TSO has this cool post up in which he “plays the curmudgeon so [I] don’t have to.” He watched a bit of a recent Republican debate (a task I am more than happy to delegate) and came away with some quotes to make curmudgeonly remarks about (note that he only had to catch “a bit” of the debate to come away with enough material for a good-sized post.)
A sample of the curmudgeonly stuff:
[Governor Huckabee] said he feels the answer to our health care problems is (drumroll) – greater emphasis on wellness rather than sickness.
[which] completely ignores the root causes of the health care crisis by ignoring lack of insureds, the incredible expansion of what health care now entails, and the fact that it is a human-labor intensive industry. The wellness philosophy is great but it merely postpones the inevitable. Wellness programs don’t elminate sickness and death but merely delay them. Second, it sounds suspiciously like a call for government to go into micro-managing our exercise routines or lack thereof as well as every thing we eat (fast food – no way!).
So now that TSO’s got that curmudgeon stuff out of the way, all I have to do is highlight a section I particularly agree with
the incredible expansion of what health care now entails, and the fact that it is a human-labor intensive industry
and state my agreement:
I think TSO is correct in his diagnosis of the causes of the health care crisis. There’s simply more health care to be had than there was in the past, and that health care still needs to be delivered by human beings, who have to be paid.
Then I add my own commentary:
And the costs of paying those human beings are proportionately higher. Once, most bedside care was given by nuns (who weren’t paid much) and nursing students (who weren’t paid at all.) And there was no need to pay MRI technologists and other allied-health specialists because there were no MRIs, interventional radiology suites, and so on.
But now very few nuns are giving direct nursing care (the few left in health care are in administration) Nursing students are in short supply, and will no longer work for free. Patient care is hard work — it’s physically hard work and requires 24-hour staffing. And thanks to Griswold and Roe, the labor pool is smaller. So wages have be high enough to make it worth it for qualified candidates to pass up other career paths, get the education, enter the health professions, and show up for work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.
Throw in a pop-culture reference:
Even advanced societies such as the late Republic in Star Wars would pay real people — even highly educated Jedis — to fly spacecraft, but could only afford to have androids at the bedside to give medical and nursing care.
And I’m done! All the drudgery of watching the debate and coming up with curmudgeon stuff has been taken care of for me. (Even though I still don’t understand what a “poncer” is.) Thanks, TSO!