Bitter Pills and American Medicine

My brother-in-law Hank Herrod, former dean of the University of Tennessee medical school, encouraged me to read Time Magazine‘s cover story on the cost of medical care. I always pay attention to my brother-in-law, especially when he tells me something about medicine, so I read the article online. It took a long time–it’s a long, long article–and it made me sick. The guts of the article follow patients through their hospital care and the back-breaking charges they incur. It explains in detail what those charges are and how they are decided. If you think American medicine is based on market economics, think again.

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2 Responses to “Bitter Pills and American Medicine”

  1. fred prudek Says:

    Tim, I will read the article, but I already agree that the biggest culprit of our American culture is the unfair and greedy inflation in the cost of health care, seemingly heedless of their fellow Americans’ plight. I hope that there will be some way to stem this travesty of justice.

  2. David Graham Says:

    As a University of Tennessee Medical School graduate, it gives me pleasure to publicly acknowledge the fine immunology lectures that your brother-in-law Dr. Hank Herrod gave to our class of 2nd year medical students many moons ago. He was a good lecturer and a fine gentleman.

    As I am not a subscriber to Time magazine, I couldn’t read the linked article online, but I do know that the cost of medical care in the U.S. is appalling. At the hospital where I now work in Ecuador, in many areas we can give the same level of care for less than a 10th of the cost of what the same treatment costs in the U.S. It is no wonder that medical tourism is so common. Estimates vary wildly, but even the most conservative numbers show that at least several hundred thousand Americans (and possibly even a few million) leave the U.S. each year to have medical/surgical procedures performed abroad. Hmm….

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