The Coming Impoverishment of Medical Doctors

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Years ago when I drove a taxi to support my family I picked up a British physician at the Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio. He was well known in the United Kingdom. He was in the U.S. teaching doctors something. He told me that he had been invited out that evening to fraternize with some American doctors. He just went back to his hotel and explained he didn’t have the money to keep up with his American colleagues.

For many decades Americans have been told that healthcare in the United States was the best in the world. But, it isn’t anymore. Medical school has been dumbed down considerably even though it is still hard to get into. The average physician collects rent these days far more than he sees patients. There is just not enough profit in seeing patients to justify the time it takes. Doctors scan the results of blood tests, ultra sounds and other tests looking for conditions that are profitable to treat. Healthcare has completely left the realm of free markets.  Medical errors are the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. If a patient has a malady that doesn’t show up on a standard test, it is not going to get treated. Free markets are the sole source of good will in an economy. Any other system comes down to economics by force. In a government run healthcare system there is no goodwill. It is an every man for himself system. Doctors have commodities for patients and patients have generic doctors.

Doctors are important but they have less and less utility to society with every passing day. Combine the constantly declining value of a U.S. physician’s services with higher incomes than doctors in other countries and you have a guarantee that their incomes here will decline. For many decades healthcare professionals have benefited from government promoting healthcare and paying patient expenses. What has changed? One of the shortcomings of rigged markets is that the benefits go to those with the most political power. In terms of political power, health care professionals are starting to lose out. Benefits from lobbying efforts now now enrich mostly those at the corporate level and higher. In many cases, doctors are at as much at a disadvantage as their patients. Since doctors have lost political power, government is paying them as little as possible for the services they provide. They try to make it up in volume. Time with a patient is 15 minutes max and more like 7 minutes when possible.

In economics, reality gaps are always temporary. When education levels are declining here and the same level of professionals are payed much less elsewhere, the reality gap will close. How will it close? We don’t know but it will work like magic. The explanation will come after it happens. The question is like asking, how will water seek its own level?

Of the U.S. healthcare dollar, insurance companies take a huge portion. It is not really insurance in a classical sense. It is an expensive payment management system. Certainly U.S. doctors will eventually start cultivating cash business. Insurance for patients is expensive beyond any estimation. As it is, a cash customer is charged more than three times what a doctor is payed by an insurance company. The modern health insurance company is a child of government, offers no value and extracts countless unnecessary dollars out of the population.

The truth is a hard sell. Fantasy Free Economics gains readers one at a time. Major search engines simply do not list blogs which disagree with their political agenda. As long as folks share the link to this blog and others speaking out against the grain, the truth will at least trickle into the public consciousness.




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About Fantasy Free Economics

James Quillian independent scholar,free market economist,and teacher of natural law. Who is James Quillian? Certainly I am nobody special, Just a tireless academic and deep thinker. Besides that, I have broken the code with respect to economics and political science. Credentials? Nothing you would be impressed with. I am not a household name. It is hard to become famous writing that virtually no one in the country is genuinely not in touch with reality. But, if I did not do that, there would be no point in my broking the broken the code. If you read the blog, it is easy to see that there are just a few charts, no math and no quantitative analysis. That is not by accident. Given what I know, those items are completely useless. I do turn out to be highly adept at applying natural law. Natural law has predominance over any principles the social science comes up. By virtue of understanding natural law, I can debunk, in just a few sentences , any theory that calls for intervention by a government. My taking the time to understand the ins and outs of Keynes General Theory is about like expecting a chemistry student to completely grasp all that the alchemists of the middle ages thought they understood in efforts to turn base metals into goal. Keynesian theory clearly calls for complete objectivity. Government can only make political decisions. Keynesian techniques call for economic decisions. So, why go any further with that? Fantasy Free Economics is in a sense a lot like technical analysis. Technical analysis began with the premise that it was impossible to gain enough information studying fundamentals to gain a trading advantage. Study the behavior of investors instead. Unlike technical analysis, I don't use technical charts. What I understand are the incentives of different people and entities active in the economics arena. For example, there is no such thing as an incentive to serve with life in the aggregate. In the aggregate, only self interest applies. It is routinely assumed otherwise. That is highly unappealing. But, I am sorry. That is the way it is. I can accept that because I am genuinely in touch with reality. Step one in using Fantasy Free Economics is for me to understand just how little I really know. A highly credentialed economist may know 100 times what I do based on the standard dogma. Compare the knowledge each of us has compared to all there is to know and we both look like we know nothing at all. There is always more than we don't know than what we do know. I am humble enough to present myself on that basis. Why? That is the way it is. I am not bad at math. I have taught math. What I understand is when to use it and when to rely on something else. Math is useless in natural law so I don't use it. While others look at numbers, I am busy understanding the forces in nature that makes their numbers what they are. That gives me a clear advantage.
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