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What’s Wrong With Our Healthcare System and Just How Did It Get This Way?

The public radio program “This American Life” has just released two excellent hours of radio on the problems of our healthcare system and the history behind how we got to where we are today.

The two programs take a simple anecdotal and investigative journalistic look at several issues facing consumers, insurers, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and even government.  The truly amazing thing about the broadcast is how accessible the subject matter is to “normal” people.  The economics and concerns of the different parties are explored from each perspective.  Maybe the large companies aren’t as “evil” as they are often portrayed and perhaps we as consumers aren’t behaving reasonably.

The programs are informative on our current healthcare debate.  Listening to the program illustrated how complex the issues really are.  While congress is hotly debating the issues and trying to paint things in black and white, good and evil, it seems they may be arguing about the wrong things.  There are real issues and they don’t have simplistic answers.  

  • Should Doctors and patients be aware of the costs behind treatment or not. 
  • Would we make different choices if we had to participate more in the sharing of the cost?
  • Is it fair to stratify treatment based on cost thereby favoring the wealthy?
  • Would the public option help, hurt or both the current situation?

The downside of these broadcasts is that the solutions to our problems are less clear.  Anyone who believes it is fine just as it is will change their mind after listening.  The good news is that most people in a position to make a difference agree that change is needed.  Listen to these programs and see if you can come up with a solution.  Then do a little test; see if you could live with it.

391: More Is Less

392: Someone Else's Money

The podcasts are available for free if you listen online.

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