Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Get Used to the Notion
That Failing is Positive;
Lord Knows, We Have!

'Failure is part of the creative process. If you're afraid of it, you can't really create.'
--Actor and director Danny Devito


At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: kuttner posting

Kuttner isn’t saying anything dramatically new about the American healthcare system. There’s long been a tug of war within the industry itself about the notion of making bazillions off of people who are ill or afraid of becoming so (although he’s good to point out the existence and implications of siphoning, which rarely is discussed in mainstream healthcare debates). Americans themselves are of two minds about our healthcare challenge, in part because most of us have been brainwashed not to trust anything but a market-based system, even though other industrialized nations that run universal systems have for decades been keeping their populaces alive and well, and several doing it better than we do and at less cost. It’s true, too, that preventing chronic disease, or managing it aggressively when it arises, is a lot cheaper than managing the complications chronic disease inevitably causes when it is poorly managed. But the success of prevention efforts will always in part be a function of the effort put into them by patients. And I think that is why the American healthcare system will not experience radical change any time soon. We not only want to eat our cake and ice cream (after, of course, the cheeseburgers, fries, and gallon gulps, and all of it topped off with a pack of cigarettes), we want to know that when the unchecked indulgence starts to take its toll—arteries narrowing, glucose and BP levels spiking, lungs and other organs malfunctioning—a state of the art medical infrastructure and a battalion of clinical experts is ready and waiting to make things right. Hospital media relations teams turn these clinical feats into gripping dramas that turn up on TV, radio and in print. Hospital marketing departments use the fodder to fashion compelling commercials, little vignettes with earnest voiceovers that surely leave some viewers almost wanting some sort of unexpected ill, just so they can experience the wonders of the neighborhood miracle mill. Other viewers are assured that should they find heart disease, cancer or some other potentially lethal affliction knocking on the body’s door, they need only dial an 800 number to be connected to the miracle mill. (When is the last time you a saw an ad for a hospital that touted its programs for keeping patients OUT of its operating rooms, intensive care units and oncology wards?) Unlike car commercials, there’s no small print detailing the myriad and exorbitant costs associated with performing the medical miracle, nor outlining the risks involved in even stepping foot into a hospital. And who cares what the cost is? We’ve come to perceive doctors as miracle performing deities (at least the ones who don't amputate the wrong limbs or become drug dealers courtesy of Medicare reimbursements). In fact, a good bit of modern medicine is arguably miraculous. But a good bit more is just average and a not an insignificant portion is down right scary. The point is, don’t just blame the usual suspects for the nutty costs of healthcare. Americans themselves could easily lower the cost of healthcare by simply taking better care of themselves. Instead, and astonishingly, we look to presidential candidates to offer a price fix while we continue the finger pointing and unchecked gluttony. If we really are interested in changing the system for the better, we’re going to have assume more of the responsibility for helping make it happen.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Speaking of Danny Devito and not fearing failure, how about that appearance on The View?

At 1:00 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You make a good point, TJ.

At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bluster said...

This clip did not fail to inspire thoughtful commentary at YouTube. A sample:

And why would Rosie be interested in having a man like her? Moron...

Hey jackass...they'd make an "interesting" couple...but my understanding is that circus sideshows are now banned in the US. Too bad...Im sure you also could have used the work as well.

BoringMuchScumBag. But I see where your anger and frustration comes from now... Ain't had a job since they banned those sideshows did you? lol.

No..what I miss is watching you and your mother perform at the local Mexican donkey show.

Yeah... I kind of miss that too...

At 7:05 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Welcome back, Bluster. I was beginning to think you were gone for good.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bluster said...

My role model is Mr. Ed. He only spoke when he had something to say.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Does that mean you're going to saw your door in half?


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