PAIN CONTROL AND OUR HEALTH CARE NON-SYSTEM
I have a friend from another state who is like the world authority in pain control for certain areas of the body. She's a board certified neurologist with several subspecialties but all she wants to do is help people who suffer from pain in this one region of the body. Without doubt, she is very good at it. Without doubt, there are hundreds of thousands of people who would benefit from her service.
Still, she cannot practice her specialty with total concentration. Essentially because of insurance considerations she has to practice general neurology for about three days a week to pay the help and the light bill. She's been in two pain-only clinics which have failed for want of third party payers (notwithstanding that most of her patients ARE insured and ARE referred by other neurologists or, at a minimum, their own primary care physicians.
So we have skill and a need but the system provides a disincentive for for her or anyone who follows her to take up this specialty. She could go to Germany and make piles of money and help tons of people because their system values chronic pain control work.
I'm sure there are other examples of "holes" in our supposedly best health care system in the world. This is just one I know.
bps: This is not an argument for any particular revision--so please don't go all "socialized medicine" or "single payer" on me. This is just sad thing, like if Sandy Koufax grew up in Siberia and had no place to pitch.