Why does a rich country like ours have such an inefficient and overpriced healthcare system?
The covid19 infection has shown us that the problems we had in treating this in our expensive and disjointed healthcare system.
Our segmented system of marginalized primary care with segmented overspecialized care is both expensive and less effective when we look at how our system rates against other countries.
The idea of having a system relatively free of administrative headaches for doctors, hospitals, and patients has wide appeal and these headaches are estimated to make up at least a third of the costs that we incur when entering into the healthcare system.
It is glaringly evident that our coronavirus response was hampered by the complexities of multiple insurance carriers whose goal is to profit from any healthcare costs. The risks are borne by the public especially as patients lose their jobs and their insurance during the pandemic. While the government has assured us that patients who are treated for covid19, their costs will be covered but in a system that just blindly sends out bills after healthcare is rendered, and out of network rates are usually absurd, our system is a hodgepodge and the idea of having employers pay for overly expensive care has resulted in inexpensive high deductible plans leaving the general public either with discounted debt or outrageous bills putting Americans at financial risk.
Even from the top down, our national response has been uneven at best and the idea of just throwing money at the problem first and then realizing you re woefully unprepared for a pandemic both with masks, gloves, and other equipment and of course testing.
There has never been a stronger argument for a national healthcare system that covered all Americans. Sure, arguments can be made for or against but Medicare is still the gold standard that can be scaled over time to cover all Americans.
Is it perfect? No, but seniors re much happier with Medicare than they are with Medicare replacement plans that advertise cost savings but in reality give patients less choice, higher costs, and give their doctors more administrative headaches.
The NY Times recently looked at why the richest country in the world does not have a world-class healthcare system. Check the article out below
America Can Afford a World-Class Health System. Why Don’t We Have One?
Our system takes from the poor and working-class to generate wealth for the already wealthy.
By Anne Case and Angus Deaton
Professors Case and Deaton are the authors of “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism.”
In March, Congress passed a coronavirus bill including $3.1 billion to develop and produce drugs and vaccines. The bipartisan consensus was unusual. Less unusual was the successful lobbying by pharmaceutical companies to weaken or kill provisions that addressed affordability — measures that could be used to control prices or invalidate patents for any new drugs.
The notion of price control is anathema to health care companies. It threatens their basic business model, in which the government grants them approvals and patents, pays whatever they ask, and works hand in hand with them as they deliver the worst health outcomes at the highest costs in the rich world.
The American health care industry is not good at promoting health, but it excels at taking money from all of us for its benefit. It is an engine of inequality.