Medical Binge: A look at healthcare through the lens of the streaming industry

This article is a bit out of left (pun mostly intended) field compared with the others on this site, but as I said early on, I’m playing fast and loose with the whole “this is a review site” rule structure. Really, this is an outlet for my writing, but now I’m just getting sidetracked. I just finished watching a Some More News episode about Quibi on YouTube, and it got me thinking about the streaming industry and how it might compare to that of healthcare. I may run the risk of alienating some readers due to the politicized nature of this topic, but this discussion keeps coming up, so it’s obviously not over. Also, you should check out Some More News if you want a good, crass, left-wing take down of current news stories. Content warning for language, but I doubt that’s a huge issue for most of you.

Anyway, Quibi is yet another streaming service in the glut of streaming services that have risen and fallen over the last decade. (An article over at Flixed tells me there’s over 200 different services when we consider the international market.) Most people know about the big four—Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus—but it seems everyone wants to get in on the streaming game these days. Quibi seems to be going the way of such services as Seeso, but there’s always time for a surprise. 

Again, I’ve sidetracked myself. I’m not really here to talk about streaming services all that much. If you want more info on Quibi, check out the Some More News episode mentioned earlier. I’m here to bring up everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dinner topic: healthcare. When confronted with the idea of publicly funded healthcare, many people like to make the argument about choice. Here, the choice refers to whether to purchase healthcare from a provider, much like the choice of which streaming services to buy into if any at all. That argument does work when the focus is our current system, but the point of the conversation has been how to move forward.

This is where the negative similarities between the industries arise: When there are so many “choices” for access, the actual product gets obstructed. Let’s say I wanted to watch Good Omens. That would mean a subscription or borrowed login to Amazon Prime. But Amazon, as we all should know by now, doesn’t have Orange is the New Black or The Handmaid’s Tale. After all that binging, you may even want to hop over to Disney Plus for The MandalorianAlong those same lines, different healthcare providers give us access to different networks of doctors and hospitals—unless we’re talking about HMOs, but that’s a bear to shave on another day.

When all is said and done, I want the option to see any doctor in any hospital or watch any show from any service (without paying the exorbitant cost for the current access structure, of course). The true choice should be about—and I hate to commodify something as necessary as medicine—the product delivered, not the vector through which it is delivered. I really don’t think anyone has a zealous drive to buy into Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Disney Plus, Seeso, Quibi, or any of the myriad streaming services cropping up like some deadly virus at a protest to reopen hair salons. (Too soon?) People care about the shows behind the paywall, and the same is—or at the very least should—be true about healthcare.

As always, thank you for reading. If you like Belated Reviews and want to see more, consider donating down below beneath the comments. You can subscribe to get my content directly in your email on the homepage.


Published by writingrobb

I’m a video gaming cat dad who likes to write.

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