Monday, August 10, 2015

A Conversation with Elaina George, MD, author of Big Business: The Cost of Corporate Control of Health Care and How Patients Working Together Can Rebuild a Better System, A Kindle Book, $9.99 on Amazon

I just spoke to Elaina George, MD, a 53 year old African American Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgeon in Atlanta, whose book I reviewed in my last blog.

I asked her what she hoped readers would take away from her book. She answered she wanted readers to -appreciate its central theme - to return power to individual patients and physicians rather than to succumb to the power of big government, big insurers, and big hospital systems.

I asked her what she thought of Doctor Ben Carson, the African-American neurosurgeon and a candidate for the Presidency. Carson advocates ObamaCare repeal and universal health savings accounts. She said his theme “sounded good,” but she worried about it because it put power in the hands of big insurance companies , where it does not belong. She said health reform was not a black or white issue.

I asked her what she felt the ObamaCare legacy would be. She commented ObamaCare would have a” monster affect.” It would transfer power to the government and away from the middle class. She added she personally did not take Medicare and Medicaid patients, She preferred to deal with patients individually on a sliding scale payment basis, depending on what they could afford. She added she charges $50 a month for bundled ENT services. She foresaw a 2-tier system, part government for subsidized patients and part private for those who could afford to pay and who wanted better, quicker, and affordable care. She felt the Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of ObamaCare had ignited a “consolidation free-for-all” among the big insurers and big hospital systems. These insurers and hospital would soon become “too big to fail” and too big to offer personalized services.

She said she was raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York and attended small private school there. Her father was from Antiqua and her mother from Ashville, North Carolina. Both believed passionately in education as the way up. Her father owned a construction company and her mother worked in a beauty salon. After her undergraduate education at Princeton and her medical school and residency training in New York City, she gravitated to Atlanta because of lower cost of living and the better quality of life.

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