Blogger attacks nurses. Help!


Economist blogger Matt Bruenig was recently a guest on the Slate podcast The Gist. During his interview, Bruenig made comments about how simple it would be to lower the costs of U.S. healthcare by freezing and ultimately lowering reimbursement rates. "Simply by freezing those payments, because the economy is going to grow, it will shrink. Right? It's relative size will shrink as a percentage of the economy."

When I confronted him on Twitter about his misdirected and overly simplistic view point (I cited the fact that lowered reimbursement rates have not shrunk U.S. healthcare costs and are contributing to the collapse of rural medicine), he went on to say that U.S. healthcare is so expensive because nurses and doctors get paid too much. He also said that my opinion was irrelevant and biased because as a nurse making $42/hour I am benefiting from this uniquely expensive system.

Help! I really want to defend my profession from narrow-minded, jerk-face opinions like this!

Here is the original Twitter feed: The Gist on Twitter: "On The Gist, @MattBruenig makes a case for Bernie’s trustworthiness and economic plans:"

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,475 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

Let him walk in your shoes for one shift....


51 Posts

This guy is a big jerk fave and if he would like to share a shift even at his pay rate which none of see and none of us do the job for the money then I welcome him to put on a pair of scrubs and disimpact a opioid using teen with me he can hold the KY.


14,633 Posts

Why would you even engage this jerk? What kind of response were you expecting?

Specializes in ICU.

I went and read this because I was interested in what was said. No where in there does he say nurses are overpaid. You volunteered your income to him which I never would have done. He said doctors are overpaid and you volunteered your husband is a doctor.

I don't agree with what he says, mainly because he's wanting Bernie for president which means he's for socialism.

Next time, don't volunteer your personal info on Twitter with some guy who's a freaking blogger. A blogger!! He's a guy with an over inflated ego who thinks people actually care what he thinks.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
When I confronted him on Twitter about his misdirected and overly simplistic view point...
You are giving this guy far more attention than is warranted. He wouldn't have an audience and viewership if people weren't listening to him pontificate. Hence, stop being a part of his audience.

The more you click on his blogs and tweets, the more revenues you generate for him. If you disagree with his message, you have the choice to not engage.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

We are all "benefitting" from the system, as health care professionals we get paid for what we do. Healthcare can't run for free.

With ratios being what they are, actually we are doing the job of 2 or 3 nurses, therefore, not really raking in the dough sitting on our butts.

I am sure this guy gets paid for his opinions and media foolishness. He is benefitting from the media system as well. And some would argue getting paid too much....


4,104 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.
He's a guy with an over inflated ego who thinks people actually care what he thinks.

Obviously the OP cares what he thinks since she wants us to debate him, like he will magically changes views.


54 Posts

Dr. and nurses have always been paid more - it has never been the cause of rising health care costs.

Rising health care costs are caused (and its well documented everywhere) - baby boomers! We have the biggest population of aging and elderly than anytime before in our history!

#2 - removal of restrictions from Wall Street in the last year of Bush. He removed Wall Street restrictions allowing companies to make "stock repurchases" at will - which means they can buy up all their own stock, essentially creating a FALSE HIGH DEMAND, and then put that stock BACK on the market at higher prices. -this falsely makes it look like we have a - shortage, b-high demand c-the stock is worth more when its not. Pharmaceuticals and other medical products are traded on the market.

#3 - Republican changes to patent laws. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies can now extend, renew, or simply make minor changes to products - keep their old patent safe from generics, and put a new product at a significantly higher price that does the same exact thing on the market for 3 -10 times the price. One inhaler - $50, they give everybody the news they are phasing it out- mix that one inhaler with another chemical -even if its inert (does nothing), or another medicine they have on the market - tada! -new inhaler, new patent - put it back on the market for $450.

#4 - ridiculous rules that only apply to medicine. - inhaler example again. because of aerosol rules - releasing toxins into the air etc - (second hand smoke is 50 times more dangerous) - they made it so inhalers are now being produced in a powder form, that has to be in more expensive packaging, more expensive this, that - and to top it off - the biggest segment of the population that uses these inhalers - the elderly baby boomers - usually can not breath in deep enough to get the medication out of these things! its ridiculous!

#5 - medical groups. When a doctor graduates now - they have a couple options - one big one that the trend has gone to is "buying into a group" - and that group then subcontracts to hospitals and may also run their own office. When they "buy in" the cost of this is extremely high - you can buy a house or two for what they have to spend, on top of their student loans etc they have - in order to pay this back and afford to live -their amount they need to break even, or live - is extremely high.

#6 - costs of school. Its not the increases in "per credit hour" anymore. What universities have started doing to get around the negative impact of raising their per credit hour costs to students is the "extras". The costs of a class that actually costs more due to materials has gone up, but they are double dipping. So a class that requires more materials, extra room etc - will charge you 5 credit hours instead of 3 - always been that way. BUT they think YOU don't know that. so now they are charging you "fees" to cover that that are actually labeled fees on top of what is worked into the base price. double dipping for the same cost. Then they add a technology fee for the class, but then you will also see a technology fee for the university. They have 6-10 different fees they are adding on to your bill. PLUS they are arbitrarily telling students they have to have certain classes to fulfill their requirements - ungrad classes that are usually meaningless - go over the same material you've had in other classes, just under a different name - but now you have to take that too in order to graduate - 3-5 more credit hours they just made in money. This #1 - makes a room that was going to be empty that semester a money maker #2 - only have to pay the professor, but depending on the class it won't cost that much #3 - 30 students at 3-5 credit hours at $200 a credit hour or whatever - more money. Do you need that class? Probably not. The university does. MOre than likely these extra classes they make you take will do nothing for you.

So there are some ideas for you to help realize where the real costs are coming from and why prices of everything including what a doctor or nurse costs are coming from. :)