Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal: How U.S. Health Care Became Big Business
Posted: 11 April 2017 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s an eye opening interview.
Puts flesh on the bones of the suspicion that a medical system that puts profits above all else is a humanitarian disaster in the making.

How U.S. Health Care Became Big Business
April 10, 2017, 36:03 min
Terry Gross - Fresh Air
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/10/523005353/how-u-s-health-care-became-big-business

Health care is a trillion-dollar industry in America, but are we getting what we pay for? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.

“We’ve trusted a lot of our health care to for-profit businesses and it’s their job, frankly, to make profit,” Rosenthal says. “You can’t expect them to act like Mother Teresas.”

Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

“One expert in the book joked to me ... that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio, we would never have a polio vaccine,” Rosenthal says. “Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps.”

Interview Highlights

On what consolidation of hospitals is doing to the price of care

On the ways the health-care industry stands to profit more from lifetime treatment than it does from curing disease

On how prices will rise to whatever the market will bear

On initiating conversations early on with doctors about fees and medical bills

On getting charged for “drive-by doctors” brought in by the hospital or primary doctor

On how to decipher coded medical bills

Elizabeth Rosenthal is editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and a partner of NPR’s. Neither KFF nor KHN is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Radio producer Sam Briger and web producers Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper contributed to this story.

Sieg Heil Profit (Maximization), f the people

[ Edited: 11 April 2017 07:12 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 11 April 2017 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

I think this is accurate to a degree, but a problem here is that it can send you off into conspiracy-theory territory about the medical establishment, e.g. diabetes could be cured tomorrow but it’s more profitable not to.

Nonsense. The fact is many chronic diseases are far from being cured and expensive prescriptions/treatments are simply the price you must pay if you want to live. Sad but true.

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Posted: 11 April 2017 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Beltane - 11 April 2017 06:30 PM

Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

I think this is accurate to a degree, but a problem here is that it can send you off into conspiracy-theory territory about the medical establishment, e.g. diabetes could be cured tomorrow but it’s more profitable not to.

Nonsense. The fact is many chronic diseases are far from being cured and expensive prescriptions/treatments are simply the price you must pay if you want to live. Sad but true.

True enough, then again see some of the lobbying efforts going on - or the massive election advertisement spending against Nat’l Health Care, or various States’ initiatives, or even opposing right to die efforts (after all senseless extraordinary interventions that provide life extension appears to be a massively profitable) and there’s definitely some coordinated strategizing going on.


But my lament about our obsession with profits über alles goes beyond the medical industry, it’s systemic a product of the Hollywood brainwashing most people seem to have succumbed to.  I could rant on about building industry for pages and how it’s in no one’s interest (well other than perhaps the hapless home buyers) to build efficiently or conservatively - that would be smaller, rather than bigger.  With plumbing systems that were efficient etc., etc.

The faith in Bigger is Better and the need for ever more stuff is at the core of our American being and it’s what’s going to make a tough future downright hellish,
since so many still fully believe in the illusion they are being feed by Disney and Koch and Ayn Rand, et al.

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Posted: 11 April 2017 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 11 April 2017 07:24 PM
Beltane - 11 April 2017 06:30 PM

Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

I think this is accurate to a degree, but a problem here is that it can send you off into conspiracy-theory territory about the medical establishment, e.g. diabetes could be cured tomorrow but it’s more profitable not to.

Nonsense. The fact is many chronic diseases are far from being cured and expensive prescriptions/treatments are simply the price you must pay if you want to live. Sad but true.

True enough, then again see some of the lobbying efforts going on - or the massive election advertisement spending against Nat’l Health Care, or various States’ initiatives, or even opposing right to die efforts (after all senseless extraordinary interventions that provide life extension appears to be a massively profitable) and there’s definitely some coordinated strategizing going on.


But my lament about our obsession with profits über alles goes beyond the medical industry, it’s systemic a product of the Hollywood brainwashing most people seem to have succumbed to.  I could rant on about building industry for pages and how it’s in no one’s interest (well other than perhaps the hapless home buyers) to build efficiently or conservatively - that would be smaller, rather than bigger.  With plumbing systems that were efficient etc., etc.

The faith in Bigger is Better and the need for ever more stuff is at the core of our American being and it’s what’s going to make a tough future downright hellish,
since so many still fully believe in the illusion they are being feed by Disney and Koch and Ayn Rand, et al.

Strong agree about the building industry. The McMansions, suburban sprawl, endless highway construction are ridiculous, however I don’t think Americans are any more inherently greedy then the rest of the world. It probably stems from the fact that since the baby boomers every American generation has lived in an era of plenty (which is now ending) and we’ve always had a lot of “room to grow”.

Bad combination for wastefulness.

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Posted: 12 April 2017 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Beltane - 11 April 2017 08:28 PM

It probably stems from the fact that since the baby boomers every American generation has lived in an era of plenty (which is now ending) and we’ve always had a lot of “room to grow”.

Bad combination for wastefulness.

True agreed.
Though I don’t think we are just like any other peoples. 
Other nations never had the cornucopia we had. 
Most industrial nations pay way more taxes and complain way less about it,
because they appreciate that governments supply many services that they expect so it’s a good bargain.

and so on and so forth, gotta run.

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