The extreme failure of the United States to contain medical costs results primarily from our unique, pervasive commercialization. The dominance of for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies, a new wave of investor-owned specialty hospitals, and profit-maximizing behavior even by nonprofit players raise costs and distort resource allocation. Profits, billing, marketing, and the gratuitous costs of private bureaucracies siphon off $400 billion to $500 billion of the $2.1 trillion spent, but the more serious and less appreciated syndrome is the set of perverse incentives produced by commercial dominance of the system.
It turns out that Dr. Jarvick is not a cardiologist, is not licensed to practice medicine, and does not even row and it not an outdoorsman! They used a body double for the rowing scenes.
“He’s about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen” said a longtime collaborator, Dr. O. H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute. “He can’t row.”