Partners Healthcare Boston: Classic Orwellian Propaganda
Shem, here, about another sleazy deception in medical care. In response to an op-ed in the Boston Globe by the CEO of Partners Health Care entitled “First Do No Harm,” I had no choice but to write this letter to the Boston Globe, which I titled: “How to Harm Health Care“:
RE “FIRST, do no harm” by David Torchiana, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare (Opinion, Dec. 19): In understanding Partners, a touch of history may be relevant. There never was a need for a “Partners.” It was created to make an alliance between Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital — but also to make money.
American health care at first was a two-party system: doctor and patient. The next step was a third party: private insurance. Partners was born as a new third party, wedged between doctor-patient and private insurance (which became “a new 4th party”). Partners became a middleman and fee broker between doctor-patient-hospital and private insurance.
No wonder this added corporate giant added to health care costs, and has recently suffered record losses from ventures such as the installation of a new electronic medical records system and from running its own insurance company, Neighborhood Health Plan.
There’s no need for a “Partners.” The need, and solution, is for a national single-payer Medicare for all. Many, if not most, doctors want it. And ask any of us Medicare insurance patients: It’s cheap, and it works.
Dr. Samuel Shem
The Partners op ed was too important an issue of the unnecessary financial takeover of medical care, and someone has to speak up about it–I guess it’s up to me. For Torchiana to entitle this op-ed “First do no harm” is a joke–an example of “New Thought” from Orwell’s 1984: IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
The solution is a national health care system. Why don’t we have it? Because 50% of each of our tax dollars goes to the military. We’re #1 at war, and #39 or so in healthcare. Good at war, bad at healthcare. Of course we don’t have the money for non-profit health care for all. We have to change our priorities! Oh, and by the way, two facts you need to know about CEO Torchiana: 1) he made well over $2.5 million in salary last year; 2) he was one of four Healthcare CEOs to meet with Trump two days ago.