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The Healing American Healthcare Podcast
The Healing American Healthcare Podcast

Episode 22 · 1 year ago

The Past, Present & Future of Capitalism & Healthcare

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ed Eichhorn speaks with Dr. Mike Hutchinson. They touch on the original ideals of capitalism as proposed by economist and polymath Adam Smith, its presence and dissolution in America’s economy during the 20th century and the need for free enterprise in healthcare. They cover solutions to a daunting economic crisis and how their AllCare plan and The Healing American Healthcare Coalition™ strives to tackle such issues. 

https://healingamericanhealthcare.org/ 

Music: 

"The Discovery" 

by The Lemming Shepards 

Exzel Music Publishing (freemusicpublicdomain.com) 

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Hello and thanks for joining us today. My name is Ed Ikorn. I am the founder of the healing American healthcare coalition. Our goal is to provide our listeners with timely information on pandemic research and developing universal healthcare plans for America. The coalition is not a political action committee. We are also not affiliated with any political party. Our mission is to be a trusted, objective source on the current national discussion on healthcare initiatives that will impact the health and wellbeing of all Americans. Our guest today is Dr Michael Hutchinson, my coauthor of our book healing American healthcare, a plan to provide care for all while saving one trillion dollars a year. Dr Hutchinson is a neurologist and biophysicist. He is senior faculty at the ICON School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan,...

New York. He is certified in neurology and neuroimaging and is the past president of the American Society of neuroimaging. Dr Hutchinson holds a Ph d in molecular physics and he invented parallel imaging in one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven that is now the standard for clinical MRI. Dr Hutchinson has a large private practice in Manhattan. In addition, he teaches and conducts research, including fundamental MRI theory and it's application to neuro the general conditions. He has recently also published a theory of ultra fast MRI and has been awarded to patents in this area of research. Hello, Mike, and thanks for joining us today. Hey, thanks, my pleasure. You know I you and I have talked about healthcare many, many times and I think you have some new insight to share with us today, beginning with economic history. So why don't you give us some thoughts about where we stand and how we should move forward? Well, I'm thinking and reading Adam Smith, you know, who most people regard as...

...the economist who founded capitalism, and I'll tell you in the moment why I think this relates to healthcare. But it will become obvious. He was much more than an economist. He was a moral philosopher and poly mass who wanted to build a congenial society, and I believe there was actually a flourishing smithian economy in the United States between nineteen forty eight nineteen eighty, more or less the time I came to this country. In one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, the year of the Declaration of Independence, Smith wrote his macnum opus, the wealth of nations, and it influence the frame is of the constitution substantially. Adam Smith kept a close eye on this new American Republic and was very supportive, I believe, because he disliked kings and other possessors of extreme wealth and power. Smith contended that a nation's wealth depended only on the labor...

...of its population, not on the wealth of the king. He asked the question, do you think the butcher, the baker and the brewer make your evening meal because they like you? Obviously not. They're acting in their own self interests. And when people are allowed to act in their own self interest, with free markets and no tarrants, you get a wealthy and congenial society. This was a famous invisible had the essence of free enterprise capitalism. But, and this is where we intersect with healthcare, Adam Smith realized quite propriciously there were three problems that must be avoided and he stipulated the following. Number One. Never let companies get together, because they will colue against the common good. That's what we call monopoly. Number two, never let companies get into bed with government, or they would destroy the market and free enterprise with...

...it. Number three, the wealthy have to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the less wealthy. So what is not commonly understood as a Smith invented progressive taxation as a condition for free enterprise, not something that holds free enterprise back. And I believe if he required progressive jacksation because he realized the capitalism over rewards and he didn't want anyone to become too powerful because they would destroy the free market period. If you doubt this, I give you exhibit a, Marcus Zuckerberg. Well, in nineteen eighty, a long came Melton, Freedman Freeman, stood Adam Smith on his head and advised run of Reagan to catch taxes on the wealthy. The result is that the richer become enormously richer in the last forty years and they have now infiltrated government for their round benefit, as Smith indeed predicted. In the past forty years, therefore, we have seen a violation of all three of Adam Smith stipulations and...

...we now have a crowny asm economy rather than capitalism. Mike, why do you think we had a Smithian economy between nineteen forty eight and nineteen eighty? Well, as I said, taxes were high, productivity was high, America had a strong middle class, America was rich and Americans enjoyed the best healthcare in the world. The net results of the effect of Milton Freeman's policy in nineteen eighty is that the middle class has now been strip mind and it's well's handed over to the top point one percent. So, Mike, what do you think is has to do with healthcare? Well, a better example is there of what I mean of a violation of all three of Adams, with stipulations and healthcare. The three temples of healthcare are the hospitals, the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Some hospital systems have become either monopolies or...

...oligot police which maintain high prices by dominating their regional markets. For example, it may cost a hundred and Twentyzero dollars for lumbars surgery in these hospitals and Twelvezero dollars for the same surgery in Europe. So, Mike, the hospital system is certainly one thing, but do you think there are worse actors in healthcare? Yes, there really egregious violators a free enterprise of the insurance industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, both required government law jess and monopolistic behavior and absolute violation of Smith's rules. For example, by law, pharmaceutical companies do not have to negotiate drug prices, meaning the pharmaceutical crisis in the US are now the highest in the world. What does this have to do with free enterprising captains? Can you give us a concrete example to illustrate what you mean?...

Well, the problem created by the insurance companies can acts be illustrated by means of an example of a company flourishing in a world of free enterprise, like the automobile industry. Let's say I'm the CEO of Merseye these bends. I produce a product in high demand and I know that the more of this product I should out, the more money I make. Therefore, the customer, the CEO and the shareholders all have interests that are aligned together. And you say, well, that's obvious, but it's not. Suppose I'm the CEO of a private health insurance company. I provide a service in high demand, healthcare, but the more of that serviceide provides, a less money I make. I now have a perverse disincentive to provide a demanded service. All deductibles, code pays, pre certifications, etc. Are Required in the service of this perverted logic. This is not free enterprise. Indeed, to me...

...resembles nothing so much as the break lines of the old Soviet Union, the results of socialism. So, Mike, you think that in some ways healthcare resembles socialism. Will Not completely, of course, but there is a resemblance. Yes, I think Christopher hitchens put it well when he said that American healthcare combines the worst aspects of caculist degree with the worst aspects of bureaucratic socialism. The bottom line is that the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry have violated Smith's fundamental principles of free enterprise. So we no longer see true capitalism and free enterprise in healthcare it and everybody from both sides of the stethoscope is unhappy with the situation. Now we agree, Mike. You and I read about this in our book healing American healthcare. Yeah, and, as you recall, after we wrote the book, we asked ourselves and how can we introduce free enterprisal? We introduced free enterprise in a healthcare and drive down costs while...

...improving standards, and we thought it might be possible to do as by making the doctors, the agents of Free Enterprise, free to compete with each other on a level stage, independently of the hospitals and in showance companies. Hospitals with every force to compete with one another to attract the services of the best doctors. And of course, the pharmaceutical corporations would be required by law to negotiate drug prices and conformed to free enterprise. You know, you've just pointed out, that hospital should be forced to compete with one another to attract services of the best physicians. Actually, between nineteen forty eight one thousand nine hundred and eighty this was the common practice physicians, where the customer of the hospital, hospitals had to recruit physicians so that they would bring their patients into the hospital. And that was what it was like during that time that you feel healthcare was the best it was in our country over the last eighty years. As you make a very good point and if you were call, we actually...

...had some system like free enterprise operating before the Ahmos came into the equations started taking everything over. We're actually advocating more or less a return to the old system, with some modifications. All of this undoubtedly will have to be achieved in the teeth of opposition by Republican senators who have now become the paid servants of the real ruling class, the super wealthy. Our system, and you and I proposed, is called all can and it would enshow everybody to a high standard and would actually reduce caused by up to one trillion dollars a year by introducing free edit rising by eliminating wasteful bureaucracy. Well, Mike, we will certainly talk more about this in future podcast, because this is a direction that healthcare needs to move into, where we reduce costs and allow physicians to actually control the practice of medicine. So I'm I going to thank you once...

...again for being with us today and I'm looking forward to our next conversation. Now it's that mean. Thank you, and I'm also looking forward to our next conversation. If this is the first time that you've listened to the healing American healthcare podcast. I'd invite you to learn more about our coalition by visiting healing American Healthcare Dot Org. Joining our coalition is not expensive, and if you do that, you get a copy of our book, healing American healthcare, how to provide care for all and save a trillion dollars a year. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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