Posted 10 months ago on March 22, 2017, 10:31 a.m. EST by agkaiser
from Fredericksburg, TX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
But these days, the actual leaders of health care organizations have become accustomed to the pay and perks of top executives of big commercial firms. We have documented again and again the ever rising and increasingly monumental pay of health care CEOs, even of ostensibly non-profit organizations, seemingly out of proportion to their organizations’ abilities to help patients’ and the public’s health.
This has gone on in an era of ascendant neoliberalism. Krimsky summarized the tenets of neoliberalism in his review of Science-Mart by Phillip Mirowski.
The term neoliberal, which arises from the work of post–World War II economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and others belonging to the ‘Chicago school’ of economics and law, has little in common with what is usually thought of as liberalism. The important tenets of neoliberalism, Mirowski says, include such propositions as the following: ‘The Market’ is a better processor of information than the state; ‘politics operates as if it were a market’; ‘corporations can do no wrong‘; ‘competition always prevails’; the state should be ‘degovernmentalized’ through ‘privatization of education, health, science and even portions of the military’; a good way to initiate privatization is to redefine property rights; ‘the nation-state should be subject to discipline and limitation through international initiatives’; ‘the Market . . . can always provide solutions to problems seemingly caused by markets in the first place’; ‘there is no such thing as a ‘public good’’; ‘freedom’ means economic freedom within the Market.
The logic appears to be that leaders of organizations that can do no wrong should be entitled to market levels of compensation, however high they may be, and without concern of whether the market is perfect (because all markets are by definition, perfect). Also, the logic appears to be that corporations that can do no wrong should be immune from questions about actions that appear to not put patients first.
All the distractions in Washington, DC should not put us off how the commercialization of health care in an era of neoliberalism (and managerialism) has led to ever worsening dysfunction, and ever increasing advantages to the insiders within the system.
But where will patients end up in such an era?
We need true health care reform that would enable leadership that understands the health care context, upholds health care professionals’ values, and puts patients’ and the public’s health ahead of extraneous, particularly short-term financial concerns. We need health care governance that holds health care leaders accountable, and ensures their transparency, integrity and honesty. What we will get is endless resistance to such reform from those who personally profit from the current dysfunctional, and increasingly corrupt system. And the current chaos and dysfunction in government at large is making it easier for those who personally profit to profit even more.
If we're to survive, we can't depend on the market to provide the stuff of life. It needs to be done of, by and for the people on a non profit basis.