Sunday, February 17, 2013


Lately I've been pondering a lot about What Is Wrong With (U.S.) Healthcare.
Mainly because so much is.
And none of it is what the genius "experts" think is the problem.

Suffice it to say, about 1000 things, and you aren't going to get them all in one blog post.

Let's call this one Reason #42.
It's a quote I read from someone who has nothing to do with healthcare other than reading the stories of those who work in the field.

"Health care “reform” nowadays consists of people with seven-figure incomes hiring consultants with six-figure incomes to make recommendations on how to step up the pressure on people with five-figure incomes."

Amen, brother.

1) If you're working in healthcare and making seven figures, unless you do brain or heart surgery on multi-millionaires, you're a selfish @$$hole. Bear in mind, I'm pro-business, a registered Republican with a firm grasp on the fundamentals of capitalism, and I believe that Bill Gates deserves every penny he makes. But there is nothing, nothing whatsoever, on God's green earth, you could possibly ever do, short of invent a cure for cancer, that justifies getting paid 5-10 times more than the doctors, 20 times more than the nurses, and 30 times more than the techs working for you, who actually do the work. A least the top guys at Ford Motors invented the Mustang. But you didn't invent the CT scan, or surgery, or f*ck-all else that makes the medical carousel go around every day. You're paper-pushing flunkies who somehow conned some hospital's board of $#!^-for-brains jacktards into believing that you possessed some magical inexplicable power that required compensation beyond all rational explanation. The next time you hear about one of your custodial staff qualifying for food stamps, please go kill yourself.

2) If you're hiring consultants, you're also an out-of-touch dipshit who should be getting off your fat ass, and taking a day every week to roll up your sleeves and see how things tick in your hospital. Look closely, and notice that admirals don't "hire consultants" to tell them WTF goes on anywhere on an aircraft carrier. This is because they freaking know what's going on, and if they had any questions, they'd take a short walk and ask a couple of questions. And they'd damn sure know in about 60 seconds, because that's how running a large operation works, if you don't have your head shoved somewhere looking for colon problems from the inside.

3) If you are one of those "consultants" (the best definition for which is "someone with a clipboard and a briefcase 500 miles from home reporting on something they don't understand"), I can't begin to express how loathsome and worthless you are, except to point out that even used-car salesmen and politicians have some quantifiable utility, unlike yourselves, and they both score at the bottom of the esteem scales for the entire rest of the population. So either quit and get a real job, or let's just repeat the desire that you go kill yourselves. Take one for the team, and improve healthcare for everyone else by not jacking it over any worse than you've already done, by checking out of the gene pool with all due haste.

4) The people you're stepping up the pressure on aren't cylinder head gaskets, they're flesh and blood. Every time you crank up the ratchets to fatten your bonus portfolio, they get ulcers, high blood pressure, more colds, more flu, and heart attacks. That is, if they don't call off sick, quit, change jobs, or kill themselves. Every drop of their blood is on your hands. And every time you damage or destroy one, everyone else left behind has to strap on that much more extra work. If you're a patient, think about how this burgeoning stress load on your doctors, nurses, etc., affects the care you receive.

I'm certainly no Norma Rae. I've belonged to two unions in my life, and I resent the hell out of them, for their dues out of my pocket, and for what they don't accomplish, as well as the protection and crappy work ethic they promote by protecting the incompetent, the lazy, and the criminal.

Despite that, it's becoming crystal clear that if we're going to continue running hospitals in general, and ERs in particular, like an immigrant-staffed sweatshop in the early 1900s, the only thing that's going to put a kink in somebody's truss is them running full face into an employees' union, or unions, to give out the kick in the crotch most management so desperately needs, and deserves.

Either that, or I get to carry a baseball bat to work, and I get five free swings at targets of opportunity per shift. And to be sporting, I'll do it from in front, and I'll give them all the dodges they can manage.

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