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Friday, January 11, 2008

Confused? Or Corrupt?

A recent decision by the Massachusetts State Public Health Council paves the way for CVS Corp. and other retailers to open medical clinics inside their stores. These are quick and convenient mini-clinics where you can get inexpensive care for minor health issues.

In a statement regarding the decision, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said:

"Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong."

Let's think about this.

CVS is a for-profit company that operates a chain of drugstores. At those stores, precious few of the drugs that they sell are recreational. Therefore, the drugs are specifically sold to people who are not completely well. In other words, the entire reason for the existence of CVS Drugstores is to make money off of sick people. And thank heavens for that! When I'm sick I'm oh so happy to buy my drugs there!

So what can it possibly matter if CVS starts a new service that also makes a little bit more money off of sick people? Also, don't doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc. make money off of sick people? Your average heart transplant surgeon isn't operating on well people, is he?

Mayor Menino is either awfully clueless about the fundamentals of why CVS and other health care retailers exist, he wants to turn all health care (including buying aspirin) into not-for-profit, or someone is "influencing" him to get him to fight this new and excellent development in health care delivery. If it's the latter, I think that whoever or whatever is funding that "influence" is not getting their money's worth since that statement of his sounded awfully stupid to me.


Bruce said...

I vote "corrupt". But, only because "arrogant statist jackass" wasn't an option.

Bret said...

Good point. He's probably just Statist. Not surprising coming from the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

erp said...

Confused and/or corrupt people never think, ergo they make silly remarks like this.

Who's providing these medical services?

This is interesting, I just learned that there’s a new free clinic in an adjacent town populated by many people of lesser means who now must take cabs to the ER for treatment. The doctors and other healthcare providers are volunteering their time. I hope this experiment works and would be glad to contribute to it’s success.

Prior to the notion that those on the receiving end must have parity with those paying the freight, there were free clinics dotted around the city (NYC), some at prestigious hospitals, some store fronts in the ‘hoods. The system worked because a lot of money wasn’t spent on bureaucracies and guvmint agencies.

Congrats to CVS for providing very needed services to those who need it the most.

Bret said...


Just to be clear, CVS is providing a service to those who will pay for it, not necessarily those who need it the most. They, unlike hospitals, can turn away those that cannot pay.

erp said...

True, but if it's a cheaper and better way to treat the indigent, perhaps social services can arrange payments. It costs a fortune to provide routine medical care through the ER.