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Rolling Book Review: An American Sickness Part 2 Solutions

by John on 07/26/2017

An American Sickness RosenthalI just finished this great book, An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal.

Clearly, most doctors, hospitals, and drug companies won’t think the same.  They don’t want you reading this because, as Rosenthal pointed out earlier, a lifetime of treatment creates more profit rather than a cure.

Rosenthal explains what is wrong with our healthcare system: we pay the most and don’t get the best results; we have sick care and not real healthcare, as we covered in Part-1 of this rolling book review:

Here are some of Rosenthal’s solutions for the nation:

  • Follow other successful nations. For instance, Singapore encourages all employers and employees to contribute to a national health program. France does something unheard of. Every doctor’s office and hospital posts on their walls for everyone to see the exact cost of every medical procedure.  Although, Rosenthal correctly assumes single payer or a national health plan wouldn’t fly here, she points out that listing the costs of procedures is done by Medicare.  So, we are doing it, kind of.
  • Enforce antitrust laws. Neither Democrats nor Republicans follow this. But mergers and consolidations by big drug companies, hospitals, and doctor’s offices are not keeping costs low.  In fact, it is doing just the opposite since these near monopolies in some regions are reducing supply as demand goes up.  Hold onto your hat, Adam Smith, which means prices go up.

She also concentrates on what individuals can do:

Rosenthal provides numerous suggestions, links, and ideas for you. Just speed reading this book will lead you to a number of sites to help keep costs down.

The biggest change, Rosenthal shows us, has to be the mindset of the American patient.

First and foremost, you need to question everything your doctor does. This means a massive change in our relationship with doctors. Doctors are no longer gods. We now realize many of them are profiteers and we no longer want to be beholden to these phony high priests.  Instead, we need to be educated consumers.

Those who are educated and inspired to improve their health will read this book and get a lot out of it.

My fear is too many Americans — lazy, disinterested, or who feel infallible — will not find the need to read this book until it is too late – for all of us.

Disclosure here; I am a spokesperson for Liberty Health Share, a medical cost sharing company.  At no time, does Rosenthal even mention Liberty Health Share or medical cost sharing.  However, the ideas and solutions that she mentions fit perfectly: the individual taking responsibility for their healthcare to make themselves healthier and to make healthcare possible for more people.  I will share some more thoughts on this book and how it ties into the politics of healthcare in upcoming posts.

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