“A Lot Of People In This Industry Are Just Evil”
(Jeff Kushner, founder Of Oscar Health)
That provocative quote from Josh Kushner at the 4th annual Clinton Health Matters Initiative, was aimed at the healthcare industry and reported by Forbes contributor Dan Munro. Josh was one of four panelists in a 90‒minute opening Plenary Session moderated by Former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton opened by lamenting that technology adoption in healthcare can take as long as 17 years and sarcastically said, “By all means let’s wait 17 years and let people die in the meanwhile.” He then asked Josh to begin a discussion of the issue. But what’s behind his claim of excessive greed or evil? I can’t speak for Josh directly, but here are the top 10 ways our healthcare system seems evil.
Excessive greed (evil?) is natural for an industry that:
1. profits more from illness & injury than from wellness;
2. gets over $3 trillion/year from people spending twice as much on healthcare as other nations but who still live sicker and die younger;
3. spends three times as much on political lobbying than the military industrial complex to protect that revenue;
4. views patients as paying customers and works to keep them (paying);
5. trains new docs to diagnose illness and treat symptoms, with almost no training on prevention or the pillars of health: nutrition, exercise and sleep;
6. lacks the financial incentive to invest in prevention, health, and wellness and instead compensates providers with a fee-for-service payment model that encourages over-testing, over-prescribing, and over-treating;
7. publishes academic papers written to defend their gravy train and to attack potential competitors that get to the root cause of problems to avoid the need for medical care in the first place; and
8. generates artificial demand by advertising drugs, scooters, and medical devices directly to consumers, with a call-to-action of, “ask your doctor.”