What makes us think that health care is immune to corruption? At what point do the Machiavellian machinations of politics, money and power become corruption in the first place? What makes us, as physicians, think that we are immune to the same natural forces that govern human conflict and the competition for resources and wealth?
Corruption is rampant in US Healthcare and it's not limited to Richard Scrushy and HealthSouth.
SCHIP was defeated because it threatened insurance companies, so says AHIP. I guess we didn't see their hand in Medicare Advantage, but what do you expect a lobby group to say? I can promise they will point out that community rating and guaranteed issue will force them out of business cost because of the perverse incentives that result in young people not buying insurance because it costs more, unless they were sick. They will not point out that the problem goes away if everyone is required to buy health insurance, as we do with auto insurance.
We do not need to look further than the pharmaceutical industry to see corruption at work in about as bald-faced a way as you could imagine. The excuse of expensive research is laughable, as we scrape the bottom of the barrel looking for new antibiotics for all the new superbugs. But pharma seeks a sure market, not innovation, despite the profit motive that should assure innovation. You and I both know, it's all about marketing.
Functionaries at the Consumer Protection Agency are under attack for accepting gifts. What makes physicians think they can accept gifts and still represent the interests of the health consumer. (Yes, that's the patient, whose interests we are sworn to serve.)
What makes us think they are not really bribes? I may have my price, but it sure ain't a pen, a couple of pads of sticky notes and a dinner at a local steakhouse. It costs a lot more than that to buy me! What makes us think that we are immune to conflicts of interest in medicine? What makes us think that we can actually continue to get away with an overt bias (manipulated by pharma marketers) in our continuing education? Why are physicians getting dragged into the cess-pool of dirty corporate games?
Hey, did you go to medical school to let yourself be manipulated by a Bachelor's level schmoozer from the sales department?