What Happened When the US Tried Universal Healthcare for Kidney Failure?

What happened when the US tried universal healthcare for kidney failure? when the us tried universal healthcare

If you’re furrowing right now, you’re not alone. I didn’t know the US tried universal healthcare for anything. David Krissman, a filmmaker and documentarian, contacted me after he heard the podcast I did with Elaine Perlman, in which she describes what it was like to donate her kidney to a stranger, and informed me about his investigative podcast series that goes into all the good, bad and ugly of our experience with universal healthcare. I listened to it over one weekend and was thoroughly impressed with his podcast and also stunned by what I heard. Simply, put it’s a fascinating tale, and I really hope you tune in to this podcast episode.


In Causes or Cures Episode 154, I chat with David Krissman about his investigative podcast series called, “The Great Social Experiment,” about America’s only experiment with universal healthcare, the treatment of patients with kidney failure.

David takes us back to 1972, when congress guaranteed healthcare coverage to people with kidney failure regardless of race, socioeconomic status and age. And while on the surface, this sounds like a great and altruistic endeavor, David describes why it is a cautionary tale of inequity, faulty decision-making on life-or-death matters, putting profits first, questionable incentives and at the core, what drives human behavior. Throughout the podcast, David references media reports, government data, interviews with prominent experts and kidney patients. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is an incredible story by a great storyteller.

Listen here to what happened when the US tried universal healthcare.

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