March 3, 2002 11:43 AM   Subscribe

BOUTIQUE MEDICAL PRACTICES The answer to very good health care in America. If you can afford it. Otherwise....
posted by Postroad (7 comments total)
You mean, like, wealth is some sort of opportunity filter now?
Well, I never. That's not very American.

I'm currently on the other health plan, the one that includes very little besides a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a pair of pliers.
posted by dong_resin at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2002

Interesting read, Postroad. I think a lot of Americans are complacent with the current, two-tier system, since most people are covered, and the cost of dealing with the uninsured is largely off the books. I wonder what impact this "third tier" will have on the debate.
posted by electro at 2:17 PM on March 3, 2002

How is this different from the same "boutique" practices that have existed for years in so many other countries with socialized medicine? If you want to argue over the medical ethics of providing a different level of care to some patients than others, great. But the way you phrased the front page post, road (hee hee), it comes off as if you're implying that perhaps we'd all be getting this "boutique" level of medical care if the US switched to socialized medicine, and that's just not true. It either wouldn't change the existence of such services at all, or else it would simply outlaw them and ensure we all all were prohibited from getting anything more than the same lower level of medical care that the typical HMO patient gets today. (I'm pretty such HillaryCare would have done the latter, just as an indicator of which way an American socialized system would likely go on this matter.)

I sure did love that little digression in the middle of the piece about the brilliant prescience of Fidel Castro, though. Thanks for the link!
posted by aaron at 3:36 PM on March 3, 2002

Some of the wealthiest doctors in the world are 'boutique' doctors in Europe, since tons of people don't feel they get good treatment from their national providers, and are (shock) willing to pay to get better treatment. I'm not terribly comfortable with the notion that more money should get one better treatment, but socializing medicine will just make this particular manifestation of inequality more common, not less.
posted by louie at 7:15 PM on March 3, 2002

I'm not terribly comfortable with the notion that more money should get one better treatment

Oh boy. Well then how do you feel about the notion that more money can get people better quality food, clothes, vehicles, and housing?
posted by Keen at 7:19 PM on March 3, 2002

I think the difference is that with some kind of socialized medicine program everyone is covered for at least some minimum level of healthcare so the disparity between rich and poor wouldn't be as great even with "boutique" healthcare.
posted by ArkIlloid at 7:49 PM on March 3, 2002

Which brings up a joke from an earlier MF thread.

A visitor is being shown around a modern hospital. They walk past a bed where a man is masturbating furiously.

"What's going on here?". The doctor replies: "Well, this man has a rare problem. His testicles fill with fluid, and he must masturbate frequently to relieve the pressure, otherwise his testicles will explode and he will die."

"Ohhh." The tour continues, and on the next floor the group walks past a nurse bent over a hospital bed giving a patient a blowjob.

"What’s going on here?" asks the visitor.

The doctor replies "Same problem, better health plan."
posted by HTuttle at 8:53 PM on March 3, 2002

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