The New Industry In America

For the past few years a new movement has come in to existence in America. Our towns at one time were filled with industrial plants that made things. People worked in them and were proud of their efforts. Today, our towns are being filled with new buildings, one larger than the other. They are all medical buildings, clinics, labs, imaging centers, and offices. This afternoon I drove north from Frankfort toward Orland park on U.S. Route 45 known as La Grange Road and counted the following new businesses: 1.) Advocate Medical, 2.) Loyola Medical, 3.) Duly Medical, 4.) Northwestern Radiation, 5.) Midwest Express Clinic, 6.) Northwestern Medical, 7. Advocate Group Medical Center, 8.) Northwestern Medical, 9). University of Chicago Hospital Medical Center. All of these establishments stretch over a short five miles of road. I could describe a similar scenario if I describe leaving town to the west. Surrounding these huge buildings are the private offices of hundreds of physicians in business to heal people.

It seems to me that America is sick, very sick, both physically and mentally. What really impresses me about all of this is that people complain about not having health care. What they really mean is that they have to pay for health care. The real problem stems from employers and health insurance companies. Employers feel that they need to offer health insurance as a perk to keep their employees. Health insurance companies dictate what they will pay for services. This only means that physicians inflate their prices to extract a maximum from the payers. Other culprits that causes major inflation of medical services are government healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid. These two organizations are notorious for setting limits on what they will pay for.

Operating alongside this medical industry is a vast under ground network of doctors and labs that take cash only. Of course they charge less because they get paid on demand, and don’t need staff just to submit documentation to insurance companies. Because it is always an insurance company that pays and the insurers are paid by employers, the patient feels that he gets the service free. This irritates people who do not have insurance because they see their friends getting so called free health care.

Add to this dimension the fact that modern doctors rely heavily on using modern technology to help them diagnose sickness. One of my friends who was a surgeon told me that many of his foreign class mates came to America to become doctors so they could return to their home country’s to save lives. Most of them finished school, got their license but never returned home. Why? He gave two reasons, 1.) they could make more money working in America, 2.) Their home countries did not have the same modern diagnostic equipment they learned to use in school. In their home country they would have to relearn their medicine in old country ways. Today, doctors depend on computers to assist them with diagnostics. Artificial Intelligent diagnostic programs can listen to a patient’s symptoms, analyze his blood test results and produce a list of possible illnesses in order of probability. Who needs a doctor when the computer can do a more thorough job? In most cases the doctor has become a data entry technician who can speak the language of medicine.

What we need to do in this country is to forget about medicine, and to learn to live healthy lives by eating nourishing foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Instead we have learned to live precariously, and when our bodies fail we run to a doctor to fix our problem.

In the “good old days,” when industry flourished in America, workers needed only graduate from high school to get a job. They learned how to run machines and to make things. Today, it seems, that workers need a minimum of fours years of college and if you want to be a doctor you will go to school for eight years, and you will be limited to fixing people, not cars or houses, or plumbing, or electricity. We the people of America donated all of those jobs to the people of China, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and countless other countries in the world. The result is we send our kids to college, but fail to demand that they learn usable skills with which they can earn a living. The result is we have generations of game playing, order taking kids who wind up bored with life, and take to using drugs and laying around.

Yes, we have a new industry in our world, but we fail to recognize that a large percentage of youngsters will never make it in the information society and will fail in life.

2 Responses

  1. Your empirical data is spot on. This is a report on how healthcare spending has changed (increased) in the last 50 years in the US:,%201970-2021
    It has gone from 6% of GDP to over 18%. In constant dollars, it has gone from $2,000 per capita to $12,000.
    The insured think it is their right to be treated, otherwise they are not making use of their insurance. The common sense measures of eating healthy, exercising mind and body are being ignored because they can get treated for free and because they presumably have bigger fish to fry such as earning a living. Their health has been outsourced to the society at large.
    I think it is broke. Despite the US having access to the most advanced technology and healthcare systems in the world.

    • Thanks for the link. This data supports my personal observation from the previous forty years. It is sad to think that we love being sick.

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