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Ben at 8:25 Feb 7, 2009 (500 from

Kat, it's not just your dad. NPR did an article talking about the stampede away from general practice. Partly it's the money (specialists are paid a lot more under various health insurance schemes), partly the challenge (you see more interesting cases if someone else has triaged for you), partly the bureaucracy.

I find it hard to believe that the cost of reducing fraud to the point we have is worth it. Presumably some beancounter somewhere has figured out the direct financial cost of fraud versus the direct financial cost of paperwork, just as hospitals have figured out the direct financial cost of paperwork versus the direct financial cost of lawsuits. But isn't there someone whose job it is to look at the mess and say we need to change course? Someone we've picked to preside over the country for a bit?

Health care costs too much. On average that's OK. I don't mind that people with millions to spend on health care can eke out a few more years of life - that doesn't strike me as a problem to really worry about, as long as it's not a cost borne by insurance. But everyone ought to have about the same chance of making it to 50, at least medically speaking. And yet my last two optometrist visits have been billed at close to $500/hr, with no particular infrastructure to warrant it. No wonder people don't get treatment for minor problems, even if they could be quite serious.