'The Price We Pay'

Photo by Janet Donovan
Marty Makary
Marty Makary

What is the price we pay?  “So, The Price We Pay is a three year project to visit every healthcare stakeholder in America traveling around the country to get out what are the real drivers of high healthcare costs and who are the innovators who are lowering healthcare costs,” author Marty Makary, told Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in his honor at Halcyon House in Georgetown, DC hosted by Jay Newton Small and Kate Goodall.  

“In the end, I was very optimistic at the disruptors who are changing the business of medicine – making it more transparent, more direct, focusing less on the billing throughput model and more on the relationship outcomes model that is rewarding quality over quantity. And what I found is that it was a revolt, a revolution, really among doctors to say, ‘Let’s redesign healthcare from scratch because our current system is completely broken.’ Obamacare is massively misunderstood by both supporters and critics. Obamacare delivered some patient protections that were bi-partisan. Let’s be honest and say that was big deal. It expanded coverage. We can argue that it was a clunky and expensive way to do it, but it did partially fulfill the goal of  expanding coverage. The biggest goal was to lowering health care costs and that it failed to do and that’s not only my opinion, but others as well.  It also means that getting rid of it is not because it failed in its attempt to lower healthcare costs. Getting rid of it doesn’t automatically lower the costs.  The real drivers of health care costs being so high are pricing failures and inappropriate care.  On those issues, there’s actually broad bipartisan consensus in the United States on how to fix the system. People just need to understand it.”  That’s a tall order.