Wednesday, April 16

Who Do NPR Reporters Vote For?

In response to T.R. Reid's Taiwan Takes Fast Track to Universal Health Care, I wrote
The segment on Taiwan's healthcare system noted that patients are allowed to go straight to the specialists; however, patients do not necessarily know which disease is indicated by a particular symptom,which means that both patients and specialists can waste their time. The segment also omitted to mention that because physicians are paid by the patient visit, their incentive is to examine as many patients as possible, which means that in order to see literally hundreds of patients a day, some doctors will adopt an assembly-line approach, with does nothing for quality. Moreover, medicines in Taiwan are dispensed by the doctor, so those with chronic conditions are inconvenienced by having to visit their doctor every few days, again wasting their time and that of the professionals. Finally, to keep costs down, many procedures are performed without sedation unless the patient pays out of pocket. Indeed, some of the more expensive medications that are standard in the U.S. are only available in Taiwan if the patient pays the entire cost.
Of course they didn't air it. It wasn't about how good Taiwan's system was; it was meant to show that the American system is no good.

Consider also Steve Inskeep's snide aside on the April 9, 2008 after reporting about American Airlines' cancellations for inspecting wiring, he added:
Now, along with these cancellations, American Airlines put out a statement along the lines of - what, me worry? The airline says it's grounding planes for, quote, "technical compliance issues" and not because of what it describes as safety of flight issues.
His assumption is that this was obviously a safety issue rather than a regulatory issue. Even the evening news did better than he did.

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