--Dr. Miles J. Bennell, from Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Just Put This Pod in Your Hospital
I'm talking about the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association; the national hospital groups and insurance companies who, either out of self-interest or fear or for what they believe is inevitable have decided to make the government the essential and most powerful part of our health care system.
Monday, Mr. Wagoner resigned from his job of 19 years as CEO of the storied automaker. He resigned because President Barak Obama told him to.
There was a time when this sequence of events would have rocked the news. The president of the United States told a CEO of a major American company to step down. But today, as the government moves in on our private institutions in a bad remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, we applaud the decision.
I turned on CNN to hear talking heads and politicians list all the business reasons why GM is a bad company, has made bad decisions and why Rick Wagoner needs to go. They were spouting opinions with perfect assuredness and authority as if they knew what they were talking about. As if they were part of the twenty years Rick Wagoner has spent making deals, managing contracts, overseeing a gargantuan international company, and as if they could sit in judgment and say: Wagoner has to go.
Maybe indeed, Wagoner had to go. I wouldn't know. That is far from the point here. The point is: when will the president, the White House and the media knock on Sanjay Gupta's door and tell him he needs to step down as a neurosurgeon (we have too many of those); or to leave his academic position at Grady Hospital (we need neurosurgeons in Michigan's Northern penisula--get going); or to get the hell off of television (it's not the right image for health care).
And when Dr. Gupta is yanked and remanded to Siberia, will we similarly sit at home, watch the news and say nothing? I guess there will be nothing to say.
The public will be numb to Sanjay's fate because they are inured by the neverending crisis talk that rains night and day from Washington through the media. "They had to do it," "Too big to fail," "Crisis, crisis, crisis."
Can Sanjay Gupta be far behind Wagoner? Watch the door Dr. Gupta.
Going Out of Business
Crisis drove (or actually flew) Wagoner and the other automaker CEO's to Washington in Novemebr where they asked for and got government intervention. Money. Strings attached.
Those strings were pulled this past weekend as Barak Obama told Rick Wagoner to resign. And now?Now Obama says that the government may force GM into bankruptcy!
So the power we invest in the government when they fund us is...control. We have to remember this. Since Obama takes his authority from taxpayers and dispenses it in the form of "aid" or "bailout" or "control" they are free to act, even if that act destroys or fundamentally changes the institution they are steping in to "help."
So Sanjay Gupta, if he doesn't watch out -- and by analogy our health care institutions and practices -- he may one day face the absolute and final solution directed from some bureaucrat and promulgated by a media frenzy: Out of Business.