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John Geyman: Profiteering, Corruption and Fraud in U.S. Health Care

June 30, 2020

Topics: Quote of the Day

Profiteering, Corruption and Fraud in U.S. Health Care

By John Geyman, M.D.

From the Preface

We have to raise, and answer, who is health care for – for corrupt and fraudulent scammers or patients and their families?

This book has four parts: (1) to bring historical perspective to the changes that have transformed U.S. health care from a mission of service to an unaccountable profit-driven non-system; (2) to describe the adverse impacts of these changes on patients, our population, and taxpayers; (3) to describe and illustrate how corruption and fraud pervade all parts of the medical-industrial complex from hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice to the drug, medical device, and medical information industries; and (4) to ask and try to answer what can be done about all this?

Much of what comes to light here may surprise readers who hope that this problem is not as dire as it is. But you will see that it is. In fact, the current COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the huge shortfalls in our supposedly good health care system, underfunded and neglected public health, increasingly unaffordable care of unacceptable quality, and growing health care disparities and inequities. All that, plus an inadequate federal response to the pandemic.

This will be a rough ride, so buckle up. We need to bring this problem front and center so we can deal with it in the public interest.

From Chapter 11: Reform Is Achievable, but a Matter of Political Will

I. Case For and Against Four Alternatives

  1. The Status Quo, with Inadequate Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  2. Build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  3. Medicare for Some: Variants of a Public Option
  4. Medicare for All

From the Conclusion

We have a political teeter totter in play. On one end are corporate money, Wall Street traders and investors, and those many profiteers in our free-wheeling market-based system. On the other end are physicians, nurses and other health professionals committed to serving the public without fiscal and bureaucratic barriers between them and their patients.

The answer to how we deal with these challenges will test our democracy to the core. Given the stakes, we’d better be up to coping with them, since they will make all the difference for generations to come.



By Don McCanne, M.D.

How can the United States have the most expensive health care system of all nations yet have it fail miserably in meeting health care goals for so many of us? John Geyman explains the structural defects resulting from a misplaced emphasis on neoliberal policies designed to ensure business successes of the health care/insurance industry when what we need is systemic reform that is designed specifically to ensure affordable and accessible care for each of us. He shows us the flaws in our system that we need to correct and then provides a pathway for reform.


By David Himmelstein, M.D. and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D.

Geyman reveals in vivid detail the corruption that’s hollowing out our health care system, and what’s needed to stop it. A must read for anyone seeking to diagnose and treat what’s wrong with health care.

Stay informed! Visit www.pnhp.org/qotd to sign up for daily email updates.

About the Commentator, Don McCanne

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Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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