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Is America's Health Care System Broken Beyond Repair? Doctors Disagree

September 29, 2017 11:25 AM

(ABC 6 News) – Thursday, medical professionals in Rochester discussed whether the health care system in the United States will ever improve.

"It's a great time to be in America receiving health care," Geisinger president and C.E.O. Dr. David Feinberg said. 

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"What we need to do is completely change the underlying structure of American medicine," former C.E.O. of The Permanente Medical Group Dr. Robert Pearl said. 

Four speakers took the stage Thursday at the Mayo Civic Center for a debate about whether the United States health care system is broken beyond repair.

"Terminally ill means it's dying and I would say it's the opposite,” Feinberg said. “I would say we now have new young doctors going into health care we have a new way of paying for health care to keep people healthy."

Feinberg believes the solution is to shift the focus of treatment from reactive care to preventative care.

"Still lots of problems with the whole philosophy how we deliver health care in America,” Feinberg said. “It's based on doing more for sick people instead of keeping people healthy."

However, not everyone agrees.

"We need to move from fee-for-service to capitation; paying groups of doctors to work together as one on behalf of a patient," Pearl said.

Pearl said thing are not getting any easier and this week's failed Republican health care proposal is an example of that.

"I think it's a symptom of all that is wrong because the government is trying to constrain health care costs, but how are they doing it, by taking away coverage from people," Pearl said.
               
Even though both sides don't agree on what to do, they agree something needs to be done.

"Getting paid to keep people healthy and it's in our best interest, that's a tectonic shift [and] it's about time that it happened and it's now happening," Feinberg said.

"We all agree that change has to happen within the current rules and the rules need to change," Pearl said.

More than 500 people were at the debate.

If you would like to watch click here for the Intelligence Squared U.S. link.


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Elise Romas

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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