When my daughter was born 23 years ago, I made especially sure to take a picture of the delivery room. Why? Because I wanted my children and grandchildren to be able to see what hospital rooms were like — you know, “back in the day.” For most Americans innovation and improvement in all areas is expected. It’s what we do. It’s part of our culture. It’s anticipated, appreciated and amazing. As Paul Hsieh rightfully points out in his article “Will tomorrow’s medical innovations be there when you need them?” amazing technological and product innovations, life-saving remedies and procedures don’t happen by magic. It takes a clear understanding of how economics, politics, regulation, trade and market forces work together to create a climate and culture where breakthroughs can occur. Stifling economies do not produce higher standards of living. Free economies do. (This is clearly pointed out in one of my favorite books, The Five Thousand Year Leap, by Cleon Skousen.) Serfs don’t create breakthrough medical devices.
Hsieh, himself a medical doctor, brings home the life and death differences medical innovations have made, no, not fifty or sixty years ago, but as recently as the 1980’s. If you want to wrap your head around the improvements we literally owe our lives to, this is an illuminating read.
CT scanners in 1983 used to take several minutes to acquire relatively crude pictures of the human body. Today, a high-resolution full body scan takes only a few seconds. Typically, the limiting step is no longer the scan time, but rather how long it takes to safely move an injured patient on and off the CT table.
And to think, this climate of innovation and life-saving technology and medicine may be greatly reduced, if not shrivel up altogether, under the stifling environment that is Obamacare.
Such businessmen [medical innovators —ed.] should be regarded as heroes, just as many happy Apple customers (myself included) regard Steve Jobs as a hero.
We agree with Mr. Hsieh: doctors, businessmen, innovators and everyone who works to improve the quality and condition of life should be regarded and treated like the heroes they are, and they deserve to be amply compensated for their efforts. Who knows? Perhaps one day your life may even depend on it.