March 22, 2012
Healthcare continues to get ever more expensive. Healthcare is crucial to quality of life in America. How best to reconcile the former with the latter is an issue that has divided, and will continue to divide, people along many lines: have & have-not, 1% & 99%, Republican & Democratican. Healthcare is an issue, I agree. But it is an issue that, despite whinging by just about everyone (especially meek cries your ears can pick out from hospital beds in the distance), is eminently solvable. Simply, kill the sick.
Most people are small-minded and only consider what is lost, which, in this case, is sick people. But think of all the savings! It’s a difficult pill to swallow that things get expensive when there isn’t enough of them, so it’s difficult to swallow that there isn’t enough healthcare for the amount of sick people. Historically, society has dealt with expensive healthcare by increasing the amount of it; classic 20th century thinking and demonstrably too expensive. The right way to cure this ill, to make healthcare cheaper, is to decrease demand by ridding ourselves of the (almost) dead weight that the sick represent. The absence of the needy sick will make hospitals, doctors, pill-makers, breast implanters, and the whole healthcare system compete for customers, healthy customers who have practically no ailments whatsoever. Prices will plummet, affordability will skyrocket.
It’s time to live in the future, the future that is now, the now in which a modern healthy consumer can no longer afford the continued living of the unhealthy consumer. How else can a healthy modern consumer afford $15k per year to tutor each kid on top of the $50k he spends to send each to private nursery schools starting in pre-pre-pre-K? How else can he belong to three golf clubs (each with $1500 minimum monthly spends at the snack bar or clubhouse, mind you), have season tickets to the Knicks, and have a reasonable summer home in a 2nd tier vacation spot like Martha’s Vineyard? How else can he always pay a homeless person $50 in cough syrup to wait in line to get him the new iPad (which is actually called the new iPad) on the first day it comes out? The modern healthy consumer shouldn’t be asked to forgo the bare necessities of life to subsidize the sick. We can dick around with these please everyone solutions or we can get serious about healthcare and simply kill the sick.
Machem Raiser heads a consultancy shop, MLR Associates, which is “renowned” for providing “bold, clear-thinking” white papers to industry leading businesses. His ideas have had “a devil of a time” getting traction, but, per MLR Associates, “not one person has disputed that [MLR's] solutions make sense.” The firm’s motto is: “The world can be better. Let’s make it so. Simply.” LoS has negotiated a pretty sweet deal for all MLR research, research which we are providing to our clients gratis, which means “free” in some old language, probably Babylonian or whatever they spoke in Ur (was it Babylonian?).