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Below: Marion Mass, MD, on the reality of our $4 trillion-plus healthcare economy. Psst.. it is vastly more complicated and hidden than what the consumer sees.

The American public remains too much in the dark and confused about the way our $4 trillion-plus healthcare economy works. Meanwhile, the costs continue to rise — premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, taxes, employer contributions, weak wages, and salary increases because of employer contributions — and the public pays more and more while receiving less and less.

Gaining access to quality care is becoming harder. Polls show that patient frustration is steadily rising, along with dissatisfaction over the severely limited time with a physician when one finally reaches the examination room.

 

How did we get here?

Typically, blame is placed on parts of the system that the consumer of medical care can see — physicians, insurers, and the drug manufacturers (aka Big Pharma).

 

Consumers have a sense of being gouged by a system that can’t continue without some form of intervention.

 

But the reality of our $3.6 trillion-plus healthcare economy is vastly more complicated than what the consumer sees. It’s largely in the shadows where the general public never glances and doesn’t have the time to penetrate and peel back the layers; but that’s where the special interests, the lobbyists, the politicians, and the regulators play.

 

The $3.6 trillion-plus healthcare economy lies in the shadows where the general public doesn’t have the time to penetrate and peel back the layers; but that’s where special interests, lobbyists, politicians, and regulators play. Click To Tweet

 

Do you think that fully repealing “Obamacare” will lead us to paradise?

How about “Medicare for All,” something along the lines of the nationalized healthcare systems seen in other countries? Is that the path to Healthcare Heaven?

If that’s the way you think, be forewarned. The slogans on the bumper sticker are poor tools for understanding how the American healthcare system has become so desperately sick. And they won’t help in crafting a treatment that shows a serious understanding of what’s wrong. An underinformed public can easily be conned.
In a series of articles, I will explain “the drivers” of cost in our healthcare system, how certain entities you may not ever have heard of have risen to positions of control and self-enrichment. We will “follow the money,” pointing you to sources you can follow up yourself, and suggesting what you can do to advocate for a better path forward.

 

Originally published on The Bucks County Courier Times

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Marion Mass, M.D.

wife, mom author, speaker and believer that we can fix our health care ecosystem

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