Sunday Suggestions

Well, it’s that time again — time to shepherd some tidbits from my weekly web wanderings:

  • Clueless healthcare solution: This WSJ letter to the editor shows the typical cluelessness (a favorite of libertarians) to the solution of high medical costs, to wit: lets just increase the supply of doctors. Sorry, no workee: 1) If you pay physicians less than their cost to provide services, increasing the number of physicians will not solve the problem — it will worsen it; 2) the usual rules of supply and demand do not apply in medicine, where prices are fixed by third parties (the government and insurance companies), transparency is impossible (due to litigation risk and rules limiting openness in pricing and services); 3) where the consumer is largely sheltered from the costs of the services purchased; 4) Oh, and by the way: the government and the AMA don’t regulate the number of physicians trained.
    In short, free market principles don’t work when the market isn’t free: Regulation Leaves U.S. Doctor Supply in Demand.
  • Canadian health care system: Problems galore in the Canadian health care system — which is often seen as a model for the U.S. Here’s a bevy of links detailing them:
    Top court strikes down Quebec private health-care ban
    A new ‘Day’ for the CMA
    Alberta fuels Canada healthcare debate
    The family physician shortage
    Canada’s doctor shortage to worsen without changes: Fraser report
    Canadians begin waiting for surgery before getting on the “wait list”
    This is Boomtown, Ont.
    Public, private health should co-exist, CMA says
  • 35W Bridge collapse photos: Amazing slide show here.
  • Why aren’t doctors paid by the hour?: I’ve spoken about this before as one solution to exiting our health care maze: One part of the answer: the payors (government & insurance industry) hate the idea: Why aren’t doctors paid by the hour?
  • Faith & meaning: We’ve been batting around the tension between faith and reason here recently (with more to come). Here’s an older post of mine touching on some of the same issues, from a little different perspective: Collision of Worlds.

That’s all for now — have a great week, and God bless.

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