The World According To Bob

Bob Allen is a philosopher and cyber libertarian. He advocates for the basic human rights of men. Bob has learned to cut through the political nonsense, the propaganda hate, the surface discourse, and talk about the underlying metamessage that the front is hiding. Bob tells it like it is and lets the chips fall where they may. If you like what you read be sure to bookmark this blog and share it with your friends.

Location: United States

You can't make wrong into right by doing wrong more effectively. It's time for real MEN to stand up and take back our families, our society, and our self respect. It is not a crime to be born a man. It is not a crime to act manly.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Monopolies are like that.

I was listening to a radio talk show the other morning and the host was going on and on about how bad doctors treat their customers. He told of walking out of a doctor's office after waiting more than an hour for a scheduled appointment, and on the next time too he walked out again after waiting another hour. He allowed as how all doctors seem to delight in making patients wait. He told of his elderly uncle who generally waited in his wheelchair for two hours to see his doctor. He observed that perhaps the nature of their work makes doctors a bit callous toward their patients, but that doesn't explain the whole medical business's lack of concern for their customers. The primary reason is that they are in a monopoly position. The customers, which they call "patients" can not go to other providers because they all are part of the same AMA monopoly. No doctor cares if one or a dozen customers go away and die. His, and increasingly her practice is filled up with more. The AMA restricts competition by controlling the number of new doctors that can be trained and certified. When Bob was in college the respected medical school of that large western university was threatened with loss of medical license because they had graduated more doctors than the AMA quota allowed. There was no question about the quality of the medical training that the graduate doctors had received, only that the quota had been exceeded. By restricting the supply the AMA is able to maintain an effective monopoly position in medical treatment. No doctor cares about patients because it's either comply or die. There is no non-AMA medical treatment to go to. There are no non-monopoly controlled training programs or alternatives. It's not the nature of the work that makes doctors so rich and callous, it's the nature of monopoly power that corrupts. Doctors can treat patients like shit because the patients are at their most vulnerable with no other provider to which they can turn.

When the phone company was a monopoly they also treated customers like shit. We were charged fraudulent fees for "long distance" calls and a long list of other added charges. People had to wait sometimes for months to get new service, especially in outlying areas. Qwest flouted a law requiring high speed data lines for years. Now that cell phones and VOIP are available the older phone companies are scurrying to retrain their arrogant employees in the ways of customer service rather than customer mistreatment. Every monopoly business eventually grows more concerned about it's own self, it's own image, it's days off and benefits programs than it does about low prices or customer needs. The American auto industry along with the auto-workers union still haven't really learned that they no longer can charge whatever price they like for whatever junk they want to produce. Older airlines are still struggling to rid themselves of monopoly based pay scales, ridiculous pilot pay, etc., decades after their monopoly position was eliminated. The medical industrial complex, led by the AMA, still has an unbroken government protected monopoly and still are arrogant overpaid assholes who don't give a shit about the sick man waiting for hours after a scheduled appointment time.

Insurance companies exacerbate the problems with the medical monopoly. A person on an insurance plan is effectively stuck with whatever medical treatment the plan provides. When it's a company paid plan the customer has even less choice than for private plans. And insurance companies don't care if the prices are way too high. In fact, the more it costs for medical care the more money insurance companies make. Their profits are pretty much based on the dollar volume of the medical care. If a typical insurance company is covering, let's say, one million dollars of medical cost each year they divide up the million dollars and bill customers for a million and one hundred thousand for their costs and profits. If the medical prices double, to two million, the insurance divides that up and charges two million two hundred thousand. Their fee and PROFIT doubled simply because they can now write "2" instead of "1" on each form. Insurance companies encourage high medical costs and monopoly domination of the medical business.

It is the nature of monopolies to screw the customers while enjoying unreasonable and unfair profits for themselves. In the medical business where the customer's only other choice is death or extreme physical suffering, it is morally unconscionable to allow, let alone protect, a medical monopoly. The government ought to be encouraging medical competition by medical schools, private doctor training programs, and every other means to increase competition for medical services. It is outrageous that the government sponsors the tightly controlled AMA monopoly. Every political hack who has yammered on about "medical reform" for the past 50 years has not even mentioned real medical reform, nor uttered a word about breaking the medical industrial monopoly. What politicians invariably talk about is forcing taxpayers to pay whatever outrageous prices and costs that the monopoly feels like charging. How many limos and yachts do the doctors want? Politicians claiming to support so-called "reform" of the medical business are only ever demanding that taxpayers be forced to pay whatever the monopoly feels like charging? And as for the hours we wait in their offices after our scheduled appointments, until we can walk out and go to brand X doctors it will never change. Until the doctor who treats his patients like crap goes out of business because all the patients went elsewhere it will never change. Monopolies are like that.

Behind lawyers, doctors might be the least moral profession. They have no morals or ethics at all, only greed, and often bury their mistakes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why were you wasting time listening to some dumb radio talk show?

Have you nothing better to do? Have you no job?

My doctor is excellent; she is competent and caring. My health insurance from my JOB is superb. The wait time at my physician's office is generally less than 5 minutes.

April 16, 2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Dear Anonymous: You sound like the PR person for the AMA. In a country where 50% of the residents can't afford health insurance and hundreds of hospitals have closed because the law requires them to treat "emergency" patients who have no insurance, you are part of the lucky few. Many companies are cutting back on health insurance because it's gotten so awfully expensive -- a blank check to a greedy monopoly. Some of us are concerned about others who may not be as fortunate as ourselves. I can see you have no such concerns.

April 16, 2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous must be living on another planet or is a Troll. Labor is screaming about the Cost of Health Care as are Employers. We are closing Hospitals due to economic shortfalls due to the massive influx of Illegal Aliens seeking medical Care at County Hospitals.

Along our Southern Border it has become an acute Financial Crisis. Hey Anonymous put down the Crack pipe and get a clue.


April 18, 2006 12:26 PM  

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