How To Fix America: Healthcare With Daniel Sem

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106 – Did you know that America is home to some of the world’s best healthcare? It’s a shame many Americans can’t afford it.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil talks with Dr. Daniel Sem, Ph.D., MBA, JD, a healthcare expert, about finding solutions to America’s healthcare crisis and his book, Purple Solutions. Daniel explains why the healthcare industry is the way that it is today and explores how it has the potential to become affordable for Americans with a change to the system.

Daniel discusses:

  • The problem with paying for healthcare through insurance
  • How transparent pricing and information can empower consumers to make better buying decisions
  • Why America pays more for certain drugs than other countries like Canada
  • How healthcare pharmaceutical providers like GoodRx lower the cost of prescription medications
  • And more

How To Fix America: Healthcare

Find Purple Solutions; ones that draw from the best of both sides

Purple solutions, written by Daniel Sem, focuses on the realization that one of the bigger problems in America is how healthcare is delivered. He worked with 20 co-authors who are experts from all over healthcare, from hospital CEOs and the president of the AMA to small office clinics and policy experts.

We have wonderful healthcare in America, some of the best in the world, but the way it gets to the consumer is slow and expensive. From jumping through hoops to see a specialist to overpriced drugs, there are lots of different approaches to improve our system.

Let’s dive into some key points Dr. Daniel Sem shares with us from Purple Solutions.

High Cost With Low Results

America has good healthcare but it has a high cost with low results.

There is a high level of proficiency among physicians, nurses, practitioners, etc., when it comes to surgical procedures and new medical innovations. However, the low results come from the dysfunctional way we deliver that amazing healthcare to Americans. 

It takes a long time to get an appointment with your doctor and when you do, you have very little limited time with them. America doesn’t have a process where you get to spend time with your doctor and troubleshoot your health concerns together. 

The wait time to see your primary care provider and then a specialist, if needed, depletes most Americans’ resources. It’s an expensive and timely process.

The care is good, but we need to see a change in how we receive it.

Treat Health Insurance Like Insurance

Universal healthcare or a completely free market without regulation and insurance are two commonly suggested methods for fixing the delivery of healthcare in America and making it affordable.

We need a hybrid solution. Something in the middle that is simple and direct, accompanied by some form of insurance as a safety net.

The reason a hybrid solution would work better than fully insured free healthcare is that taxes would have to drastically increase across the country.  

Currently, CMS covers Medicare and Medicaid, over trillions of dollars a year. While the entire revenue pulled in from taxpayers is about three to four trillion dollars. If we were to cover everyone with that system, America would have no money left for anything else like roads, city planning, or education.

In terms of the economics of healthcare, the problem is not that we’re providing it to more people, but that the cost is out of control. And the root of a lot of that issue is that the consumers are not the direct payers themselves, the insurance companies and governments are.

By putting money into insurance, Americans are giving others the power to spend their money for them. Instead, insurance should be treated as insurance. We should not use it often, but when something expensive happens, like costly procedures, a heart attack, or maybe having a baby, the insurance is there to protect you.

By giving up our power to spend our own money, we inflate the cost of healthcare, and that takes us to our next topic, price control.

Price Controls

The term ‘price controls’ is fraught with controversy, but a significant step towards lowering prices is enforcing price transparency.

Instead of being kept in the dark by hospital systems, we need to know what we’re going to pay upfront.

With price transparency, we have control over what to buy and where we spend our money, and ultimately, we can control what we pay.

Along with price transparency for medical procedures and expenses, Americans need to lower the prices of medications. Many prescriptions are more expensive in America than in other countries because of the government-forced price controls overseas. Creating a market force in America with price controls in the rest of the world ends up causing the US to have higher drug prices.

Creating a system that lowers drug prices in America through policy change has a long way to go. We should do our part individually by taking advantage of alternative pharmaceutical companies, like GoodRx, that can offer medications at a lower price because there is no middleman in getting them to the consumer.

Medications are expensive because 60% of the price goes to the developers. 40% of the price goes to those delivering the medication to the pharmacy. With services like GoodRx, those getting 40% are out of the equation. 

So, until we can solve the high prices and lower the cost of healthcare services and medication, we can do our part and utilize services like GoodRx.


To learn more about fixing American healthcare, Daniel Sem, and Purple Solutions, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest Daniel Sem using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Daniel Sem:

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About Our Guest:

Daniel Sem, Ph.D., MBA, JD is a Professor and the Dean of the Batterman School of Business and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is the CEO of Bridge to Cures, Inc. and Retham Technologies. With over 25 years of experience as a healthcare entrepreneur, Dan works extensively with universities, industries and government in southeast Wisconsin to build shared drug development and commercialization resources for the region.



Results and figures presented within the above links are hypothetical, unaudited and are intended for illustrative purposes only.


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