The 2018 Guide to Surviving US Healthcare

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A medical student shares 7 easy steps to ensure you come out no less healthy than you started:

1. Wait times are longer than ever: The doctors and nurses are wasting two-thirds of their time, filling out the mountains of paperwork required by the government (they’re probably actually playing poker or something). Be sure to frantically pace around the waiting room in order to get seen on time.

2. Thanks to Obamacare and the Republican repeal of the individual mandate, there’s no incentive to have insurance. So don’t buy insurance, until you get sick with cancer. Then you can enroll in any plan (paying the same premium as a healthy person), and they’ll cover your 100k cancer treatment at no extra charge. Make sure to tell all your family and friends about this limited time offer (* while health insurance lasts!).

3. Since they can’t deny coverage, insurances are denying record amounts of tests and treatments instead: Rather than telling your doc you have a headache, say that you have a long family history of brain cancers. Your mom, dad, and great-great grandmother on the Mayflower had a collective 57 brain tumors on their MRIs (or whatever Puritan doctors used to diagnose glioblastomas). That’ll spook ‘em!

4. Insurances are also trying to skimp on the bill by arguing that your doctor’s appointment wasn’t “complete”: It’s no coincidence that height, weight and blood pressure are taken at every appointment ever. They’re super crucial to treating your acne or getting over the common cold! Demand that your doctor spends precious time telling you not to smoke and to always wear a seat belt!

5. Hospitals are kicking out drug representatives, who used to bring doctors and medical workers lunch: So your doctor may be hungry (you’ll know if he/she tells you to stick something up your butt [unless, of course, it’s an edema]). Bring them something to eat — just make sure it’s below $15 market value, or else the law (at least in New Jersey) may think you’re trying to bribe your top 1% doctor into doing their job.

6. To encourage cost saving, doctors are being paid according to “quality metrics,” such as where the patient dies: If you feel like you’re dying, do your poor doc a favor and go and die in the hospice center instead of your hospital bed. It’ll save the hospital and insurance company money, and they’ll reward your doctor with a nice bonus.

7. There’s a 30k doctor shortage, which is expected to grow to 130k by 2030: It seems everyone’s just pining to go through decades of medical education and rack up $300k of loans just to look at that pimple on your back (and put up with all of the aforementioned nonsense)! Make sure to be as annoying, demanding and antagonistic to your doctors and medical staff as you can — after all, in a few years, there may not be any left to see.

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Adam Barsouk

Adam Barsouk is a student of medicine and health policy at Jefferson Medical College and a cancer researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. His family’s escape from the Soviet Union, and his experiences in the lab and the clinic, have inspired him to restore liberty to healthcare and the other depraved sectors of American life.