Reason TV's Best Health Care Videos

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Reason TV's health-care coverage has always viewed the Affordable Care Act in its properly Sisyphean context: Obamacare is a government fix for problems created by an earlier government fix for problems created by an earlier government fix. How best to fix the U.S. health care system? Undo all the earlier fixes.

So our videos have highlighted the ugly mess U.S health care was

before Obamacare and how Obamacare made something terrible even worse. Medicaid has done a poor job of serving America's poor, so Obamacare expanded the program. State laws allowed large hospitals to block new competitors, so Obamacare made it even harder for new health care facilities to open. Because of a quirk in U.S. tax policy, insurance policies cover even routine medical costs, which leads to general price inflation. And so Obamacare piled on new rules and mandates that cover yet more procedures.

Reason TV has profiled health care entrepreneurs who've found innovative ways around all the government rules to actually lower prices and improve patient care, offering a glimpse at what medicine would look like if only the government would get out of the way and let markets function.

Here's a quick tour of highlights from our past coverage.

"Can Medical Tourism Save Us From Obamacare?," Reason TV, January 29, 2013.

About 50,000 Canadians go abroad every year for treatment at a foreign hospital, escaping a single-payer system that makes patients wait on average four months for non-emergency procedures. As the U.S. health care system becomes more like Canada's, medical tourism may become just as vital in this U.S.Thailand's Bumrungrad International Hospital serves 400,000 foreign patients a year. |||

Medical facilities abroad show what happens when patients cover their own health care bills, and doctors and hospitals have to fight for their business. In India, heart-valve surgery costs one-tenth the U.S. price; in South Korea, gastric bypass surgery costs about half what American hospitals charge. Thailand's renowned Bumrungrad International Hospital, which serves 400,000 foreigners a year, is home to some of the world's best clinicians. Medical travelers aren't confined to windowless rooms and fed tater tots and jello cups—foreign health care facilities treat their patients like guests at a resort, offering a holistic approach to wellness and healing.

"Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare?," Reason TV, November 15, 2012.

Dr. Keith Smith, managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, did something that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted his all-inclusive prices, often a small fraction of what traditional hospitals charge, on his website. Patients started showing up from around the world.

The Surgery Center has no dedicated administrative staffers. Dr. Keith Smith manages the facility and works as an anesthesiologist on the floor.|||Smith can maintain unusually low prices because he's figured out a way to solve many of the coordination problems typical at U.S. hospitals. Surgeons and patients don't have to wait around while support staffers struggles with the basic logistics of moving patients from preoperative care into the operating room. The Surgery Center's impeccable operations explain why many of Oklahoma's top doctors favor the facility as a place to perform their procedures.

Oklahoma City's largest traditional hospital Integris pays its top 18 administrators average salaries of more than $400,000; Smith, himself part of the Surgery Center's team of anesthesiologist, has no dedicated administrative employees. "One reason our prices are so low," says Smith, "is that we don't have administrators running around in their four or five thousand dollar suits."

"Treat Me Like a Dog: What Human Health Care Can Learn from Pet Care," Reason TV, February 25, 2010.

Meredith Bragg is managing editor of Reason TV.

Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV and the co-author of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, just out in paperback.

Follow Nick Gillespie on

Jim Epstein is a producer at Reason TV.

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