Hamilton Strategies Non Profit Marketing and Media Services

Power to the People: Including over Their Health Care


America’s consumer economy puts customers first; our health care system does not. Patients and caregivers navigate restrictive hours, paid parking garages, outpatient procedures at labyrinthine hospital complexes, small print on forms that demand we sign away our financial rights, hoarding of medical records, the impossibility of reaching our doctor by phone, appointment backlogs, the bureaucratic, DMV-like runaround when seeking straight answers to clinical or billing questions and more.

Many Americans just accept that suboptimal health care is here to stay. Thus, we acquiesce to more tests, more procedures, more drugs, and more in-person visits. But is “more” the same as “better?” Or are we prolonging the grueling cycle for sick patients who need answers and relief from their ailments?

And then there’s the crushing, unaffordable, out-of-pocket costs that make everyone think twice before seeking care. Once they do, they live in fear of secret prices, crippling medical bills, and predatory collectors.

A fifth of our economy is devoted to health care. The data show that we’re not getting what we bargained for. Costs dramatically outpace inflation and wage growth. The Institute of Medicine estimates that a third of our health care dollars are wasted on overtreatment or undertreatment, bureaucracy, and fraud.

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