Jun 6, 2019
There has been no shortage of ink spilled arguing how we fix
our broken US health care system so today I will use the spoken
word instead. Fundamentally, we all want the same things from the
system: Quality care, Affordable care, and Access to care. The real
question is how do we move from here to there? Are there people who
have fixed these problems even on a small scale that we can use as
guides to work things out? Finally, should we look off shores for
solutions to our woes?
I feel that there are a few fundamental problems within our
current framework that need to be recognized as the problems so
that we can focus our solutions appropriately. The large problems
are: 1) a lack of transparency on costs, 2) regulations that impede
access to affordable care, and 3) a disconnect between the patient
and the person and/or entity providing care. In my view, it is not
reasonable to look to adopt systems and solutions from other
countries as there are too many differences between our cultures,
demographics, wealth, and economic infrastructure to expect the
adoption of other countries' health systems to work in the US any
more than our way of life would work in those countries.
It is also not obvious how much we should spend on the care we
receive. In that, I mean to say that there is no ideal GDP figure
that we should target because you have to spend money on something
and who is to say what the right amount is? We spend
significantly less on feeding ourselves now than in the past which
has freed up money to pay for other products and services - some of
which are health care. I certainly don't mean to imply the amount
we spend on care is correct right now but simply that using a
random GDP per centage should not be a gauge for success. If we
spent 30% of our GDP on health but we lived healthy and productive
lives to age 150 thanks to gene therapy no one would think we were
However, with that said, it is clear that we are not getting
value for what we spend on care. By that token, we are paying too
much for what we are getting and need to find ways to achieve the
goals set forth above. I believe we have actually been shown some
solutions that are already working that don't require significant
legislative action and can be implemented today that will improve
health, lower costs, and improve access.
First, primary care could be delivered through the direct care
model. Even specialized care could be administered this way.
Physicians have shown that they can radically reduce the price of
care to patients and provide them superior care than through
traditional insurance third party pay plans. Second, we could
switch from a third party insurance system to measures that control
costs and put patients back in control of the shopping of services
with health sharing or HSAs. Finally, we could move for a decreased
regulatory burden on pharmaceuticals allowing patients to get
medications from anywhere in the world and reduce the testing
required by the FDA on efficacy (which would reduce the time and
cost for new products to come to market.)
These ideas simply provide a framework for changing the
landscape of health care but are proven to work and would certainly
put us on a more rational path while freeing up resources to take
care of those who are unable to pay.
Eric Larson is the host of the
Episode 10: Mary Ruwart
describes how changing the FDA would free our market
Episode 12: Dr. Keith
Smith tells us how his full price transparency lowers the cost not
just for his patients but patients everywhere.
Episode 34: Dr. Lee
Gross explains how direct primary care is a proven game changer in
the lives for those without much money and is providing better care
than expensive health plans.
Episode 48: Matthew
Bellis of Liberty Health Share goes over how health sharing
ministries provide an affordable option for those seeking health
YouTube for Paradocs:
Here you can watch the video of my late son singing his solo on the
Paradocs YouTube page.
Patreon - Become a
show supporter today and visit my Patreon page for extra bonus
material. Every dollar raised goes towards the production and
promotion of the show.