Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Arnold S. Relman, the longtime editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and an influential critic of the profit-driven health care system, died at his Cambridge, Mass., home Tuesday. He was 91. In a provocative 1980 essay in the journal, Relman issued the clarion call that would resound through his career, assailing the American health care system as caring more about making money than curing the sick. He called it a "new medical-industrial complex." He said in a 1989 interview, "Many people think that doctors make their recommendations from a basis of scientific certainty, that the facts are very clear and there


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Relman edited the journal from 1977 to 2000. Founded in 1812, it is the oldest continuously published medical journal in the world, reaching more than 600,000 readers a week.


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Quotes from the good Doctor:

"The US private health care industry is primarily interested in selling services that are profitable, but patients are interested only in services that they need," he wrote. The Times said he had "raised a timely warning."

In 2012, asked how his prediction had turned out, Dr. Relman said medical profiteering had become even worse than he could have imagined.

#1 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-06-22 03:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

When Lawyers and Doctors hold your life in their hands, you'll pay anything. Therein lies their power, its what differentiates their trade from others. Insurance is just another giant sucking sound.

#2 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-06-22 04:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

When Lawyers and Doctors hold your life in their hands, you'll pay anything.

The right-wingers seem to think when a child's life hangs in the balance and every minute counts, that's the perfect time for the parents to shop around to find the best deal. And that hospitals and doctors can tell you how much it's going to cost upfront, sort of like that written estimate you get for a car repair.

They also believe that people are able to make a rational decision on how much their child's life is worth, unencumbered by any sort of emotional attachments that might skew their judgment.

"A million dollars? No way, I know my child is only worth $500,000! Let's get it in writing and I'll need to run it past my lawyer before you can start surgery. And if you don't like my terms, we can always have another child." Said no parent ever.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-22 05:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

"critic of the profit-driven health care system"

Years ago when my wife was attending Nursing School, I noticed a very odd thing throughout all her expensive Nursing textbooks. They would always refer to the patient not as "Patient" but as "Client". That right there told me instantly the whole attitude inside the health care industry.

#4 | Posted by shane at 2014-06-22 06:47 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

No profit, no motivation to create the next big drug or procedure that allowed Dr. Relman and others to live to be 91. No motivation to create/invent/perfect drugs, devices or techniques to save lives or make life worth living. No motivation for the best and the brightest to go into the medical industry in the first place.

#5 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-06-23 03:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

#5 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-06-23 03:16 PM | Reply

So, your point is that the only reason to solve problems or relieve suffering is profit? No money, no progress? That's a really sad, pathetic outlook.

#6 | Posted by morris at 2014-06-23 07:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

No motivation for the best and the brightest to go into the medical industry in the first place.

#5 | Posted by bogey1355

This is America! Capitalism! Free enterprise!

We are here to make a profit on your misery. You know...like the firefighters and the police and the military do.

All snarkiness aside...The military is a good example actually. We pay our soldiers basic wages to defend us but the defense industry is still makes a healthy profit. Health care is just another form of defense. We could and should pay our doctors a "basic wage" to process us in our misery help us make our lives worth living and the medical industry will still be raking it in as they "create/invent/perfect drugs, devices or techniques".

Salaried GPs who are part of a CCG in the NHS in the UK earn between $93419 - $140972. And I bet the doctors and the patients there have a lot less stress than we do in dealing with the massive Insurance paperwork headache we currently have.

#7 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-06-23 07:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

"motivation for the best and the brightest to go into the medical industry in the first place."

#5 | Posted by bogey1355

So then what motivates the best and brightest to go into the U.S. Military?

#8 | Posted by shane at 2014-06-24 07:35 AM | Reply | Flag:

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