Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why Is American Health Care So Sick?

We’ve all heard the old adage that what can be done, can be undone. Well maybe we need to try that with our healthcare system.

In just fifty years we’ve gone from an affordable and human based system, to one that people hate at every level. They may like their individual doctors, but they generally hate the system.

Of course there has been change and disruptions everywhere in our society. But most of it has been to make our lives easier, better, more efficient and in many cases, to lower costs.

In healthcare, it’s become less efficient, costlier, less human centric, and the net result has not been to dramatically increase care or life expectancy. Instead it's enriched those at the top of the system while at the same time, being out of step with every system, in every other western nation. This is American exceptionalism of the very worst kind.

So how did we get here and is that knowledge useful in trying to fix it. Those are the issues that Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal takes up in An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.

My conversation with Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal: