Surgeon, bestselling author and MacArthur Foundation "genius" Atul Gawande took the stage at the New Yorker Festival on Saturday to say that seeing a primary care physician on a regular basis is relatively cheap and easy, yet it can save your life. But Medicaid cuts, he warned, may strip you of that opportunity.
Gawande echoed a key point he has also made in writing: "Incremental care — regular, ongoing care as opposed to heroic, emergency care — is the greatest source of value in modern medicine."
In June, when Senate Republicans first unveiled their plan to cut Medicaid and end the mandate that guarantees Americans health insurance, he explained why that posed such a danger: "There is clear evidence that people who get sufficient incremental care enjoy better prevention, earlier diagnosis and management of urgent conditions, better control of chronic illnesses, and longer life spans."
Getting a regular physical is vital, in other words. Even life-saving.