Our biggest mistake has been to use economic models to explain consumer behavior towards the purchase of health care. The underlying economic assumptions of the “rational consumer” or “all things being equal” are not valid. When we purchase health care we make a decision that may not be seen by others as rational but to the individual represents a valid choice.
Even if there’s just a small chance a treatment may work, if you are in pain or suffering, any chance is better than none and you want access to that treatment. It may not be rational but it’s human nature.
The rules for how we make decisions about health are just not the same as when we buy a cell phone or any other item. Health is neither a brand nor a commodity. Each individual addresses health choices at a very personal level.
After all, it is about one’s life and you just can’t buy another one.
Finally, on another note, we're thinking of all the families who have been displaced and otherwise affected by hurricane Gustav today. And our prayers are with those who lost family members to the storm.