Aug. 30: Town Hall – Why Is Healthcare so Expensive?

The Healthcare Costs NJ 2018 Townhall with take place on Thursday, August 30th from 6:30pm ET to 8:30pm. It will be held at the Rastelli Market Fresh at Hill Creek Farms located  at 1631 State Hwy 45-S in beautiful Mullica Hill, NJ.

Contact: Craig M. Wax DO, office 856-478-4780

Why is Health Care so expensive?  This question is on nearly every American’s mind.  85% of Americans are more concerned about health care costs than other major expenses, and for good reason:  The average family of 4 will spend $28k on health care this year, $1200 more than last year. And even more concerning is that 44% of Americans skip care because of costs.

The Aug 30 event, featuring a word-class panel of experts on the drivers of medical costs, will explore and provide true solutions to this crucial problem, for both patients and policy makers. The townhall is held in conjunction with Practicing Physicians of America at PracticingPhysician.organd Independent Physicians for Patient Independence at It is a free event and open to the public.

Speaker Bios:

David Hyman, MD, JD is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and a Professor of Law at Georgetown University. A doctor as well as a lawyer, Hyman served as the Ross and Helen Workman Chair in Law and Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois, where he directed the Epstein Program in Health Law and Policy. He focuses his research on the regulation and financing of health care and has taught insurance, medical malpractice, law and economics, professional responsibility and tax policy in addition to civil procedure. Hyman served as special counsel on the Federal Trade Commission, where he organized and led hearings on health care and competition – leading to the first joint report issued by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, “Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition.” Earlier in his career, he was an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago, practicing tax litigation and health care law. He has been a visiting law professor at the University of Texas and George Washington University, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a lecturer at the University of Chicago. Hyman earned his BA, JD and MD degrees from the University of Chicago. Dr. Hyman recently published a book called Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much For Healthcare.

Kimberly Legg Corba,  DO is a family physician in private practice in Allentown, PA.  She is a 1993 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She has owned and operated her independent, solo practice since 2003 and transitioned the office to the model of Direct Primary Care in January of 2016.

Dr. Corba has been a speaker for Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, the Free Market Medical Association, and will be speaking at the 75th Annual meeting of AAPS.

She testified about DPC in December 2017 for the PA Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in support of S. 926 and authored an policy for in-office medication dispensing for PA practices supported and approved by PA Med Society.  On a federal level, Dr. Corba has lobbied several times in Washington DC with the other national leaders for health care reform and most recently met with HHS, White House Administration, The Department of Treasury in support of Direct Primary Care and was present for the May 2018 rose garden speech concerning prescription costs by President Trump and Secretary Azar.   She is a founding member of the Direct Primary Care Alliance and the original founder of the Mid-Atlantic Direct Primary Care Alliance.  Dr. Corba has also authored and published The Manual of Policies and Procedures for Direct Primary Care which helps DPC practices maintain compliance.

Craig M. Wax, DO, is a family physician that practices family medicine and health through prevention in private practice in Mullica Hill, NJ. He is a tireless advocate for the patient-physician relationship and free-market health care. He has a bachelors degree in Food Science Research from Rutgers University in NJ, and a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1994. Dr. Wax serves on the U. S. congressional subcommittee National Physicians Council for Health Care Policy at He is the Vice President for health policy at Practicing Physicians of America at Dr. Wax served on Medical Economics journal editorial board and frequently published articles on topics of free market medicine. He is the health talk show host and executive producer for “Your Health Matters ,” on Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS – FM at since 2002. Dr. Wax was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists of Philadelphia with an SPJ award for his ability to make complicated matters simple to understand. He blogs at Independent Physicians for Patient Independence at Dr Wax began, a free public information source on health in 1999.

Med Student Debt: Veritas vos liberabit.

Guest post by Howard C. Mandel M.D., FACOG:

The electorate will be bombarded in both the 2018 and 2020 election about the $1.4 trillion in education loans outstanding and the 28% currently in default, though a recent Brookings analysis predicts it will increase up to 40% []

The overwhelming majority of these individuals were either sold a bill of goods by for-profit schools or never graduated the public institutions that they enrolled in. Although medical or dental student debt has been shown to impact career choices it rarely results in default.

Did we ever seriously ask ourselves why medical schools are currently so expensive? Where is all that money going? Do the faculties and administrations of our med schools deserve the salaries and benefits they earn?

Are you aware that many medical schools are now paying hospitals to place their students in 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations… what audacity. These hospitals couldn’t exist without Medicare, Medicaid and DSH federal funding——they should be honored to have students on their wards.

Bad policy and Medicare financing of graduate medical education have created the debt crisis for America’s health care workers. There is a major shortage of doctors and nurses and Congress is ignoring treating this because of the economic costs associated with addressing it.

Yet, the inside the beltway crowd has seen a symptom it can campaign on. The right:  Loan default, and made the wrong diagnosis—–people are not educated with the “right major that’s marketable…”  The left: public college should be free for all. Quoting the late community activist, Mimi West, “Free ain’t Cheap…”

National data is biased by the defaults of mostly students that went to extremely large public institutions [not their state flagships] that either dropped out or took 6+ years to graduate. These students probably were not four year college ready and their loans were compounding all the time that they were finding themselves, experimenting with living on their own and maturing into adulthood. The last few decades have seen ever increasing college costs including tuition, fees, room and board.

Society and government leaders pushed an idealistic desire to have every American attain a college education. This goal was encouraged and supported by government employee unions including most public colleges and universities, unionized workers including in many states, professorship. This led to major impacts on state budgets and college costs.

It also led to inefficiency as well as difficulties for dedicated students to graduate within four years.

In 2004, Johns Hopkins professors Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters published an analysis entitled, “Locating the Dropout Crisis. Which High Schools Produce the Nation’s Dropouts? Where are they Located? Who attends Them?”    These schools and other “Factories of Failure” pushed through students who ended up either going to For-Profit Institutions, over crowded Community Colleges or large state institutions.  At the California State Colleges/Universities——-75% of these students need remedial English or Math.  Is it any wonder that the majority never graduate but have accumulated debt?

LAUSD administration claims that “56% of their graduates” are college ready. They are not—-most go to Cal State and need remedial work to even begin introductory college level classes. This 56% is of the only 70% that make it to high school graduation. Unfortunatel, they have previously manipulated data and created sham’s, like their credit recovery program, that inflate the success of students only on paper. As a society we are letting the students in the LA district down.    

Unless we honestly look at the results we will never develop programs that educate our students to succeed. Of the cohort of students entering high school in LAUSD, only 12.25% actually graduate with either a two year or four year college degree in a total of 6 years after they graduated LAUSD. When looking at the percentage of kids who graduate with “A’s”, only 52% will even graduate any 4 year college within 6 years. Looking at the last year that national comparisons were available, only 1,071 students (4.6%) were in the top quartile of the SAT/ACT.

So lets look at who is getting loans in America—-by the numbers, the vast majority are at Community or 2nd tier state colleges. 48% of straight “A” students from LAUSD will not graduate by 6 years and most of the those never graduate. As the school’s tuition’s are not extremely expensive, the overwhelming majority of their loans were used for living expenses for 6 to 8 years and the majority of their debt directly related to inflated costs of living on or near state college campuses, “special fees” to support athletics and recreational centers, bank fees and compounded interest on their balances.

Our philosophical desire to be egalitarian and support college education for all has been manipulated by a public college industrial complex that accepts kids that are not college material at the point they enter. If those students went to community college and lived at home, the billions saved could be given to support smaller but higher quality state colleges and make tuition lower for all who attend. Additionally, extra funds would be left over that could actually provide free housing for academically qualified students that are currently homeless, larger graduate student stipends, medical student scholarships and funding for post docs as well.

Until we truly address the problem, we’ll waste time, money and energy on snake oil that will not cure the disease. The government wants to force physicians to be paid for “performance”, yet the public schools from K through University just want Carte Blanche funding sponsored by taxes or at the college level, loans that often get written off.

Howard C. Mandel M.D., FACOG
Dr. Mandel is an advocate and philanthropist for indigent health care, inner city educational opportunity and a smaller, more efficient government
Los Angeles