Sick Healthcare Systems


Here is an article from The Guardian called How sick are the world’s healthcare systems?  It turns out that many are pretty bad.  The impetus for this article, by the way, was due to the NHS (National Health Service) in Britain being so bankrupt that it needs $8 billion pounds to bail it out. Take a look at how they describe India, China, Germany, etc.  Of course they nail the US because we spend too much.  They criticize us for having 13% of our population still being uninsured.  You know, the usual stuff. Here is my issue.  Why does every one think that health insurance is health care?  It isn’t.  You can have health insurance and have crappy or no care at all.  If you think that having health insurance protects you financially from fiscal doom from a major illness then I would agree with that.  So let’s follow up on that some more.  We agree that catastrophic care is needed by everyone, kind of like auto insurance.  I do not want my auto insurance buying my gas, telling me where to buy my gas, hiding the price of gas and then billing me a month later for what wasn’t covered for my gas.  I want to shop around.  I want transparency.  That is what we need in the healthcare system.  Right now hospitals will bill cash paying patients the highest.  Why? The bottom line is that we need to make the insurers compete for us.  I want a Progressive Health Insurance commercial every 20 minutes asking me to switch to them. I want hospitals to be transparent in their pricing so that prices come down.  What we have now doesn’t work but socialized medicine, as the NHS proves, doesn’t work either.  We want health care and not health insurance (other than catastrophic) and then the middle men will go away, people will shop around and then the prices become affordable.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Sick Healthcare Systems

  1. Jimboramameister
    November 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Can someone show me the government agency that is manufacturing drugs and medical supplies in Britain or Canada? I’ve looked and I can’t find them. There is no escaping profit in the delivery of healthcare. The notion of government delivery of services being superior and more cost effective than that of profit seeking enterprises is proven wrong by the US Postal Service.

  2. Pat
    November 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Moss, how exactly is “universal care” – with cost overruns, shortages, lengthening waits and rationing we have not begun to experience – better than what we have in the U.S.

    And how will transferring the administration of health care to government drones improve the cost or reduce the inefficiency currently suffered under the “for profit” bunch, the same crony-corrupts who every year become more quasi-government themselves?

    Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA are not models we should enlarge.

    • Bridget Reidy MD
      November 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      I disagree. Both private bureaucrats and public ones can cripple a health system if they get too much power, and some very good things have come out of the VA and Medicare, and more could be done about some of their idiocies if either had been a public system everyone used so health care journalists had some hope of understanding them with a readership who cared. In my opinion, going all the way left or all the way right would result in much less wasteful bureaucracy then the US attempts to keep fixing every flaw with a blend of the two, but Doug’s idea makes the most sense and the sad thing is we almost got it a few years after Medicare started, but then the pendulum swung to the right.

  3. November 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I wholly agree that health care and health insurance are different things. This, in fact, is the first point which turned me from Hillary Clinton — while she was First Lady, she fought for the former; when she ran for Senate, it was with large donations from the insurance industry, and the words “health care” fell not from her mouth again.

    However, your article confuses the two. The UK and Canada and the other major industrialized nations have Universal Health Care. If it is not perfect, it’s better than the mishmash we have. If they have problem paying for it, so be it, but their spending on health care (whether it comes from taxes or whatever) is about half what ours is. And declaiming that health care raises our taxes (a flaw you did not commit in this article) ignores the fact that it lowers our overall expenditures by removing profit from “health care” administration.

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