In addition to being too expensive for what you get, American medicine drifted far from patient-service at some point. There will soon be stories of the vastly old who can still remember living through the experience of a doctor coming to their house when they were sick. Tell us what that was like!
Okay, granted, a highly trained doctor spending a good part of their day in a car driving from house to house is not a model of efficiency. But it was replaced by what? A whole lot of very expensive inconvenience. It’s why they call you a patient, because you’ll need to be! The healthcare system in this country built up so much cost for such mediocre service that something was bound to give. It’s giving. It’s even possible that things will find a better equilibrium, as marketplaces (occasionally) do.
Chait’s piece touches on the issue of quality, though he doesn’t seem to notice the red flag in his own narrative. Going to get ‘some antibiotics.’ Hmmm. Haven’t we learned that routine antibiotics was a badly flawed and dangerous category? He maybe should think about asking his highly trained doctor about that, because doctors pioneered and sustained that category for decades!
Our imperfect health system may keep us alive long enough to see something better. But first, while we’re waiting, we’ll have to endure endless politicizing of the issue, like the forever-promised but never delivered GOP ‘alternative’ to Obamacare. It is unlikely we will live long enough to see that. That which doesn’t make you stronger is likely to kill you.