Posts Tagged ‘universal healthcare’

Personal Care vs. Individual Care vs. Herd Care

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

The science of medicine can identify genetic, biochemical, physiological, and anatomic characteristics and measure how they are modified by disease in each individual. For example, the combination of hypertension, diabetes, and liver disease may be unique in one person and require treatment quite different from others with the same disease manifestation. Addressing these differences is the basis of individual medical care.

Many important differences that affect disease manifestations and responses to treatment, however, are difficult to quantify. Every person has his or her personal theory regarding the maintenance of good health and the nature of illness. These result from the combination of cultural background, education, vocation, standard of living, experience, and world view. As you can imagine, they are difficult to quantify.

These personal attitudes enhance or impair the responses to drugs and other treatments. A good example would be (more…)

The Rationing of Medical Care

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Rationing of medical care has existed in the US for many years, and the denial of its existence has been around just as long.

Most people in the general public don’t recognize rationing when it happens, and many health professionals refuse to admit to its use or disingenuously deny that it exists.

In the past six months, nearly every politician has mentioned rationing in order to deny that it will ever happen under the new healthcare system.  The fact that it already exists in the current system is unaddressed.

Rationing is a normal part of our lives.  Everyone uses it on a daily basis.  What is actually meant by the word “rationing?” When resources like money or food are in limited supply, they require sparing and prudent use – in other words, rationing.

For individuals in a group to conduct rationing on a fair and equitable basis requires what is called, “the ethics of distributive justice.” The group must create the rules of rationing, and must agree on how these rules will be applied. This principle applies in the rationing of medical care, but it has not been followed.

In the US today, the decisions about who will receive funding for medical care and who will not are made by (more…)

Universal Personal Care

Monday, August 24th, 2009

The concept of universal care is not a panacea, but it may be better for more individuals than what we offer today. Whether it is delivered by the government or by the private sector, however, it will be subject to political manipulation as well as exploitation by commercial enterprises.

One example of political influence that is already happening in government-sponsored care is that the Health Care Regions around the country have different Medicare reimbursement criteria for some of the same services. Much of this is the result of variations in lobbying success among regions.

The British health system often is held up as a model of universal care. Its apparent success in controlling costs since its introduction in 1948 is attributable to three major factors. (more…)