I’ve finding many people really confused by our modern, US health care system as many of my young, healthy friends are forced to sign up for health insurance costing upwards of $300+ per month that they will likely never use and would have to meet their deductible — $5K first if they did want to use it. So here is my broad over view of how this all really works (warning: it’s a bit of a rant).
The question was originally proposed in a Facebook thread as to who or what is responsible for this broken system by my young, health, vibrant friend from the UK, where the National Health Service has none of our problems.
Here’s my reply to who is responsible:
It’s rarely the doctors – most of them are brainwashed into this system just as much as everyone else seems to be. If you look at the profile of the average med student, you’ll see the common personality traits shared among those accepted: med students, as a group are risk averse conformists who make decisions based on fear, very well able to memorize massive amounts of information so they can regurgitate back well enough to pass their multiple choice board exams. To question the prescribed “standard of care” is met with disapproving glances or little response from faculty who insist what is right. They then are put through a training program that resembles military hazing at best, with long hours, no sleep weekly or semi-weekly for up to 30 hours at a time, no mandated break periods, not even to pee sometimes and little to no labor law protections whatsoever. As a result, this “hazing” works to all but beat out any questioning [of the system] that one might have, only to find themselves graduating after many years to mountains of debt (multiple $100s of thousands on average) with an average interest rate double or more the home mortgage loan rates since 2007. In desperation to meet their loan obligations and to begin recovering the 7+ years of lost income (opportunity cost of medical training), they then flock to large healthcare organization like hospital-based group practices or managed care organizations like Kaiser to earn their paycheck. They are overworked, expected at times to see 30 or 40 + patients a day, take call in their off time when they may be reading a story to their young children or trying to get much needed rest in the middle of the night. All to deliver, the “standard of care,” in 7 minute increments of time per patient. No time for actually engaging with the patient, hearing what the patient has to say or answering questions. I could go on, but you get the point. Nearly 83% of physicians today regret going to medical school and would choose a different career path if they had to do it over again and an estimated 1/3 are expected to leave medicine in the next decade.
So who or what is responsible? Insurance companies? No, they are in the business of not spending money so don’t directly benefit from our “sickcare” system.
The money flows to Big Pharma, largely responsible for keeping the American population unwell, reliant on medications that further lead to illness and disease. Here’s how it works: big pharmaceutical company licenses research from universities and then puts millions of dollars into drug development. Big Pharma has powerful lobbyists representing them on Capitol Hill to then push their new drug application through the FDA. The FDA panels responsible for making decisions are populated by Big Pharma cronies who (for a price) ensure Big Pharma gets approval, despite lousy clinical trial data, which only needs to show marginally better results over placebo, single digits of “benefit” to get approved. Unfortunately, over half of clinical trials results are never published due to negative outcomes Big Pharma doesn’t want anyone to know about. That way, they can sell their latest “blockbuster” drug to the American public to put a “bandaid” on a myriad of symptoms patients go to the doctor to seek help for, including insomnia, pain, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, mood imbalances, etc. that are caused by conditions created in large part due to our corrupted food supply (see documentaries like Food, Inc.). In other words, we have a epidemic of unwellness or worse because someone in Washington passed a bill decades ago subsidizing corn farmers, which resulted in a glut of corn crops and therefore an infiltration of excess corn into our food supply. Simple equation: corn = sugar (highly refined carbs) all of which is emerging as the root cause of nearly everything, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. And if people don’t get sick because of our food supply, then they become unwell because of the side effects of medications they are on, or due to overexposure of toxins in our environment (newborn babies are born with over 200 man-made toxins in their umbilical cords) combined with the unnatural state of our lifestyles – not enough movement, too much sitting, too much time indoors with no sunlight, little ambient temperature variation — 70 degrees indoors due to modern temp control system, disruptive blue light from too many screens and devices, which not only messes with our melatonin production disrupting our sleep, but also drives up our cortisol levels (stress hormone) shortening our lifespans due to constant sympathetic over drive (fight or flight). This is only worsened by the lack of real intimacy that has become a global epidemic because we are glued to these screens…and riddled with the fear of being vulnerable.
Stay tuned for more, including the solution. 🙂
Disclaimer: many concepts were abbreviated to help make the point of this post — there of course, is more complexity to it than that, but this was my attempt at a summary.