Moreover, the Affordable Care Act is merely the latest in a century-long line of legislation ostensibly aimed at increasing the affordability of health care, but which by subsidy have locked in a status quo of needlessly high levels of costly treatment required in order to receive any level of health care, crowding out innovations in the lower-cost methods and self-help advocated by Dr. Gordon.
As Ivan Illich observed in 1975 in Medical Nemesis:
“Awe-inspiring medical technology has combined with egalitarian rhetoric to create the impression that contemporary medicine is highly effective. Undoubtedly, during the last generation, a limited number of specific procedures have become extremely useful. But where they are not monopolized by professionals as tools of their trade, those which are applicable to widespread diseases are usually very inexpensive and require a minimum of personal skills, materials, and custodial services from hospitals. In contrast, most of today’s skyrocketing medical expenditures are destined for the kind of diagnosis and treatment whose effectiveness at best is doubtful.”
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