I never paid a great deal of attention to politics, until I realized that health care had become politics.
I may be the last of a generation that learned, in medical school in France, that the responsibility of a doctor was to keep a record of cash transactions, something best done in a bound notebook with no pages ripped out, and only a single line to cross out errors, so that integrity would not be questioned.
The same year I entered medical school, President Richard Nixon signed the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973.
Wealthy industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, billionaire shipbuilder, and steel and aluminum magnate (as well as staunch Republican and major contributor to the Nixon campaign) was the first person to establish a “for-profit” hospital. Read more on Don’t Tell Me You Think Insurance Will Actually HELP…
My second remunerated employment in my entire lifetime — I was pushing all of eighteen — brought me to the emergency room of a Harvard University Teaching Hospital, where I was the lackey who checked the pockets of near-corpses to see if they contained insurance cards. In case you are interested, my first paid job was a summer at the Boston Public Library. Their cards were somewhat less valuable to the holder.
At the ER, I occasionally made attempts to speak with physicians. But since hospitals are socially stratified institutions where most people who have the lackey job never ascend to anything else, people laughed at me when I said I was going to become a physician.