Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What's past may be prologue

Michael Millenson wrote this satirical piece back in 2006.  Given the health care "free market" positions taken by certain people running for high elective office today, it appears more relevant than ever.  An excerpt:

When you fly coach, Mr. McClellan, do you still expect the airline to provide you with a lavish meal? Our hospital will never compromise on your safety, but surely you cannot expect that in today’s competitive environment we will subsidize your comfort. I apologize for even mentioning it. How much does anesthesia cost? That depends on how long you would like to be sedated. We have very reasonable prices on “deep-sleep” packages that come in 15-minute units. You the empowered consumer decide how long you want to be sedated. We also offer the “all you can sleep” option, where we keep you sedated from just before the procedure starts until your doctor is totally finished. We think of this as being analogous to buying the full tank of gas at the car rental counter. 

By the way, how long does a colonoscopy take? It varies, but with Dr. Hoover, about forty-five minutes. Dr. Hoover? Dr. Hoover comes standard with the colonoscopy package you selected. Quite frankly, since he retired from full-time practice a couple of years ago, the other physicians have found it close to impossible to match his fee. Naturally, at this price we can’t allow any substitutions.

1 comment:

CLK said...

This is the best post I have read in a long time about the wants, wants, wants of the consumer. I don't mind bending over backwards to make someone comfortable, explain, answer questions, but after all the teaching and reassuring they arrive at 0600 for a procedure they look at me and say "well I had some coffee and toast, because I was sure you wouldn't want me to go without my breakfast" I just want to shout at them (with a smile of course).