Health Care is Not a Business

by Paul Gorman, MD  PNHP Portland

As Frank Luntz or George Lakoff will tell you, who controls the language,  controls the conversation.  

Once we accept the phrase "business model" in discussions of health care, we've already lost the argument.  If it's ok to have a 'business model' in healthcare, then healthcare has been defined as a commodity. and may the best "business model" win.   The best model being that with the greatest revenues and the lowest expenses.  Medicare?  Medicaid?  Losers.  No insurance?  Not welcome here.  Cash? bring plenty.  Visa and Mastercard?  Accepted.  I am honestly not sure we can fault any player at the Monopoly table for trying to take all the land and money from the rest of us.  Once we agree the game is Monopoly, then taking all the land and money isn't just OK, it's the whole point.

Let's not let Frank Luntz define our profession and our field.  Health care is not a business.  People who need healthcare are not customers.  Groups of them are not a market.  Heatlhcare is not a business.

end of rant