Dr. Leap and the Money Quote

On money, medicine and anger at edwinleap.com
It’s very disappointing to have been blogging for several years and have so many ‘new’ bloggers (Dr. Leap, Panda, you) be so much better writers. Thank goodness I’m better looking (maybe).

Dr. Leap, well, leaps to the answer:

My friend, Dr. Carol Rivers, hit it on the head. People are happy to pay for what they want, just not what they need. It’s frustrating to have to pay a medical bill. But it’s less frustrating to buy a new truck, get a new lap-top, go to a concert, buy a pay-per-view sporting event. People in our society spend money like crazy on what they want. It’s just that health care is not what they want. They want health, like everyone, but a huge number of people consider paying a doctor or hospital bill unfair.

Unfair is something we need to address in medicine, in healthcare, and in policy discussions.

Many of my readers don’t want to know what I think of unfair as it applies to healthcare, and I’m cogitating how to explain myself.


  1. posted this quote elsewhere and got it from a nice article in the american thinker which is linked on my site.

    “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.”
    PJ O’Rourke

  2. Anonymous says:

    Remember that many people pay $12-15,000 per year in medical insurance premiums, either personally, or in conjunction with their employer. In many households this is the single biggest expense a family faces, even exceeding their house payment.

    Today, with waits, it often takes half a day to go for a simple office visit. You are the doctor so I will leave the ER waits to you.

    While I agree with the statement, we like our toys, there is more to the issue than just the doctor bill and PJ O’Rourke is right.

    Steve Lucas

  3. So people pay a lot for health insurance. Why are we surprised? People pay a lot for cars, and for houses, and for private schools, and increasingly for public schools, too. People also pay a lot in property taxes and in most states for sales taxes. Look at what auto insurance costs. Why does anyone expect an “insurance” policy that is expected to pay for doctor’s office visits for minor problems along with expenses for serious problems to be inexpensive?

    When that insurance company fails to pay for care, by claims denials, or high co-payments, why is it not the insurance company rather than the doctor that is seen as the problem? People irrationally think not simply that the insurance they have bought is to partially cover their unforseen and costly medical expenses, but that what they are entitled to is not to be inconvenienced by any responsibility for payment at all, regaless whether those are the insurance policy terms or not. If they have been decieved, that is their fault or that of their insurer.

    If their insurance payment really is their biggest monthly expense, lucky them; they are enjoying moderate housing costs.

    As for waiting, that is not going to change until patients willingly pay more for their visits such that sheduling can be made lighter without loss of income to the practice. For those who wish for universal insurance organized, controlled and monitored by the government, they should savor the present, because if such a system ever does come to pass, the waits will become longer than they are now, and the incentive for quality service even more reduced than it presently is.

  4. Heisenberg says:

    Reminds of the time a plumber unclogged my
    kitchen drain. I gasped when he handed me
    the bill. “My doctor doesn’t charge me that
    much.” I exclaimed.

    “I know,” said the plumber. “I used to be a doctor.”

  5. I think you write quite well. And…you mentioned that you “might be better looking” than those other guys? YOu know, it’s very naughty to tease us females—now we’ll all be fantasizing about what you look like…

  6. My picture is on the About page.

  7. Hmmmm, about that picture—I’ll bet your gunny in the Corps would say you need some PT, heh!

  8. he he.. nice comments here..