The Illness of Seeing Patients as Customers



  1. Believe it or not, I'm actually in agreement with you on much of this topic. Where I think you err, rather, is this: in modern policy, patients are already seen as customers, and most policy debates hinge on whether to treat them as customers this way vs. that way. None of the major proposals (including those of Krugman, who IIRC you cited as showing outrage at the idea of seeing patients as customers) would change this.

    So it seems like a red herring: if you have an idea that would bring about a paradigm shift away from patient-as-customer, bring it up, but otherwise, the criticism is irrelevant. (One example of someone doing it right is Kevin Carson, who has concrete proposals for "mutualist medicine" and how it would bring back the social aspect of care.)

    And, not that it matters, but actually practicing non-monetary mutualist medicine would contract GDP...


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