It's naïve to think that the mediacan be providers and protectors ofhonest newsâ€”our sentinels oftruth. Oh well, there's alwayshope. My experience is that while news-folksare at best erratic when coveringimportant issues in general, they aredownright awful when it comes tohealth care matters. Their overemphasison the negative is breathtaking.
The media's conventional (ie, brainless)wisdom is that doctors are greedy,hospitals are incompetent, and drug companiesare heartlessâ€”for which, we citizens,pay too much money. The truth isthat, while imperfect, all deserve sizablecredit for improving the human condition.
I'll never claim that our health caresystem is perfectâ€”I'd never get awaywith it. Few better recognize the system'sdefects beyond America's doctors. Theytoil in the arena every day and know wellits flaws. They're also acquainted with itswonders, or they would give up.
The Value of Investment in HealthCare
The American Hospital Association(AHA) has issued an enlightening reportcalled . Avoiding emotionâ€”although theirultimate point is very emotionalâ€”theAHA study uses undeniable facts to makeits point that the nation is clearly betteroff health-wise than it was 20 years ago.
Beyond highlighting steady declinesin mortality and disability rates over 2decades, the report focuses on four majordisease conditions where medicine hasachieved miraculous results. Just consider:
The AHA argues that health improvementssince 1980 have prevented nearly500,000 deaths and 200 million+ hospitaldays. While that might overstatethings, their essential point is sound.Despite relentless media attacks, Americanhealth care has lofty achievementsâ€”clinically and financially.