Big Government, Healthcare IT, Our Healthcare System and the Economy

There are a couple things going on in this country which are troubling. Two of them have to do with healthcare and the third has to do with our overall economy which is closely linked to healthcare.

Government is getting too involved with healthcare. First, they are rushing to mandate information technology (IT) which is not “ready for prime time”. Second, they are going to set up a government option for healthcare which will be subsidized by our tax dollars. This option will drive other insurance companies out of business (you can’t compete with a significantly subsidized competitor). There will then be a one payer system so we will no longer have choice. This system will be designed and run by government beurocrates (which I am not excited about) who we will be supporting through our tax dollars (higher taxes on everyone). Healthcare will be more expensive and less effective (See Medical Economics July 10, 2009, Critical Mass) AND this system will have a negative effect on small business and big business and our economy. Finally doctors will be affected in all sorts of ways (see Medical Economics July 10, 2009, Top-down, bottom-up, and medicine in the middle).

As we watch Obama and his advisors change our basic healthcare system and our basic economic system (from a small business model to a big government model), everyone should take some time to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The book is very long, so read the Cliff Notes!

What are your thoughts on all the changes going on right now, from the changes in our healthcare system to the mandates for electronic medical records. Who is going to pay for all this? Who is going to implement all of this? Is it going to work? Are we doing a big experiment (with our whole healthcare system and our whole economy) without doing smaller experiments to see what will happen?

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Dr. Jeff


  • A natural migration to EMRs will happen when they are usable, helpful and affordable. This happened 20 years ago with practice management systems. At first, they were “not ready for prime time” and no one used them. Finally, when they helped with office efficiency (scheduling) and billing, we all got computers to run our practice management systems. The government should encourage us to use EMRs and they should encourage companies to produce better EMRs. They should not mandate their use, especially if there is a chance they will mess up the system by making doctors less productive and efficient.

  • If you are involved in healthcare, you MUST read Atlas Shrugged! It will explain the fundamental problems with President Obama’s appoach to healthcare as well as his fundamentally flawed approach to our economy. Read it. The Cliff Notes/Monach Notes are just as good as the real book because you just need to understand the basic issues and how they relate! Read Atlas Shrugged!

  • Bob,
    How far away from that point do you think we are? To me it seems like there are some EMR that can provide what you’re suggesting, but there are 300 EMR to choose from and so it’s hard to find the ones that are quality. Not to mention those that have the marketing dollars don’t for the most part represent the quality EMR that can improve efficiency in a practice.

  • “We are rapidly socializing the United States, where the federal government is controlling more assets in the country than private individuals are. And I think that is a disaster. If you look at any examples of centrally controlled economies, that’s been a disaster. And we’re headed in the wrong direction. With Obama, there is a major sea change of the ownership of assets in the United States of America.” — BusinessWeek, August 10, 2009, page 038. TJ Rogers, President and CEO, Cypress Semiconductor

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