The Healthcare Hot Seat: What Would You do?

Let’s to a hot game of chess, shall we?

The current needs for health care exceed the financial resources available for them. We call that excess: debt.

The debt has a price. It is called interest. It’s a compound product, this interest.

You’re sick. You get care or you don’t.

Multiply the last sentence by tens of millions.

Multiply the last sentence by debt.

Multiply that last sentence by interest multiplied by 100. Repeat for many years. (Remember, this interest is a compound product.)

Now, for the hot seat. The seat is checkered in black and white. It’s not red, but the heat is just as terrifying.

You have all this capital, as derived from the above.

You can choose to do only one of the following:

  • Continue to fund care for the people who are sick now and in the future until the compounding of the product approaches infinity – without substantially changing the fundamental processes of health caring.
  • Cut the above funding and use the capital proceeds for life science research, biomedical technologies and other branches of knowledge and sources of ability – and redirect healthcare toward detection, prevention, extension, enhancement and low-cost treatment.

You can only choose one option.

Choose the first and you save millions of lives, and the debt compounds upon itself and the current model of caring for the sick goes on.

Choose the later and millions of lives will likely die or be put into harms way over the next few years – but the interest on the debt reverses, a new kind of health care emerges and, after a painful wait, thousands of millions of lives will likely live well for centuries.

You’re in the hot seat.

It is black and white.

No, you cannot ask for the seat to be warm.

No, you cannot ask for the seat to be gray.

The pawns and rooks and knights are waiting.

What will you do?

Whom do you kill and whom do you bless from the cold command of your burning throne?

Phil Baumann


0 Replies to “The Healthcare Hot Seat: What Would You do?”

  1. Outstanding – I love it when what is really a very black-and-white situation gets outlined in … black and white. Instead of the hand-wringing shades’o’gray it usual is cast in.

    As cold-hearted as I will likely sound to many, I’d pick the 2nd option. The sick-care system is broken, and until we embrace detection and prevention models – not the sick-it-fix-it model we’re currently being ground under the wheels of – the system will just collapse under its own weight.

    Under Option A, we still lose millions of people – the ones who can’t get care, and who can’t now get early detection or intervention/prevention.

    Which makes the choice even clearer, IMO.

    1. We’re all in the burning throne 😉

      Yes, we need to move towards to the second option – it’s just there are all sorts of complex issues and decisions to make.

      But that’s the point of the exercise – to get us to think harder about the problems.


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