I’ve started what might be called my New Year’s resolution, which is to read two important books I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while. One of them I’ve just started and that’s Eric Kandel’s Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind, published in 2005. You might recall from a recent post that Dr. Ron Pies left a comment mentioning Kandel’s book. Kandel is a Nobel-Prize winning psychiatrist who has a fascinating perspective on psychoanalysis and neuroscience research.
The other book I’ve just ordered is The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr. The title is often shortened to TSTAM and I think it’s interesting that if you google “TSTAM” you find my blog post about it at the top of the page. It’s about the corporatization of health care in America–which is exactly what’s going on now.
This brings me to Dr. George Dawson’s recent blog post entitled Americans Can’t Do The Basic Health Care Arithmetic, posted January 3, 2017. He makes a pretty good case for adopting a single payer system to fund health care. This is a huge issue, especially in the political news because President Elect Trump and the Republicans in Congress are starting the process to repeal ObamaCare.
Furthermore, as I’m writing this I’m mulling over signing a petition opposing the nomination of Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been controversial from the time of its annoucement. I mentioned this in my post on December 28, 2016.
I just signed it. And I did it based on my own conscience and not as a representative of my employer. Further, I did not use my office email in my contact information when I sent a message to my state senators asking them to oppose the nomination of Tom Price. My department requires that I not use my office email for political purposes.
I have also gotten off the fence about single-payer and registered my support officially at PNHP.
That reminds me of my question for outgoing Republican Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart about why we don’t consider single payer. You can access Mr. Gerhart’s thoughts on Obamacare and my question, which went unaswered, here. It occurs to me that his views sound a lot like those of Tom Price and Speaker Paul Ryan.
While we’re on the subject of corporatization of health care in America, I have to mention how things are going with my state’s privatization of Medicaid. It’s described as a “disaster,” and it’s because it’s run by private insurance companies, whose administrative costs drive up the cost of health care.
Sounding off like this is my idea of responsible activism and role modeling how to maintain the Systems-Based Practice competency for trainees.
By the way, how are your New Year’s resolutions going?