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Thursday, July 13, 2006

For those who did not hear last week or so...

Syd Barrett has died. A gifted genius, he was the guitarist and driving force behind Pink Floyd, until he was replaced by David Gilmour. He completely ruined his mind with drugs, and spent the last 30 years or so of his life in and out of mental institutions, living in solitude with his mother......, (if you are wondering where some of the allusions to "Mother" come from in The Wall). He was miserable, insane, in poor health (diabetes) and mentally ruined. "To kill, steal and destroy" are the operative terms for those who read the old book.

I pray the grace and peace this poor guy missed on earth are found in eternity.

Health Care, Government, Efficiency and the Consumer

I read a really fine article by Milton Friedman (one of my heroes) on the state of Medical Care in the USA.

It was so good that I thought I would quote it below:
We have a socialist-communist system of distributing medical care. Instead of letting people hire their own physicians and pay them, no one pays his or her own medical bills. Instead, there's a third party payment system. It is a communist system and it has a communist result. Despite this, we've had numerous miracles in medical science. From the discovery of penicillin, to new surgical techniques, to MRIs and CAT scans, the last 30 or 40 years have been a period of miraculous change in medical science. On the other hand, we've seen costs skyrocket. Nobody is happy: physicians don't like it, patients don't like it. Why? Because none of them are responsible for themselves. You no longer have a situation in which a patient chooses a physician, receives a service, gets charged, and pays for it. There is no direct relation between the patient and the physician. The physician is an employee of an insurance company or an employee of the government. Today, a third party pays the bills. As a result, no one who visits the doctor asks what the charge is going to be—somebody else is going to take care of that. The end result is third party payment and, worst of all, third party treatment.

Here is a link to the article.