In recent months my wife has been treated for a foot problem by some excellent doctors and therapists at the
These buildings, of course, are financed with fees largely paid by insurance companies or Medicare. The enactment of Medicare may account for no small part of the huge increase (way beyond inflation) in the cost of medical treatment during the last 40 years.
When our daughter was born in 1969 our hospital bill in
Elegant facilities probably do little to improve the efficiency with which medical services are provided. Facilities in former strip malls vacated by stores which cannot compete with Amazon.com could probably work equally well at much lower cost. But we cannot blame medical administrators for opting for nicer, more expensive facilities when they know they can pay for it by raising their charges.
A similar situation can be found in universities. When I was an undergraduate at
When I was at
As in the case of medicine, there is a lot more money available now for higher education than there was fifty years ago, and a good part of this may be due to the availability of Pell grants and loans for college students. Borrowing for college was unheard of fifty years ago and was just beginning to be discussed while I was in graduate school. (One of my undergraduate students at
Experience in medicine and education suggests that throwing more money into worthy purposes may not always be a good idea. I have no idea how to deal with the problems this extra money has created, but we may be about to find out whether reducing the flow of such money, while painful, could have unexpected benefits.
This article has run in the Daily Telegram (Adrian, Michigan), CommonDreams, and the Gazette-Times (Corvallis, Oregon).