Welcome to “Fixing U.S. Healthcare – A Doctor’s Blog.”
U.S. healthcare was a key issue in the 2016 Presidential election. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each promised to fix healthcare. Healthcare was a key issue in the 2018 mid-term elections, too.
But ever since taking office, President Trump and Congress have run into the same obstacles to U.S. healthcare reform as confronted other Presidents these last 40 years — how to control costs and maintain quality while ensuring access for all. And how to overcome vested interests and lack of political consensus.
Congress and the President tried to tinker with stop-gap measures to fix specific problems, while relying on “competition” to do the rest.
The Real Problem – Unsustainable Costs
But so far, the President and Congress have not been directly addressing the Real Problem with U.S. healthcare — relentless cost increases that are built into the system, but hidden from public view until recently.
These silently rising costs are simply unsustainable. They negatively affect the U.S. economy, politics and society. In addition, many Americans are beginning to question whether they are getting their money’s worth from so much healthcare spending. Healthcare costs hit Americans in the pocketbook, as well. All of their gain in wages during the first decade of the 2000s was offset by increased premiums and copays, keeping their take-home pay flat. Healthcare costs are now a top cause of household debt and often of bankruptcy.
This blog re-focuses on cost issues. It builds on a policy approach pioneered in Oregon 25 years ago that successfully restrained costs while maintaining near-universal access to costworthy, quality care. It explores why an even more aggressive approach is now needed at a national level to solve today’s healthcare challenges. Visit here for a quick summary.