Continuing our recent discussion on the price of healthcare in the United States, on this episode we talk with Dr. Martin Makary. Dr. Makary is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, a best-selling author, and a health policy expert. Dr. Makary’s latest book entitled The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care–and How to Fix It, is due out in September. We were so glad to talk with him, because it’s all-too-easy to be jaded about the ‘business’ of healthcare when one in five Americans are in collections over healthcare debt. But Dr. Makary combines outrage at the market forces that have created a used-car-lot sales environment with optimism about healthcare’s future prospects for transparency and fairness. Things are changing, he says! Interestingly, the medical students doing research with him–pouring their hearts, souls, and minds into it–have helped to create that sense of optimism in him. In other words, millennials may be saving American healthcare even as they’re killing the napkin and real estate industries.
On top of all that, while The Price We Pay is an indictment of the insurance and billing practices that hinder the work of doctors and the healing of patients, the book is also a guidebook to the things that can and are being done to restore medicine’s mission.