h/t Kevin D. Williamson in Health-Care Hell
On the one hand, Medicare patients have a hell of a time connecting with doctors. On the other side of the equation, doctors have a hell of a time dealing with the Obamacare bureaucracy. That is what happens when the government stands between doctors and patients in its role as the world’s least effective middleman.
There is almost nothing else in our economy that works that way. Everybody hates the cable companies, and not without good reason, but you can pretty quickly get an answer about what’s included in a package and what that package costs. You can go online and spec out a car down to the color of the dashboard trim and get an exact price, to the penny. Yes, health care is complicated, but so is telecommunication: How many satellites does your dermatologist operate? Even visits to auto mechanics, which can entail nasty financial surprises, are generally characterized by prices that are determined before the work is done. It would be absurd to go into an Apple store and walk out with an iPad on the understanding that two weeks later you’ll get a 40-page bill in the mail that might be for one amount — or for ten times that amount.
It is inexplicable that the most important work — especially health care and education — is entrusted to the least competent institutions and processes we have. Nobody would stand for a public-sector monopoly on PlayStation games or a “Choose Your Own Adventure” approach to pricing sneakers. But we accept that for educating our children and treating cancer — for the things that matter most.
And what’s at the bottom of that pit of despair? Not any entity so colorful as Dante’s Satan or Milton’s, but a drab little coven of grey bureaucrats, mindlessly gnawing on the American health-care system, forever — or at least until somebody does something about it.