Can New Players Revive US Primary Care?

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    • #467466
      • Total Posts: 11,950

      CVS-Aetna, Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon, Optum-United Health Group — they’re all buying primary care practices or hiring primary care practitioners (PCPs) directly. Never before have the titans of capitalism shown such interest in the humble family physician. And therein lies a story with huge but uncertain implications for American health care. This new trend could greatly bolster, or dangerously distort, U.S. primary care, a critical component of a healthy health care system.

      Underlying this trend is the fact that primary care in the United States is failing and has been for decades. Millions of Americans have trouble finding or getting access to primary care in a timely and convenient way. Primary care providers are increasingly scarce, even in medical meccas such as Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. In rural America, they are downright rare. Among high income countries, Americans are least likely to have a regular doctor or a long-standing relationship with a PCP.

      No modern health care system can function without the equivalent of what the family doctor provides. The United States has failed to offer it. Perhaps corporate America can come to the rescue, make a profit, maintain quality, and sustain a vital national service. Whether they succeed could make a huge difference for the future of the U.S. health care system.

      Comment by: Eagan Kemp of PNHP: I am including that last paragraph to highlight just how absurd the popular discussion is around health care in this country. To pretend that we are going to fix the problem of access to primary care by allowing a number of companies to try to come in and profit from it is just absurd. The many and massive failures of our health care system were already evident before the COVID-19 crises and the crisis has underscored that we can’t continue with such a broken system.

      No country has built a successful health care system on the foundation of generating profit and revenue for the wealthy and massive corporations. It is anathema to delivering equitable high-quality health care. With decades of experience failing to do so, America remains the cautionary tale that scares other countries from following our failed experiment of putting profit about patients.

      If we want to get serious about ensuring everyone in the U.S. can access the primary (and other) care they need, when they need it, we need Medicare for All. By removing the barriers to care, like out-of-pocket costs, and ensuring sufficient funding for primary care providers to serve the needs of their communities, Medicare for All would finally guarantee health care as right. It is time to take profit out of the system and focus on creating a system that costs less while delivering access, quality, and improved health.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #467512
      • Total Posts: 5,508

      Many countries have built a successful health care system on the socialist foundation of taxing everyone so that those who need health care get health care.

      Hitler 1944: Kiev is to be held to the last man.
      Biden 2022: Kiev is to be held to the last Ukrainian.

    • #467517
      • Total Posts: 8,733

      means a lump sum for each patient is given to the insurance companies, and  they get to keep whatever they do not spend on the patient.  They intend to handle everything, as cheaply as possible, with primary care doctors, and skimp on referrals to specialists.  So no, this is in no way a good sign of anything but worse health care in the US.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      "Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" GRRM

      A YouTube comment – we need new conspiracy theories – the old ones have all come true.

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