What’s wrong with American healthcare? A website you need to read to believe.


What’s wrong with American healthcare? A website you need to read to believe.

I wrote this article and shared it back in 2014 and it is even more relevant today. Huge bills for average services, and high deductibles force many people to wait out a problem only to have it worsen later on or develop into a chronic condition lasting years.   Recently, I was in Colombia and spoke about this to our local guide who had been recovering from a fractured clavicle that took almost a week for them to approve and act on his needed surgical repair.  While their economy is different as well as their salaries, the cost including rehab, hospital services, and surgery was about $1000.  Their insurance is a public-private partnership similar to Medicare.  While you can wait for a long time for certain specialists, private practitioners the wealthy use are more accessible.    His complaints about his system sounded much like ours, except for one thing…cost. Something similar in the USA could cost thousands.  Seeing a specialist in the USA often requires a referral from the primary care doctor in many plans or a visit to the ER where you wait for hours.  Then comes the bill which is often inflated beyond belief for the service you received.   By the way, drugs that are in demand such as Ozempic can be purchased without a referral for about 1/10th of the cost we can get it for.

Our system is worse now than it ever was as care is more the conveyor belt healthcare model where urgent care is often the most accessible care followed by primary care where many of the doctors we know now work in larger groups caused by predatory insurance companies practices and large models such as huge hospital systems causing an “if you can’t beat them, join em” reality for most smaller practices.  Bigger is just doctors working for the man and all following protocols.   The problem is, you are not a protocol and you can’t see specialists because primary care is no longer doing its job, which is often impossible in 15 minutes of time.   Check out the older article below.

Article from 2014

Where did we go wrong? Apparently, it started in the 1940’s when health insurance became a benefit employers could offer their employees that was deductible for them. Back in the day, health insurance was cheap. 60 years later, we have our systemic mess, without pricing power, that puts many of us at risk at a hospital when we are most vulnerable during an illness.

I have often explained to patients some of the reasons the current system is overpriced, and quite honestly, much less effective at keeping us healthy than other systems in other countries. This website knocks it out of the park, explaining what is wrong, what is going wrong, and why we have the problems we do. There is even a video that explores what would happen if air travel worked like healthcare.

One of the big problems is that insurers keep on tinkering with the system, and the healthcare profession often outmaneuvers them with more technology, more testing, and more detours around their roadblocks which leaves us with more expensive care. The only carrier that has the negotiating power to deal with costs adequately is Medicare, partly because it is the only insurance that can cross state lines. It also has clout and a low-cost business model.

It is obvious that after looking at this site, we need a reboot. Check this out

8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American healthcare

1) Americans pay way, way, way more for health care than anyone else

Health care in the United States is expensive. Insanely, outlandishly expensive.

We spend $2.8 trillion on healthcare annually. That works out to about one-sixth of the total economy and more than $8,500 per person — and way more than any other country.

health spending fixed

If the health-care system were to break off from the United States and become its own economy, it would be the fifth-largest in the world. “It would be bigger than the United Kingdom or France and only behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany,” says David Blumenthal, executive director of the non-profit Commonwealth Fund.

Or here’s another way to put it in its (insane) perspective: The US, which has a mostly private health-care system, manages to spend more on its public health-care system than countries where the health-care system is almost entirely public. America’s government spends more, as a percentage of the economy, on public health care than Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan or Australia. And then it spends even more than that on private health care.

read more here