X-Message-Number: 17923
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 15:10:42 EST
Subject: re: Illusory Abundance #17908

A special thanks to both Mike Darwin and Mark Plus for posting some very 
informative and thought provoking information.  Another point that I'd like 
to add to the discussion, is that far too often, people have the medical 
insurance or monetary resources to pay for treatment they need, but they 
never connect with the treatment, due to mismanagement of HMO's, doctors 
ignorant of the latest treatments, or geographic removal from treatment 
centers.  I have an excellent doctor, but he's constantly surprised when I 
ask him about recent treatment news that I've heard about.  The internet is 
wonderful, but there needs to be a sort of monolithic medical news resource, 
so when someone has condition X, they can reference easily all the studies, 
information, and even the more holistic (if that's the right term) treatments 
for condition X.

There certainly is a predisposition with doctors to allow patients to die 
when they run out of their handy or convenient bag of tricks- without going 
the extra mile.  But I don't necessarily blame the doctors, I also think at 
least 50% of the problem is most people don't take care of themselves, in 
fact abuse themselves- bad food, no sleep, way too much caffeine, no 
exercise, and very high stress- so when a doctor sees a patient who obviously 
cares so little about themselves, who can blame the doctor for not caring 
more than the patient?   And that can unfairly bleed over to the patients who 
really try to be healthy.   I'm reasonably fit, and several times I've gone 
to a doctor, sick as a dog, and they've kinda looked at me and said, what's 
wrong with you, you look healthy... and my response has been I am healthy 
except for this one thing that's making me sick!  But when I looked around 
the waiting room, I could understand why the doctor was surprised I was 
there, compared to many of the people in the room, I looked great.  

Also,  regarding the high cost of advanced medicine- well, the cutting edge 
stuff is very expensive, but the head of Abiocor, makers of the artificial 
heart, says the cost of the heart will probably quickly drop from $75,000 to 
$25,000- and the surgery costs will drop as well, to the point that a heart 
attack will be more expensive to treat than installing an artificial heart. 

Also also, there's the whole new field of custom designer drugs, that are 
specifically targeted to turning genes on and off, and the new field of 
hyperimmune products- I think in the near future it will be much cheaper to 
stay healthy with the advances which promise simpler, more direct health 

Another interesting point is that its cheaper to treat people to keep them 
healthy, so they don't require expensive medical treatment later...  I read 
the state of Calif finds it cheaper by 50% or more- to provide AIDS meds to 
patients and keep them healthy than to treat the illnesses they would show up 
with if they didn't have the meds they needed.  Another example, I have sleep 
apnea- and my HMO gladly spent about $5000 for my sleep study and CPAP 
machine- because if I didn't have that, I would be prone to stroke and heart 
attack- so they are saving themselves about $70,000 in treatment costs by 
keeping me healthy now.    

I'm also thinking about the whole body scan, and putting aside monies every 
month to pay for scans on a regular basis.

I think that we're starting to crest the hill in medical expenses- and that 
advanced treatments will become cheaper in the long term, and more readily 

"The problem with doctors is they're just human!"

Mike Donahue

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