MAGEE: You know, people say to me “Well, it’s too
complex to fix.” And I think what they forget is it’s complicated on purpose.
The more complicated it is, the less you know. The less you know, the more we pay. I
mean, if you want to see what this has delivered for us just take a look at the
number of non-physician workers in healthcare.
There are 16 workers for every doctor in America and half of those 16 workers
have absolutely no clinical purpose. They never see a patient, they never touch a
patient. And in that excessive hiring of all of these individuals to handle
coding, and to handle billing, and to handle the sale of insurance (there’s
over a half a million Americans alone that just sell health insurance), in all
of that complexity we see the waste that we’re experiencing. And the bottom line
is the more complicated it is on that scale, the more people we hire, the less
likely it is that we’re going to get good outcomes with our patients.
WOLFF: How do you connect or how
do you compare what we have in United States with what’s
going on in Canada? A lot of things are said about it I’d like to hear your sense of it.
MAGEE: That is true and a lot of misconceptions. For example, let me just
give you a couple. It’s said that Canadian doctors are fleeing south to work in the
United States because American health care is better. The truth of the matter
is that the flow is in the reverse direction. It is said that Canadian
doctors make less than American doctors. In fact, on average, they make more than
them we have. It is said that their care doesn’t involve any private insurance
when in fact the national health care system that has been successful
in Canada covers about 70% of costs. They have a thriving private insurance system
but it’s just providing supplemental care. So on every scale the Canadians
have made compromises and have been doing it since World War II. But the
important thing about the Canadians system, and why it outperforms our own, is
that they began by asking a very simple question. They said to themselves, “How can
we make Canada and Canadians healthy?” In the United States we never asked that
question. WOLFF: We asked the question (from what I read
in your book) how can we make medical care profitable, which is a
very different question. MAGEE: Well, basically after World War II we
said to ourselves. “If we could only defeat disease the way we defeated the
Nazis, then health would be left in its wake.” So it was a fundamental
misinterpretation of what health is. They felt that if you just conquer disease, if
we war on cancer, and we win, then everything will be just fine. They didn’t
take into consideration the fact that health requires also good housing, safe
and secure neighborhoods, a clean environment, clean water (which, you know,
obviously after Flint Michigan maybe people realize now that if your
environment is bad your health’s gonna be bad as well). So, America is the only
country in the world where we spend more on the actual delivery of health
services than on all other social determinants of health combined. In all
other nations they invest in all of these other things, and as a result their
citizens tend to be more healthy than our own.

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12 thoughts on “Richard Wolff and Mike Magee on US Medical Industry, Comparison with Canada”

  1. The war mentality applied to intelligent biological systems proves itself to be as feckless as it is at improving international relations.

  2. Instead of trying to find the CURE of CANCER, (which will never happen) concentrate on finding the cause of CANCER: Monsanto's insecticides, medicines, food additives, aspartame, sugar and the list is long. Unhealthy people is like Gold and Silver. But that's never discussed. Look up Dr. John Bergman.

  3. It would help to get big corporations out of food.. there poisoning us slowly. diabetes, Fatty liver in our children.. I could go on all day. Heath and health care is number one to savings all of us. Bernie 2020!

  4. Ablolutly great point ==> but at the end we got to insert another 20 seconds to say that World Health Organization – consider US healthcare to be at 100th place from the top among all the countries in the world! (from RDW EU). And for me personally if we did not have it at all I would be way better off healthwise.

  5. 3:25 – 'avoidance of junk food' was not mentioned? (Thank you for your service – everything you say is so right!) (But America will definitivly not make it.)

  6. Everything in and about US, Capitalism, but also UK and Israel, as narrated by the capitalists (as they are creating these narratives), has been a big fat LIE.
    I see this so clearly… Capitalism is truly pure evil in the world and everything inhumane, all the wars since WWI, has been created by Capitalism.
    Capitalism is legalised systematic exploitation, and for as long as that system of production is used, it will continue to rot whole society from within.
    All history is fake, re-written to suit the agenda of the Capitalist and Monarchist Oligarchy who have their headquarters in UK, UK and Israel.

  7. Lemme say: I LOVE my Canadian healthcare. Seriously. Insulin? Covered. Supplies? Covered. I need an MRI? Covered.Need laser coagulation surgery so I don't go blind from retinopathy? Covered.

  8. Because America is run by psychopathic, power-hungry idiots obsessed with sending troops and missiles to sovereign states the other side of the globe!! The health of its citizens, outside of battlefield fodder, is low down on its list of priorities!

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