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Disrupting Health Care

Note to readers: I am offering a sale this week. I started these posts as an experiment three years ago. They have now grown into a conversation with thousands of unpaid subscribers and hundreds of paid ones. I am grateful for each subscription. A service that started at $75 now costs $700 a year. If I could offer a sliding scale based on need, I would. But I can’t. So this week, I am lowering the price to $500 a year, or $1.36 a day. Also, I’m at an investment conference this week and won’t be publishing on Friday.

Mario is a fascinating person, a tech guy disrupting the US insurance industry via a company he founded, Oscar Health. For those of us in the US, dealing with health insurance is right up there with visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles or having your toilet overflow in terms of quality experiences. The US system is expensive and of poor quality, a Kia priced like a Mercedes.

“Health care costs have been inflating at twice the CPI for 40 years,” he said.“If your job description is to manage health care costs,” which is what an insurer is supposed to do, “there is no value there.”

As a result, entrepreneurs from Google to Amazon have tried to offer a better option leading them into a thicket of regulations and local providers. Google has taken numerous bites at the apple, all failures. Mario is German, so he understands well why that system is so much more efficient while the Canadian and UK plans are not.

Beyond being an expert on health care, he has experienced the entrepreneurial roller-coaster first hand. What’s it like to IPO and see your stock fall by 90+%? A risk taker needs to be tough to withstand the punches. After all the tussle, he retains a sense of humor and curiosity that I found inspiring.