One in five Americans are in collections for medical debt. Two-thirds of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are tied to medical debt. And too often, a health crisis leads to a financial crisis. Healthcare is the biggest issue for many in the 2020 election. And no matter where you stand politically, one thing both sides can agree on, the system is broken. That’s why all season will focus on ways you, at home, won’t have to choose between money versus medicine. Johns Hopkins surgeon, New York Times best selling author and advocate for transparency in medicine, Doctor Marty McCarry, spent the past four years investigating the price we pay for healthcare. And what he found, I have to tell you, it’s disturbing. Everyone please welcome Doctor Marty McCarry, who has made it his life’s mission to evoke healthcare reform. (crowd clapping) What upsets you right now, the most about what’s going on? Well Travis you, Nita, Drew, myself, we all went into medicine to help people. I mean, we’re all united by a sense of compassion, at every level in healthcare, even administrators, people workin insurance, nurses. But right now what’s happening with price gouging in medicine. And lets call a spade a spade. It is price gouging people when they’re most vulnerable, when they’re sick and they come to us for help. That is eroding the great public trust in our profession. When people trust us to put a knife to their skin, within a second of meeting us, or tell us secrets they wouldn’t tell their spouse of 30 years.
Yes Within a second because you’re the doctor. And that great public trust now, is getting threatened by these money games of price gouging. And the thing is we doctors don’t even know what’s happening with our billing processes. Sometimes we’ve lost control and when we find out. When we and our research team tell the doctors. They’re apauld and they’re angry. And I think that outrage is healthy. And I think it’s important for people watching to understand that when we say money verses medicine, I do want to try to separate a little bit here. The business side of medicine, doctors lost control a long time ago. And doctors were largely unaware of whatever bill ends up showing in the mail. I don’t really have anything to do with it. And so there is a disconnect, and sometimes for us doctors we don’t realize how broken the system is until we become patients. And I know for myself when, a number of years ago, when I ended up having surgery, and I still am getting bills with literally no explanation for what they are. And they keep coming. You’re like what is this. This is crazy.
We’ve all been there. One of the biggest problems, and I think we’re gonna get to it in more depth is that, going into your surgery no one told you what all of these steps are going to cost. You had no idea, it’s only now later these bills still keep coming. No transparency. You hand, but if your lucky enough to have insurance, you give someone your insurance card at the front desk. And then you know you get a bunch of tests. You in the back of your mind are wondering what is this going to cost. And the thing is no one knows and whether you’re in the system or not that’s just the reality. And then there’s just this surprise, that comes your way at some point in the future. And it’s usually a really bad surprise. And that’s where we’re at in our healthcare system.