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Assembly Line Heart Surgery: Bodies Cut, Costs Slashed

Written by Gary North on December 17, 2016

The free market is a system of cost-cutting through mass production. Profits rise as costs fall and prices fall. The difference is volume.

The most famous model is Henry Ford’s auto assembly system. Now it has come to medicine a century after it came to auto manufacturing.

A friend of mine had knee replacement surgery three years ago. The physician said it would take 81 minutes. It did . . . exactly. That means that the operation was capable of being mass produced. One man did five a day.

The man who took out my gall bladder did five a day. Each surgery cost the patients many thousands of dollars.

Anything this routine can be routinized even more.

This is coming to a hospital near you. Medicare will force it by cutting payments to physicians for routine surgery. Heart bypass surgery is routine.

After about 20 years of assembly line surgery will come the next step: robots — just like in the auto industry. It may not take that long.

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