Medco Healthco

Just to show that stupid ideas about healthcare come from the private sector too, the head of Medco wants cookbook medicine for everyone:

Dave Snow, CEO of the big pharmacy-benefits manager Medco, is making the rounds to tout his ideas on health reform, the topic of the day with Barack Obama about to take to oath of office. Snow stopped by Health Blog HQ and told us he likes an idea that HHS nominee Tom Daschle has been kicking around: a Federal Reserve for the health-care system.

Snow said the time has come for doctors to follow set protocols on how to treat patients, and to be paid based on whether they do it. Basically, ‘If X, then do Y,’ and ‘If Y, then do Z,’ sort of stuff. Snow concedes the public doesn’t trust the private sector to come up with these kinds of rules.

As opposed to how we trust our government.

So he wants some smart folks to get together in an “apolitical” body like the Fed, and do it themselves.

Apolitical? Apolitical? In Washington? And I thought I was naive. I wonder if this apolitical body will be throwing lots of money at Medco.

What is it about certain people that they think of government as some sort of benign, objective, infinitely fair entity? Does no one appreciate that when buying and selling are controlled by politics, the first things to be bought and sold are politicians? Does no one appreciate that even when our overlords’ intention are benign, they can still get it wrong?

I mean, really. Saying healthcare should be run like the Federal Reserve Board? Has this idiot not been paying attention to the mortgage collapse?! Did he miss the double-digit inflation of the 70’s? What the hell?

“I’m fine with this big, national board creating this standard,” Snow says.

Well, I’m not. Snow is buying into the biggest misconception kicking around healthcare reform circles — that doctors diagnose patients by taking symptoms, looking them in a great big book and giving a prescribed course of medicine.

But as I’ve noted about a million times, symptoms are not always clear. And a course of medicine can not be set in stone. Some patients tolerate certain courses of treatment better than others. But Dave Snow — and many politicians — apparently think that course of treatment are best prescribed out of a Washington office in a one-size-fits-all fashion. So you can look forward to uniform treatment. Also more complications, more needless deaths, more “medical errors”, more expense and less freedom.

Jesus, is this the quality of CEO we have these days? No wonder our economy is collapsing.

Of course, with his background, arrogance and ignorance, he’ll be the perfect person to be tapped for a health care reform committee to show Obama’s support in private industry. The press will laud his appointment as showing “bipartisanship” and “listening to every voice” (except that of the doctors and patients). Apparently, having industry insiders set public policy is good when it’s liberal public policy.

And everyone will miss that he’s dumber than a bag of hammers.

Actually, I don’t think he’s dumb. I think he’s scum. Critics of the free market never seem to grasp that big business hates the free market. Dave Snow does not want doctors making their own decisions and deciding to prescribe cheap medication or no medications to their patients. Under the guise of “reform”, he wants to politicize every diagnosis in America so that a medical company — his medical company — can make sure that the money flows their way.