The resources extracted from healthcare by intermediaries / third parties in the US are bringing the US health system to its knees.

This analysis from The Economist shows that 45% of the US$4.3trn spent on healthcare in 2022 went into the pockets of middlemen.

Over the past decade these firms have quietly increased their presence in America’s vast health-care
industry. They do not make drugs and have not, until recently, treated patients. They are the
intermediaries—insurers, pharmacies, drug distributors and pharmacy-benefit managers (pbms)—
sitting between patients and their treatments.

Now these big corporations are buying up healthcare providers, employing doctors, setting up clinics and treating patients, arguing that “bringing all parts of patient care—primary-care clinics, pharmacy services, pbms and insurance—under one roof” should lower costs. “If doctors and insurance companies are part of the same business, incentives should be aligned and overall costs should be lower.

Australia doesn’t have the same level of corporate control of healthcare—yet.

The big question is: are we in Australia already moving down the same path with government and bureaucratic intervention in the doctor/patient relationship?