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Fox Business Network anchor John Stossel has his wife to thank for convincing him to go to the doctor. In an interview Friday with TVNewser, Stossel said his wife, “overanxious that I get a CAT scan for a cough” even though the cough ultimately “had nothing to do with what they found.”
What the doctors discovered was a malignant growth in Stossel’s lung, which was removed during surgery in New York last month. His treatment—no chemo and no radiation—has him feeling “90 percent” recovered, he said.
Tonight, he gets back to work, returning to his FBN show, Stossel (9 p.m. ET), for the first time since his hospital stay, and he has plenty to say about the state of customer service in American medicine. “It’s stupidly bad,” he said.
Stossel revealed his lung cancer diagnosis in April, writing at the time about his reflections on health care: good results, not so good experience. “I lost half a lung and I’m hardly in pain,” he said. “I’m grateful that I got good medical care. But I’m a consumer reporter. I don’t get why the rest of the experience can’t be good, too.”
On his show tonight, Stossel will focus on how hospitals can do a better job—in part by using technology embraced by almost all other businesses. “You can’t email your doctor,” Stossel noted, and you still have to fill out all those forms by hand. Stossel believes if patients were in charge of spending their own money, market forces would improve customer service. “You’re not the customer at the hospital. You’re third, after the insurance company and the government.”
— John Stossel (@JohnStossel) May 12, 2016
Stossel received a flood of cards and letters wishing him well, many from high school students, millions of whom, through a program called Stossel in the Classroom, watch his videos on how markets work. “I got a lot of sweet letters from kids.”
But he also got criticism—some of it personal.
On FBN’s Kennedy Nation Thursday, Stossel argued health care in the U.S. should be run as a market, and more like Burger King. “When customers spend their own money, costs go down and quality goes up.” But he got ripped by some viewers and internet commenters.
“Comments were deliciously nasty,” he told TVNewser. “‘It’s not a Burger King, it’s a hospital,’ they said. ‘A free market wouldn’t have paid for your smoking,’ they said.” Stossel added, “I never smoked.”