A Doctor Speaks on Health Care
Scott Payne has a really insightful interview with physician Dan Summers that’s definitely worth reading for another perspective on how our current, awful system of health care works. Here’s a snippet:
As someone who works within the system on a day-to-day basis, what are your thoughts about the current state of health care in the US?
I think the current state of US health care is precarious.
For many people, it seems to be working just fine. For many other people, they think that it’s working just fine until they come upon some kind of significant health care expense. Suddenly, the insurance they thought was so good is revealed to be riddled with exceptions and inscrutable processes, and care they had thought would be covered is not. We’re often left in the unenviable position of recommending or ordering care that is simply out of reach for patients, even if they are insured and have been paying premiums for years.
Then there are families who have lost jobs, which is a significant problem in an economically depressed state like Maine. I can’t tell you how many times I have had patients who have been taking medication for years that they suddenly can no longer afford because a parent has lost the job that provided the insurance that paid for it. It’s immensely frustrating.
There are others whose employers don’t provide insurance, and who make too much for public insurance but not enough to afford to purchase a private plan. Even the costs of routine childhood preventive care can be daunting if you’re faced with paying them all out of pocket.
There is, of course, a flip side, which is that people often come in seeking expensive tests or medications that they don’t need, and people who are on public insurance (and thus incur no health care costs out of pocket at all) who come in repeatedly for frivolous reasons, or who treat the ER as an urgent care clinic because they don’t care to wait for an appointment in the morning, so even an unrepentant bleeding heart like me is given pause from time to time.
Just read the whole thing.
(cross-posted to Heretical Ideas)