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1980-2010 saw a time when the government changed our national economic system and fundamentally crippled our healthcare system along the way, and, no one seems to know this. Find out why!

Today we see the effects of runaway costs on our healthcare system. 1980-2010 was the time in America when systemic problems in our economy were coming home to roost. Our government came up with several fixes to try to avoid the pain of our past mistakes. Unfortunately, these economic changes included many policies and programs in healthcare that further integrated the healthcare issues into the problems of the economy.

Once again short-term thinking, and fixes, set up the US for a painful future.  One we are now living each, and every, day.


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In the 1970s it became clear no matter how much we spent on healthcare it was never enough. Although Medicare was less than 5 years old, Congress was forced to hike Medicare Taxes 25% and still the optimistic estimates of the cost of the program were running out of control.  More doctors and more lawyers entered the fray and expenses rose more. New procedures, new technologies and again costs rose still more. Lives got extended, diseases of the elderly became more prevalent, and prices rose even more.

The people’s expectation of what healthcare should cover changed drastically and the new, now, entitlement coverage was expanded. Even though the costs were ten times what were predicted less than 10 years earlier Congress expanded the program to provide more coverage at more expense. The system was failing, and a flailing government began to make changes. HMOs, PPOs, Managed Care; more new terms and ideas entered our lexicon, but as you will see, none brought the rising cost curve down.

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There is a publication called Aunt Minnie.com that is published by radiologists for radiologists. There is a very interesting article in today’s edition you may like to see.

AuntMinneLung Cancer Article

https://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=cto&pag=dis&ItemID=120805. Check it out!

People ask Tim and I all the time why healthcare costs so much. It is situations like the ones highlighted in this article that are some of the causes for the high costs of healthcare.

On the one hand, we have developed great technologies, procedures and medications that can effectively treat lung cancer if caught early. On the other, early diagnosis, can save a life and perhaps save money – but it is also true that it can also cause the person that survives to have a lifetime of chronic conditions that are quite expensive. In many occasions, that cost is extremely significant across the person’s life. This can add a huge amount to our collective societal healthcare bill.

What is astounding is the incidence rate of the people who simply are not responsible enough to get any form of care until they develop the conditions, even if terminal, that will be very, very, expensive to them and, all of us as well.

This problem extends way beyond Lung Cancer to many other chronic conditions and diseases. One the one hand, we can save a life – always the best thing. Yet, on the other, we, or society under our current system, are now assuming the financial responsibility of the cost of many, many, years of care for most of these people.

For example, at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the cost of medications and treatment was high typically $10-15,000 per month. With the effective care of that period, we could extend an afflicted patient’s lifespan about 8 years. Near the end of their lifespan, their quality of life was not very good. Total cost of life treatment would be about $1.4 million per patient.

Today, with modern care, medications and technologies, the patient can live almost a normal life span, and cost of treatment is still about $15-18,000 per month on average. They are now living another 40 – 60 years. Clearly this is a good thing. What is not so good a thing is the cost of the new lifetime of care is about $9 million.

This is not to say that we think we should let people die. Nor are we saying that we should restrict access to effective care. That is not our point. We are bringing this to the table to point out that early diagnosis and treatment often only lowers the cost of care for the short-term.  For the longer term, the chronic care that lingers, adds up.

These are just a few of the reasons healthcare costs are huge today. And, this is why we need to have open and honest discussions of why care is costing so much and, why we need to stop trying to blame the problems on Drug Manufacturers, Doctors, Insurance Companies, Hospitals, Government and every and anything else.  In the end, it is all of these issues and, frankly,  us that are causing the cost problems.  Our expectations are way beyond what modern medicine can deliver. When something doesn’t meet our unrealistic expectations, we want more care. And in the end we want to sue somebody.  Even if care does meet our expectations, particularly in later years, after 55, care costs begin to climb as our bodily systems age and begin to suffer the diseases of old age. and we need more and more care. Since Care is dangerous the care itself can trigger problems that will add-on more needed care costs.

The good news is there are answers. There is a way to have an effective healthcare system that will provide for us what we need effectively, efficiently and affordably, including a safety net for the helpless.  If we want to get there, WE, not the government, need to begin a dialog, a discussion; reset our expectations and understand why what we have is not working.  Join with us to make the changes WE (the people) need to make, dis-spell the myths and demand the changes that will bring us the care we need and make available the extra care we want.

Please comment below and let us know what you think! If you have a question ask it we will try to help get the answers.

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Henry J. Kaiser did more for America than build WWII Liberty Ships. Find out about our Greatest Entrepreneur and his legacy of healthcare.

Henry J. Kaiser is arguably America’s first and greatest entrepreneur. His accomplishments ranged from construction to healthcare, from steel and aluminum to aerospace and electronics, shipbuilding to sand and cement. He singularly changed the landscape of a large portion of America with the Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee and Bonneville Dam as well as roads in Washington State, Cuba and Hawaii. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have a long way to go to be close to the diversity of interests, success or enduring legacy that Henry J. Kaiser left on America.

Henry J’s legacy as the founder of Kaiser Permanente should be seen as his most significant achievement.  With Dr. Sydney Garfield, he created an enduring legacy with a method and practice of care that has stood the test of time and offers a series of significant lessons that can help America define part of its healthcare future.

Come listen as Henry J’s grandson, Henry M. Kaiser, spends some time with Tom and Tim sharing his memories of his grandfather, his experience in Kaiser Industries and Kaiser Permanente and his impression of his grandfather’s legacy.

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The Kennedy’s path of elevation of American culture and ideals comes to a tragic end. Johnson seizes an opportunity for THE PARTY.  Social Security gets expanded with Medicare and Medicaid and the nation gets hooked.  Wilbur Mills concerns become to reality.

This period fully transitions the intent of our nation’s healthcare reform from a business and citizen support system to a fully political agenda-based program.  Real cost concerns are obscured, and political gain comes front and center as the main objective. Cost be damned.

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The 1950s were pivotal years for our nation and its healthcare system. The Years of the Korean War, The of a re-addiction of America, of Stereotypes and breaking bonds. The years leading up to Kennedy’s assassination were full of advances and bad judgments. Come find out how they set the stage for the problems we have today.

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We only have three episodes left to record of our HealthReform 2.0 series, telling the story of how we got to where we are today with an ineffective healthcare system, billions spent and clearly proof positive that the government simply cannot fix this healthcare system that is not really a system.

Episode 1.0 – 1.7 cover the period from the founding of our nation to 1950.  We just finished recording the next episode, 1.8 today which will post next week.  Episode 1.9 will post the following week and then 1.10 will post soon there after.  These episodes will complete the history and take us from 1960 to 2017.

We will then begin our regular series of shows covering the issues we have with the current healthcare system, the myths that plague us, and how we can all work together to get the healthcare system we deserve. In the regular shows we will focus on where we are now with our healthcare system (non-system) and what we can do to fix it.

If you have not listened to all of the history series, we encourage you to do so. They are available on our website http://www.hr-20.com.  We have both video versions available on our Youtube channel and audio only versions available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and others.

We hope you are finding the shows informative, thought provoking and entertaining.

We thank you for subscribing and referring the show you all your friends.


Tom & Tim


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Episode 1.7: New Treatments, New Mistakes, New Ideas, is fully baked and available at HealthReform 2.0, www.hr-20.com. Our journey through healthcare’s history is almost complete.  Thanks to all who have sent us e-mails with suggestions and the questions you want answered.  We will be moving on to these topics, and many more, after the history series is complete.

In this episode we talk about the events of the Great Depression, and World War II. We discuss how these events and the resulting policies and legislation formulated the way our current healthcare system looks today and how many of these, then temporary, fixes now are one of the many reasons the government can’t fix our system today.

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HealthReform 2.0 episode 1.6 – New Depression, New Deal, New War is now available for viewing on our YouTube Channel or as a podcast on our station or via our various providers, including iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune-In Radio and others.

Episode 1.6 logoblock wide

In this Episode we take you on a historical healthcare journey from 1920 to 1950. We discuss the Great Depression, WWII, the Dust Bowl, and a number of other big events that laid the groundwork for many decisions, regulations, laws and policies that still plague our healthcare system today.

We will also begin introducing you to one of the more successful healthcare systems in america, how and why it started and the role it plays in healthcare today. We also will begin to tell you a bit of the story  of its founder, Henry J. Kaiser.

Come Check it out.