Fox News’ Advice On Medical Debt: Negotiate The Price With Your Doctor Before Treatment
Fox News ran a segment on the very important issue of medical debt on Monday. Fox & Friends hosted Dr. Marty Makary, who is reportedly advising President Donald Trump on the issue. Makary is a surgeon who has written extensively about the issue of medical costs in the US, but his advise to potential patients chimes with Fox News’ business-based approach to the issue.
“A little known secret is your medical bills are negotiable before, during and after care,” Makary said. “And there’s a lot you can do.”
“So if I’m gonna go into the doctor for a Strep throat, can I talk to them ahead of time?” co-host Steve Doocy asked.
“You absolutely can and we’re trying to get doctors involved in billing process,” Makary said. “So we can say, look if your patient has been price gouged and even sued to have their wages began issued in as we found in doing the research. We want the docs engaged. We want community members talking to hospital board members and saying hey, hospitals should not be suing low income patients and garnishing their wages.”
“You know, if you go to buy a flight on Expedia or Kayak and there were no prices, you would say this is crazy. Everyone is getting price gouged by billing after the flight.”
While Makary is correct about the need for greater price transparency, his suggestion that patients negotiate price with their doctors while seeking or even receiving treatment sits perfectly with Fox News’ long-standing opposition to expanding Medicare and treating healthcare like a commodity.
A recent study showed that bankruptcies due to medical debt were frequently the result of inadequate health insurance coverage, an issue that would not be solved by trying to haggle with a doctor or a hospital. The Fox News segment also ignored the fact that much medical debt is incurred because of emergencies, which may not be the best time for patients to negotiate prices.
Watch the video above, via Fox News.