Hey, Tom Daschle,
Got a proposition for you. Why don't you mandate that the government help 5 land-grant colleges a year for the next ten years open a medical school at the college?
That's approximately 4,500 new doctors a year in ten years.
Medical costs in this country are way more complicated than I'd like to make them, but if doctors are charging huge amounts for complicated services because their services are lucrative, wouldn't it make sense for the government to flood the market with doctors, thereby driving up supply and inevitably driving down cost? I'm not saying this would cure the medical crisis in this country, but surely, if a liver transplant could be done for $25,000 instead of 250,000...we might start moving in the right direction.
It is no secret that many doctors (while complaining about long hours) enjoy the near-celebrity status they often achieve. Their position of authority gives them power over life and death, and that can easily be intoxicating. It is no secret either that medical schools have been highly resistant to increasing their enrollment, complaining that they can't provide a quality education if they increase their class size (while complaining that they must charge painfully high tuition rates to support their facility). The high tuition rates at these institutions only propogate the problem; doctors expect to make a lot, becausethey paid a lot.
The easiest way to humanize the doctors is to reduce their rarity. The easiest way to solve the shortage without infringing upon the enrollment size of medical schools is to open more schools.
All the above medical schools would include nursing schools.