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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A few good surgical implants 

In light of this post and with apologies to Colonel Jessep, a medical device executive addresses the Senate Democrats (and, if necessary, Senator Snowe):

Senator, we live in a world that has patients, and those patients have to be treated with technology. Who's gonna invent, develop it, and build it? You, Senator Sanders? You, Senator Reid? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for high health care costs, and you curse new medical technology. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That new medical technology, while expensive, saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about in front of cameras or in committee hearings, you want me on that production line, you need me on that production line. We use words like innovation, quality, and safety. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent helping injured people. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and walks by virtue of the very medical technology that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a biomedical engineering degree, and get to work inventing better medical devices. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

25 Comments:

By Anonymous Fausta, at Thu Dec 17, 02:20:00 PM:

Right on!!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Dec 17, 02:21:00 PM:

Good speech Colonel. Hope you get off.

By the way, as a Swiss domiciled company, your difficulties would be less.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Dec 17, 02:52:00 PM:

Who is John Galt?  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Thu Dec 17, 06:14:00 PM:

That's dumb as hell (meaning it makes perfect sense to wingnuts). As was, Colonel Jessup, self righteous tool, to jail, and kevin (snout nose) bacon was glad to prosecute...

Accordingly, pick your allegorcial speeches more carefully next time, TH. Maybe Jimmy Stewart in Mr Smith Goes to washington...or Henry Fonda as Tom Jode. Wait...those are a little too liberal for Tigerhawk. Ok, modify Denzel in the first temple scene in Malcolm X. Wait...too black. Ok, Igot it...Kirsten Dunst's pep talk in Bring it On. That fits perfectly. ;-)  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Dec 17, 06:14:00 PM:

Enjoy your IRS Audit, sir.

These people really do NOT have any shame!  

By Anonymous Evan Harrel, at Thu Dec 17, 09:02:00 PM:

What is grotesque and incomprehensible is kickbacks for selling a bone graft product, falsified research data on the same product by an army doctor and a manufacturer "forgetting" to file medical device reports on repeated failures of the delivery system for an AAA stent.  

By Anonymous JVDeLong, at Thu Dec 17, 10:01:00 PM:

I can't get Trackback to work, so here is a link. http://convergencelaw.typepad.com/convergences/2009/12/market-society-is-a-good-thing-keep-repeating.html  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 10:11:00 AM:

Did you order the Code Blue?  

By Blogger PierreLegrand, at Fri Dec 18, 10:24:00 AM:

That's dumb as hell

hehe...So then you won't need those products? Perhaps you think that he owes you those products? Please explain how those products get invented without folks like him? By committee?

Yes there are problems with kickbacks, falsified data and the like but given the enormous fraud that is our Federal Government the idea that socializing medicine will fix it is hilarious.

If I were working to fix healthcare I would do what is done whenever something breaks. Look at the last few things you thought you fixed...and perhaps reverse your fixes.

Ergo reduce government intervention as Government is constitutionally unable to acknowledge the unintended consquences of its actions.  

By Blogger JorgXMcKie, at Fri Dec 18, 10:31:00 AM:

Christopher Chambers: "I'm dumb as hell."

There, FIFY.  

By Blogger submandave, at Fri Dec 18, 11:10:00 AM:

For all the self-righteous claims of nuance, Mr. Chambers and other like-minded folk sure are prone to cast the good COL in shades of black and white. The reason that scene works is because, despite however wrong COL Jessep was in his action, there is a very real truth in his words and thinking. It was this very real contrast of the moral ideal represented by the JAGs and the application of these ideals in difficult situations represented by the COL.  

By Blogger geekWithA.45, at Fri Dec 18, 11:25:00 AM:

Henry Rearden might tell Congress off like that. (J. Galt would bore them into a diabetic stupor with a 9 day speech)

Too damned many other CEOs would be too busy wheedling for some government enforced advantage to screw their competitors with. (Reference: the politics of pull)  

By Blogger Michael Smith, at Fri Dec 18, 11:30:00 AM:

No, geekWithA.45, John Galt would tell them, "Get the Hell out of my way!"  

By Blogger gs, at Fri Dec 18, 11:41:00 AM:

Senator, we live in a world that has patients, and those patients have to be treated with technology. Who's gonna invent, develop it, and build it?...

Asians will. They'll create (more) clinics for those who can put cash on the barrel head. The health plan for Congress and other nomenklatura will provide access to those clinics, and the rabble's health plan will not.

This scenario may well (continue to) unfold whether Obamacare passes or not.
*********
submandave, I agree with you about COL Jessep, whose undoing--tragic flaw?--was his desire to tell the truth as he saw it. My agreement isn't meant as an assessment pro or con.  

By Blogger halojones-fan, at Fri Dec 18, 11:54:00 AM:

Oh Christ, another "sheepdogs" metaphor.

Jessup? Seriously? What's next, you'll tell us that we shouldn't go for single-payer because at least private industry can make the trains run on time? Or maybe you'll call for a Great Leap Forward in the government-industry relationship.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 12:36:00 PM:

"That new medical technology, while expensive, saves lives."

The inconvenient truth is: it's "lives" that they don't want to save. Less lives, less carbon footprints; less inconvenient lives, less expenses from the fed, more porks for them.  

By Blogger davod, at Fri Dec 18, 12:50:00 PM:

"Asians will. They'll create (more) clinics for those who can put cash on the barrel head. The health plan for Congress and other nomenklatura will provide access to those clinics, and the rabble's health plan will not."

But they may not invent the new drugs or appliances. What is often left out of the argument is that the US is one of the few places left where the money is available to pay for using new inventions and techniques.

The world will be much worse off if the USA moved to greater government intervention into the US health care market (Oops, many Democrats in Congress and lots of liberals do not think health care should be a market).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 01:43:00 PM:

Brilliant speech...

Straight out of Atlas Shrugged...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 01:57:00 PM:

Forget the identification with the colonel. Remember the point -- we Americans expect everything, have little tolerance for bad behavior, hold others to standards we ourselves cannot meet -- and yet somehow expect timely, cheap, wonderful products that we can make more cheaply and greenly than anyone else on the planet. And that's just not possible.

What TH is attacking is the self-righteousness of those in Congress, who, by the way, don't walk the talk because for $538 a year they get the cheapest, best and most accessible care anywhere. Not everyone who is in business cheats, and not everyone who is in the public sector is honest. We have a choice -- to put ourselves out there, in the arena and do the best we can despite all the doubters and haters out there. And if you haven't tried it, try it some time. It is not easy. Or, alternatively -- so as not to risk making any mistakes of any kind -- we can opt to do nothing. And, if that's what we want -- no transgressions by humans of any sort at all, then we can't expect excellence in anything, because we will be trying nothing. And our standard of living and livelihoods will suffer immeasurably. Subsistence farming, anyone?

So it's easy for a glorified game show host speaking on C-SPAN before an empty chamber to scapegoat industries that provide tens of thousands of jobs for their own gain and sport. That's not leadership, that's demagoguery.

We need a whole lot more than that from our public officials.

The Centrist  

By Blogger gs, at Fri Dec 18, 01:58:00 PM:

But they may not invent the new drugs or appliances. What is often left out of the argument is that the US is one of the few places left where the money is available to pay for using new inventions and techniques.

Granted, davod.

I was expressing a plausible-to-likely scenario, not asserting a slam-dunk certainty.

1. I see a number of stories about Asian professionals in high tech and finance, established or recently graduated, opting to return to their countries of origin rather than pursue their careers in the US. If the same thing isn't yet happening in biotech, I expect that it will.

2. Asia remains riddled with poverty, but the absolute numbers of the middle classes have become large. Whether or not Asia currently has the wealth and consumer base to support a place like Sloan-Kettering, it will in due course.

3. I don't work in biotech, but I'll conjecture that the US's regulatory process has become cost-ineffective relative to what a determined entrant nation would establish.

4. Venture capital will cross borders if that's where the best risk-adjusted returns are perceived to be.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 02:37:00 PM:

I had always thought that two different kinds of people watched the Jessup speech. There were the pee their pants progressives who saw a raving psycho and there were the former Marines and current Air Force Officers who were saying; "Go Colonel, GO!" You can tell the caliber of a person by how they interpreted it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 18, 10:12:00 PM:

Very well said.

I'm a medical professional (and yes, us wrench-turners are professional to a high degree) and we are seeing our high-tech industry in its death throes. To repeat what this post said, these high-tech miracles have a cost, and costs are up all over the world, not just here.

People with no money are being tested and scanned as you read this. There's a lot to be fixed, but trashing a system that has produced the astounding advances this one has is no answer -- except to a politician.

Without politics, the system actually works pretty well.

Goatroper  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 20, 12:26:00 AM:

Gee, I wish I could have read this article; a Google ad kept sitting atop it, and couldn't be closed.  

By Blogger spencer, at Tue Dec 29, 02:37:00 PM:

I would just remind you that Col. Jessup was in the final analysis just another government bureaucrat.

I would like to just once see someone like our good host explain why they believe government bureaucrats can do nothing right until they but on a uniform, and than they can do nothing wrong.  

By Blogger D. Watson, at Fri Jan 01, 04:07:00 PM:

Bravo.  

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