth eaten, impoverished; pick your own word. It really doesn’t matter what you call it. Add to this the increasingly technical, complex and costly nature of medical care and you have a recipe for disaster.

The unspoken goal of the government and the insurance companies is to deny all types of care, but especially care for chronic diseases. The logic goes something like this. If I pay for it this year I have implicitly agreed to pay for it next year. The costs of treating the disease will likely only increase so the best thing to do it to deny care now.

The best example of the consequences of failing to adhere this Draconian prescription for healthcare financing is the 1972 program which extended Medicare benefits to nearly all Americans suffering from End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The effects of Medicare funding on the demographics of the disease, the array of treatment options for it and the possible parallels with chronic pain will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog.

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