Here are a few questions to consider before talking intelligently about healthcare reform.

Don’t do the internet thing and glance at all of these questions. Sit down, read them carefully. Think about each one. Ask the right questions about each one like who, what, when, where, and why. Find the answers. Then go and talk intelligently about healthcare.

  1. Where did our healthcare system come from?
  2. Did someone architect our healthcare system in the beginning?
  3. Why is healthcare so expensive?
  4. What is a rational, ideal path to reforming healthcare in America?
  5. What is the main reason why we need healthcare reform?
  6. Why is healthcare the fastest growing industry in America?
  7. Why is it the most profitable industry in America?
  8. How can such a huge industry exist with almost no means of accountability for the services it provides?
  9. Who makes the most money in healthcare?
  10. Who are the main players of healthcare?
  11. Why do doctors profit off sickness and not wellness?
  12. Why do 80% of doctors shun computers for paper and pen?
  13. Diabetics spend 1/3 of Medicare expenses. How many diabetics, on average, get all of the recommended diabetic care? (10%)
  14. What does walking half an hour five days a week do to the incidence of diabetes? (hint: it reduces diabetes by 40%)
  15. Why doesn’t our country do the little things (like walking) that prevents 40% of 1/3 of Medicare’s expenses?
  16. What percentage of the population spends 25% of our healthcare dollars? (0.5%)
  17. What percentage of the population spends 3% of our healthcare dollars? (50%)
  18. What percentage of the population spends 0% of our healthcare dollars (20%)
  19. What percentage of healthcare costs come from chronic illness? (75%)
  20. What drives the increasing cost of healthcare? (normal inflation; higher doctor salaries relative to other countries; new technology, drugs, science, and treatments; inefficient, unlinked, uncoordinated care; caregivers who profit from quantity, not quality; an aging population)
  21. Why aren’t new drugs compared in efficacy to current, less expensive drugs before being approved by the FDA?
  22. Why does a pacemaker that costs $50,000 become widely adopted when there is no evidence to show that that pacemaker is better than one that costs $5,000?
  23. Of the $2.5 trillion spent on healthcare every year, how much of that goes to doctors’ salaries? (about 5%)
  24. Of the $2.5 trillion spent on healthcare every year, how much of that is from malpractice premiums and malpractice payouts? (about 1.5%)
  25. How much of a nurse’s day is spent with patients? (26%)
  26. Why does using a CT scanner appropriately decrease a radiology department’s revenue by 30%?
  27. What happens to the cost of a service when healthcare providers provide a service that competes on price? (look at Lasik surgery and breast augmentation)
  28. How many medications are approved by the FDA per year? (about 20)
  29. How many of those medications are new drugs and not just subtle tweaks of existing drugs in order to create new marketing campaigns and new revenues? (about 35%)
  30. Out of $100 you spend on medications, how much of that goes toward R&D vs. marketing?
  31. Is it a good idea that congresspeople who have little experience, training, or knowledge of the complexities of our healthcare system be the ones to massively reform 1/5th of our economy?
  32. What happens when consumers of healthcare have very little understanding of the complexities of an industry? (our healthcare system and Madoff happen)

Many of these questions were taken from this. I suggest you read and digest it.