Monday, November 19, 2007
A lot of things have been going on but I haven't felt like writing about them for some reason. I am forcing myself to write this.
I watched Sicko last night. It was better than I thought. It's very, very compelling, and even though I'm sympathetic to the issue it pulled me even more in that direction. I remember being in high school and a teacher or textbook was discussing socialized medicine and the main counterargument, as I remember it, was that American medical companies were responsible for the vast majority of innovation in Western medicine because they were driven by profit. If American health care was controlled by the government than creating a new drug would no longer be a gold mine - it's value would be capped.
However, according to the movie British doctors make more money if they make more people well. I'm sure a government could reward medical research corporations the same way. Even an innovation contest, like the X Prize, could work in the medical (or any) system, ie - set a goal and reward for researchers to attain.
It would be good to see the other side of the story, where the American system bests the Canadian/European one. Undoubtedly there are myriad examples. But I think a utilitarian approach is best for approaching nationwide medical issues, and it'll be hard to justify the low level of care so many millions are experiencing in America today.
Don't get me started on how much vacation time Europeans get. It's ridiculous and unfair, and I am insanely jealous.