Re: (Fwd) Re: guidelines/ethics

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Tue, 31 Dec 1996 10:44:52 -0600

> Not conclusive, but insurance companies don't want to lose money, so they
> tend to cover only treatments shown to be "safe and effective" (especially
> cost-effective).

There's a doctor out there, forget his name, collecting evidence to show
that HMOs are systematically killing off their less profitable
patients. If aromatherapy costs less than chemotherapy, is there a
*single* financial incentive for HMOs to use the more effective and more
expensive medication? If patients chose their own HMOs, perhaps, but
for now the gov't mandates that employers pay for health care, so
Accounting chooses the cheapest possible HMO. HMOs get to be cheap by
reducing expenses to the absolute minimum. If "alternative medicine"
costs less than real medicine, alternative medicine will be encouraged.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.