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Health Care Napkin 1

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The first of four "back of the napkin" sketches visually explaining the health care debate.

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Health Care Napkin 1

  1. 2009 © Digital Roam Inc. Dan Roam
  2. Napkin #1
  3. Health care in America is a business governed by a simple equation: I get sick. My Doc fixes me. My Doc gets paid. 3
  4. In the last several years there’s been a shift in the equation: Insurance jumped in between me and my doctor. Insurance now rations my treatment and health costs. 4
  5. That happened because health care is really two different businesses: There’s the business … and then there’s of providing health… the business of providing payment. 5
  6. I’m in the middle. Me, my health, and my money sit in between these two businesses. 6
  7. When I’m healthy, insurance loves me: I pay premiums that insurance collects, and they don’t have to pay anything back. 7
  8. When I’m sick, providers love me: Through my insurance, I pay Doctors, hospitals, and pharma for their products and services. 8
  9. These two businesses hate each other. (Ultimately, I’m the only source of money for both.) 9
  10. They have conflicting interests and fight over my money. (It’s a zero-sum game.) Providers like to prescribe Insurers charge more new and expensive (and allow less) to keep treatments to keep money money flowing in. flowing in. 10
  11. As the providers and insurers fight, my costs keep going up. (Bankrupting me and my employer.*) I’m the only one adding money INTO the equation, so I get squeezed. *more on this later. 11
  12. Now government steps into the picture: Government is worried: people and businesses are both too squeezed. 12
  13. Government thinks most of the changes are on the insurance side: Almost all legislation being debated impacts the insurance side of the equation. 13
  14. Next napkin: What health care reform is really about. (It isn’t health care.) 14
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The first of four "back of the napkin" sketches visually explaining the health care debate.


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