Health

Linette Lopez, Dr. Leana Wen, and Dr. Jay Parkinson discuss the money behind health—whether or not you need an expensive doctor, and how the healthcare industry actually works.

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I think it’s important for
everyone to have health insurance

because you just,
first of all, you never know

when something catastrophic
is going to happen.

I see all the time people who
think that they’re healthy but,

got into a car accident,

who got diagnosed with cancer
and had no health insurance

and now are bankrupt because of it.

The second thing too is prevention

is the most important
thing to keeping healthy

and having health insurance means
that you can see a regular doctor,

work on other issues that
really keep you healthy.

Jay, do you think we do
need a primary care doctor?

You’ve created an app, right,

that allows people to
find information online,

there’s so much out there.

I say no.

Whenever you see
a doctor once, twice a year,

you change insurance,
you change jobs,

you move from Brooklyn to LA,
you’re changing everything.

So, in a lot of ways, you really
need access to your data,

that you can own
and share with doctors.

And how important is it for people

to be doing some of
that research themselves,

about what their conditions are?

I think it’s really important.
Dr. Google is available 24/7.

Well, I want to ask everyone here.

Who here has ever Googled

a condition that you
think you might have?

Is anyone willing to talk about it?

Well, I’m not going to say
what I specifically Googled but,

I will say that it scared me because
you find the worst possible thing.

So you Google “sore throat” and
it’ll pull up cancer or something.

It’s like, you could get
scared, I guess.

The internet is a nasty little
place for scaremongering.

Talk to your doctor
about the right sources first.

80% of all diagnoses

can be made just based on
listening to your story

and that’s why having
a doctor who knows you

and can say to you, “Look,
there’s something not quite right.

The last time that she had
this wasn’t like this” or,

they know that you are somebody
who underreports your symptoms,

having that someone who
knows you is really important,

but you knowing your
own body is critical too.

In Baltimore city
there are neighborhoods,

that are just a few miles apart,

where the life expectancy
difference is 20 years,

-which means that,
-Incredible.

some neighborhoods, a child born
today could expect to live 85 years,

two miles away,

that child born in the exact same
area but just two miles shifted,

can expect to live 65 years.

Jay, is the real issue
here poverty then?

I think a lot of it has to
do with that, absolutely.

Right now, the average health
insurance premium for a family

is about $19,000 per year.

So, that’s like buying
a new car every year for people.

That doubles every 7 ½ years,
traditionally, right?

So in 7 years, it’s going
to be nearly $40,000.

Come on, can we
really sustain that?

Linette, what can we do to help
close some of these gaps?

Personally, I’m in favor
of expanding Obamacare

and making it more powerful,

of making it so that there is
more transparent pricing.

We know how much we pay for a drug

when we go to a drugstore,
we know our copay,

we know how many
American dollars we handed over.

On the backend, we don’t always
know how much the insurer is paying,

we don’t know how
this is affecting our premiums,

and, frankly, the drug companies
want it that way.

I think it’s important for
everyone to have health insurance

because you just,
first of all, you never know

when something catastrophic
is going to happen.

I see all the time people who
think that they’re healthy but,

got into a car accident,

who got diagnosed with cancer
and had no health insurance

and now are bankrupt because of it.

The second thing too is prevention

is the most important
thing to keeping healthy

and having health insurance means
that you can see a regular doctor,

work on other issues that
really keep you healthy.

Jay, do you think we do
need a primary care doctor?

You’ve created an app, right,

that allows people to
find information online,

there’s so much out there.

I say no.

Whenever you see
a doctor once, twice a year,

you change insurance,
you change jobs,

you move from Brooklyn to LA,
you’re changing everything.

So, in a lot of ways, you really
need access to your data,

that you can own
and share with doctors.

And how important is it for people

to be doing some of
that research themselves,

about what their conditions are?

I think it’s really important.
Dr. Google is available 24/7.

Well, I want to ask everyone here.

Who here has ever Googled

a condition that you
think you might have?

Is anyone willing to talk about it?

Well, I’m not going to say
what I specifically Googled but,

I will say that it scared me because
you find the worst possible thing.

So you Google “sore throat” and
it’ll pull up cancer or something.

It’s like, you could get
scared, I guess.

The internet is a nasty little
place for scaremongering.

Talk to your doctor
about the right sources first.

80% of all diagnoses

can be made just based on
listening to your story

and that’s why having
a doctor who knows you

and can say to you, “Look,
there’s something not quite right.

The last time that she had
this wasn’t like this” or,

they know that you are somebody
who underreports your symptoms,

having that someone who
knows you is really important,

but you knowing your
own body is critical too.