Re: Healthcare (was Re: John in Alaska)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 08:03:38 MST

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> wrote,
> > Here are some old posts by Robin on health care.
> These don't make much sense to me. They seem to argue that some factors are
> genetic, some factors are environmental, most improvements come from
> self-actions, and that doctors only help extend lifespan in a minority of
> cases. I don't see how this argues against going to the doctor. Even a
> little bit of an edge is better than none. Even a slight increase in
> longevity is better than none.

But at what cost, Harvey? Because medical care costs money, every dollar
spent is x.xx hours of someone's life spent laboring for themselves or
for the government. Why slave away x hours of your life when you are
only going to get a fraction of that back in increased life span?

 The fact is that the vast majority of people insufficiently invest for
their retirement, primarily because they fail to properly estimate what
their health care costs will be in old age. They ignore the fact that
80-90% of lifetime health care expenses occur in the last few years of
life, as Robin has pointed out.

Increased life span from health care is only cost effective when the
cost of every hour of additional life is less than the average amortized
hourly wage of the individual. Only then is health care actually having
a positive impact on society. You are doing good in the world. When the
incremental cost is higher than the average hourly wage, you are
damaging society and enslaving people's lives to no beneficial purpose.
This is called evil.

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