Medical specialists save lives; politicians want to deny access to people who can save your lives
Medical specialists save lives, but that’s not what’s important to politicians who are trying to control state and federal spending on health care services.
Nicholas D. Kristof is a lefty columnist for the New York Times. And in his column, “I
cost more, I’m a specialist,” he mocks medical specialists because they make big bucks and drive up the cost of health insurance.
This attack on specialists is irresponsible and uninformed.
Specialists save millions of lives. They focus on illnesses that are impossible for generalists to master. To be effective, a physician has to see numerous cases so that he/she recognizes symptoms and knows what treatments and procedures may kill or cure a patient. Physicians and patients are very complex and how they interact is critical. A generalist who’s been wasting time telling a patient to lose weight and stop smoking hardly is prepared to serve the next patient who has a heart, kidney, cancer or other mysterious condition.
Millions are alive because of specialists. Ignorant pundits haven’t saved one life. Pundits selfishly strive for readership so they’ll earn more speaking engagements. Strong financial incentives, including fee-for-service payments, attract bright people to become life-saving specialists.
Fortunately, the internet is making newspaper pundits irrelevant.
Unfortunately, power-greedy politicians are trying to reduce our access to specialists by removing the financial incentives that cause people to spend years learning how to serve us when our lives are at stake.
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