Thursday, August 27, 2009


In a comment on my previous post, a series of slides is recommended. I like the cartoon above even better. In simplicity there can be great truths.


Ellen Kimball said...

Thanks, Sid --

Excellent animation! I'm putting this up on Twitter for a wider audience.

Warm regards,


Anonymous said...

Haha, "for a wider audience". She said nobody reads your blog.

Seriously though, if you haven't already, you should submit your blog to Google's search engine crawler.

Ellen Kimball said...

Adjuster Mike, I'm afraid you don't understand.

Surgeonsblog has plenty of readers and many also comment here. I never said that "nobody reads (Sid's) blog," nor did I even imply that.

However, Twitter has the potential of reaching millions of people. My page has 1,400 followers.

I would appreciate it if you would not put words in my mouth.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Uhum, slow down Ellen. It's called humor. The rest of us would appreciate it if you didn't get your panties in a wad.

Anonymous said...

And another thing... I went ahead and submitted this site to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

Ellen Kimball said...

Adjuster Mike, your answer was SUPPOSED to be humorous?

For your information, I rarely wear panties and when I do, they are NEVER in a wad. After my daughter was born forty years ago, a French female gynecologist told me, "YOU HAVE TO LET AIR GET UP IN THERE..."

Go chase the latest catastrophic weather incident. Your lack of tact is showing, IMHO.


The Hippocratic Oaf said...

nice video, speaks volumes

Anonymous said...

This was a great cartoon and I agree to a point. Fortunately, we don't have too many fires now, so that service is not overwhelmed. Once we start actually having the government pay for everyone's diabetes, HTN and cholesterol management, will we have enough money in the pool to pay for the drugs, internists and surgeons? There are so many more people in this country, than the other nations with socialized medicine, more of them here do not have to pay taxes.

AlisonH said...

Actually, before the reforms that came after the Civil War, you did have to buy fire insurance and if you had a fire and hadn't paid for that, the firefighters would haggle with you while your house burned.

One problem with that video? The 10-20% thing? Totally off. In California, where 1 out of 7 people is covered by Blue Cross, they pay out 51 cents on the dollar and pocket the rest. It all started when they were allowed to change to for-profit status. Which is so wrong.

Sid Schwab said...

Anon: currently billions in premiums are being paid to private insurers. Billions and billions. That money would be available to pay for health care, except that, with private insurers out of the picture, there's be 30% more available to go straight to providers. That's the thing that people who talk about cost don't seem to get.

The question is how to redirect the money: premiums scaled to income, new taxes, etc. That's a ton of money, and it would (should, anyway) be less than the premiums being paid now.

tom said...

I liked the toon-especially the analogy of the fire department.
I believe fire departments are strategically located relative to populations and paid for via property taxes. mOre houses, more peole, more fire departments.

Do you envision a migration towards Clinics/Hospitals sited ala fire departments? If so, would these facilties be staffed by employed physicians-defined shifts defined obligations, (if you reside in this zip code I am your doctor).

Sid Schwab said...

Tom, I suppose in a way it's happening already, although I don't see it as related to government pressures. For example, when I began in my clinic I was one of about 36 doctors, and it had just opened a satellite office in a nearby city. Now it's nearly 300 docs, and has about 10 satellites. It's a matter of providing convenience for customers. Not any sort of mandate.

Another trend that might or might not occur is the consolidation of specialty services in so-called "centers of excellence." That's the opposite of what you suggest: people having to travel further to get certain very specialized care. Unsurprisingly, I've written about it. More than once.

tom said...

I am familiar with centers of excellence-several years ago Medi-Car toyed with the notion of recognizing such centers.

Why anyone would want to have open heart surgery at a hospital that does 150 cases per year is beside me.

Before I retired I was the President of a California hospital that did 1500 open hearts per year. More in a day than some hospitals do in a week.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, I have 401 K funds invested in insurance companies and I AM NOT RICH. Your video is wrong. If they are put out of business is the goverment (i.e. you and me) going to reimburse me for it? This is my retirement we're talking about. Why don't they just do Medicare for everyone?
We already pay for it don't we?


Sid Schwab said...

ADL: I lost money in the market crash, and I don't expect reimbursement. Your investment seems a pretty "out-there" argument for the status quo.

I'd love to see Medicare for all, too. But, no, we don't pay for it; certainly not to the tune of adding everyone to it. We'd need to address tax increases, which would, in my view, be cheaper than the premiums people are paying now.

henne said...

nothing like a too but a funny surgeon, too:

jane said...

The cartoon is more understandable than text. Thanks with this.

kate said...

Cool video. Like it a lot. it understand the topic even better with videos because i am a visual person.

ken said...

I think the same issues pervade to health care all over the world. There is really a two tiered system in health between the insured versus the non-insured. Many published studies show that the insured live longer. Obesity surgery is a classic example wherein the people who need it the most (lower socio-economic classes have the higher obesity rates) are essentially denied weight loss surgery. I hope this is corrected within our lifetime.

Sid Schwab said...

Me, too.