In this episode, Dr. Steve jumps into a number of key issues on healthcare reform with noted healthcare economist and scholar Joe Antos on subjects including:

  • The Conflict Between Healthcare BUSINESS vs. Consumer NEEDS
  • The History of Fee-For-Service and Free Market Forces
  • The Value of Healthcare Policy Literacy for Citizens and Major Media
  • Costs vs. Pricing vs. Transparency
  • Joe’s Prescription for Reform

Here’s a valuable audio snippet from the show:

DR. STEVE: “I find it interesting, from an outside-of-politics perspective, that President Trump said how it was going to be ‘SO EASY TO GIVE PEOPLE GREAT HEALTHCARE…AT A TINY FRACTION OF THE PRICE’.

He also told us that selling health insurance across state lines was going to be a big help in making care a lot cheaper. Most economists, and I think most people that have a sense of how health care operates and is priced, knows that this doesn’t make much sense.

However, the media bought it. The citizens bought it…and his supporters bought it. And we saw this also with Obamacare, four years ago. When Jonathan Gruber – the architect of Obamacare was caught commenting on ‘THE STUPIDITY OF THE AMERICAN VOTER’ toward helping President Obama pass the Affordable Care Act.

It seems like to me that we as citizens, should have a greater responsibility to be more literate on healthcare policy. Certainly not to the degree of you [or other economists]. But because citizens and the media are not literate, it seems to be a dumming-down where we [as individual taxpayers and supporting consumers] are the unfortunate recipients.”

JOE ANTOS: “You never ask an easy question Steve…I have to hand it to you.”


JOE ANTOS: “So, there’s a whole bunch of issues here that you’re addressing. Part of it has to do with whether citizens should be more aware of what leaders in Washington are discussing, when working on health policy in Washington.

And I would agree that it would be useful…the electorate should be more informed about everything.

However, when you think about how the average person interacts with the health system, it’s with their family doc. They get interacted ON.

But in terms of being actively involved, those are the elites. They may not live in Washington, and it doesn’t happen outside of Washington. Policy is not made in town halls, it’s not something where the average person has a lot of leverage and interest.

Policy is one thing. Interacting with your doctor is where it’s at for people. They need better information about what their options are for providers, treatment, coverage, and cost. That’s something that the average person could get behind, if they could get this information in a way they could understand.

DR. STEVE: ” On those points I agree. I probably would take some exception, and note that health care has become largely unaffordable. We may disagree on the statistics a little, but if we look at the number one issue with healthcare.

It’s not the quality, though it needs to be improved. It really seems to be the cost [to them]. You could be talking about the cost of drugs, most certainly the cost of healthcare coverage, and Obamacare has now made this more than clear.

This leads me into a point that I’ve been wanting to ask you as an economist. I’ve been biting on the bit to ask you this…”



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