For society, is modern medicine a poor investment? Clearly for the individual, medicine is a good investment.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” -George Orwell (1903-1950)
Societally, other than services related directly or indirectly to public health — namely, potable water, effective sewage, reliable electricity, and regular collection of garbage — medicine is money poorly spent, especially for chronic illnesses. Why? Because those who receive the most return the least.
The current plague named COVID-19, puny by historical standards, is an unfortunate example. Pandering to the voting old, the politicians are forfeiting the financial futures of the young while medically jeopardizing the present for the middle-aged; for example, a recent report revealed that in the context of a shortage of hydroxy-chloroquine, the medication was being delivered to “nursing homes” instead of hospitals and pharmacies.
Aggravating the problem is positive feedback. The more done medically, the more needed to be done. By controlling chronic illnesses especially among the elderly, thereby, prolonging life and suffering, the current system spawns additional illnesses in a downward spiral of ascending magnitude bankrupting the nation. Recall, the mission of medicine is to relieve suffering from disease and trauma not to prolong it.
In these United States of America, the situation has devolved into an insane disaster. Excerpt from the novel, Inescapable Consequences:
It’s been known for years that, during the last year of life, Medicare recipients spend thirty cents of every dollar that they will have spent on medical care during their entire lifetime. Of those one percent of Medicare beneficiaries with the highest costs in any given year, approximately fifty percent die. Of those five percent with the highest costs, approximately forty percent die. Of those elderly who survive, fifty percent are demented by the age of eight-five. Today, a major question facing physicians and the rest of society is whether the consequence of continuing declines in mortality is an increase in active life-expectancy or merely an expanded and grotesque period of frailty, enfeeblement, and dependency. Apparently, the answer is the latter. It’s not a pretty picture, and even physicians don’t like looking at it. As individuals, chronic, debilitating illness — not dying — is becoming our worst enemy, individually and socially.
The fact is that most chronic illnesses occur among the elderly, who represent the worst of medical investments. Ah, but the old vote! They vote themselves other people’s money to scratch out often another day often of misery. Medicare alone is bankrupting the nation already broke.
Even telling the truth, let alone trying to remedy it, occasions howls of disdain from in the name of “humanitarianism”, reflecting the transformation of the nation from a stern and demanding patriarchy into a lenient and permissive matriarchy eager to sacrifice the whole for a small often unworthy part.
So, is there a remedy for the economic malady inflicted onto society by modern medicine? Yes. What?
A detailed description appears in the recent, call-to-action novel, Retribution Fever. Seemingly paradoxically, while satisfying the claimed requirements of both Democrats and Republicans, the politicians ignore the plan although, when initially published in Healthcare Reform D.O.A. (out-of-print but available used for $1000-2000), the book received unsolicited nominations for two national awards by the American Risk & Insurance Association. Reason for the rejection? Politicians would lose power over the medical system.
Lose power? A politician’s second worst nightmare. The worst? Losing an election.
“Promise and Pander!” The politicians’ mantra.
Accordingly, during COVID-19, we shall continue witnessing empty promises while pandering to the misguided demands of self-styled “humanitarians”. Without an effective and safe vaccine, an unlikely event in the near future, the ultimate outcome medically will be much the same as the virus runs its course faster or slower. Economically, the nation will be bankrupt. Individually, the suffering will have been magnified for reasons political not medical. Meanwhile, China will watch and wait for these United States to destroy itself.
“An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.” -Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)