The American healthcare system has been notorious for its high cost and relatively poor outcomes for the better part of two decades. What was once the undisputed world leader in healthcare has descended into a grab bag for the well-connected insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital-network overlords. At the same time, the average American pays far more and receives far less than many of their developed-world counterparts.
This is a bad look for a country that ranks, by far, as the richest that has ever existed. Not only that, but many economists are now sounding the alarm bells. They say that we are quickly heading to the point as a nation where healthcare costs will be eating up far too much of GDP. Eventually, this may lead to fiscal weakening of the government as a whole and serious cutbacks to both government services in general and the level of medical care that Americans are able to receive. Some even go so far as to say that if the rapidly escalating costs of healthcare are not reeled in, America is heading for a third-world future in which diseases like malaria may once again proliferate and a declining life expectancy will be the norm.
Drew Madden has been one of the main voices calling for deep changes to the way that things are currently done. As the CEO of Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden spends every day devising solutions to the country’s healthcare woes and studying the problems that underlie them in order to grasp the shape that future solutions may take.
One of the solutions that Mr. Madden has repeatedly touted is the introduction of more free-market reforms into the deeply cartelized industry. Madden says that it’s easier for people to get quality information on where the best Mexican restaurant is in their town than it is to find out who the best cardiothoracic surgeon is. He cites examples where disparities of up to $50,000 exist within the same markets for the performance of identical surgical procedures.
Madden believes that the introduction of free-market reforms will force healthcare providers to compete, leading to better patient outcomes and lower costs.