The Purpose of To Delineate the True Nature of Socialized Medicine and To Clarify the Realities of America’s Healthcare System

This blog offers a platform for me to share my ideas about our healthcare system and its reform. As I read various blogs, journals, and newspapers and watch cable news programs of politicians and pundits discussing healthcare reform, it becomes apparent that people are not discussing the essence of health care. They seem to center discussion around the business of medicine as opposed to talking about the medicine of medicine, which is the doctor patient relationship. This distinction is very important because transparent reform, advantageous for all the people living in America, cannot occur, unless the influence of the business of medicine on the doctorpatient relationship is removed, thereby allowing these relationships to blossom, free of external control imposed by any payer. This external, business and political control is the true nature of Socialized Medicine, no matter which payer is exerting it. And this is how the politicians and the business people who lobby them fool us into thinking that they are working on true healthcare reform. They are not. What they are working on is trying to manipulate us into believing that one form of control, multiple payer, is better than another form of control, single payer. They call the latter socialized medicine and leave the former unlabeled with an implied idea that it is privatized medicine, i.e., American health care. But what they never get around to telling the American people is that their goal is to introduce and maintain ever-increasing control over the functioning of the doctorpatient relationship. If they control this, they can control costs without regard to the individual well being of any of us. And when they control costs, they can line their own pockets. The game is: Privatize the business of medicine and Socialize the medicine of medicine. The business people and the politicians are the only players in the game. You and I are the waterboys, who bring not water but dollars so that the game can continue. Our involvement ends there. The doctorpatient relationship, the essence of medicine, is just a tool, like a football, to be tossed around for each side to get as many points as it can.

Transparent and good healthcare reform cannot occur until the ethos of our politicians and healthcare business people has as its central tenet that independent, free-from-payer-control, sound, ongoing doctorpatient relationships, equally open to everyone, are the ultimate goal and that greed and greed-driven, ideology-driven, re-election-driven political agendas must be removed from our healthcare system and never again introduced.

R. Garth Kirkwood, MD

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