Tell me if I’m wrong, but as broken as government is, it is because of men, not because of the problems being insurmountable. Yes, hard choices have to be made, but wasting months and months of time arguing over a debt ceiling that we all know is going to get raised is simply irresponsible.
Thus I am making a new segment for a while and offering you a battery of solutions (in brief – I could go much further into depth for each). I always say, don’t give my problems, give me solutions. Well here they are. They would work if the charlatans would get out of the way.
To tackle such a huge issue, you must have multiple prongs of attack. I will address by its various parts that in total, add up to addressing the problem…which is turn also address other issues that need to be solved on a national level.
A – The Health Care Industry
Completely gut the program in a voluntary 4 state test ‘opt-in’ experimental program for 5 years. Start it in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri or another block of a couple of contiguous states.
Take away all but the most basic framework regulations at a federal level while also making it so the states cannot interfere with the program to foul it up either. The bottom line is to make as free a market as possible for all aspects of the industry so that true capitalism, not crony-capitalism rules. Good business decisions and ethical behavior gets rewarded, and greed and graft fail as customers and the industry goes somewhere else.
Let all current healthcare providers sign up. Existing insurance companies cannot participate unless they make fully transparent and separate entity spin-off businesses for this experimental market. Entrepreneurial endeavors are welcomed as well and incentives will be provided to encourage their creation.
Loser pays, common-sense tort reform is enacted to decimate the lawsuit rate in healthcare in this experimental area for all but the most blatant offenses where the case is justified. Force actuaries to adjust risk premiums for such a new environment for hospitals and doctors so that their malpractice insurance plummets.
Drug companies are allowed to go through an ultra-streamlined FDA approval process for the introduction of new drugs in this market at much quicker and reduced cost, with risks fully disclosed to the patients and the drug-maker being held fully accountable should patients get bad medicine. At the same time, imports from Canada, generics, and other ways to lessen the cost of medicine is allowed. The market decides what is best.
Indigent care that is non-emergency can be refused at the Emergency room upon quick, initial professional assessment by a registered nurse or doctor. Repeat offenders can be fined. A TV advertising campaign in the test area is conducted during the most popular TV shows – American Idol, Glee, NCIS, etc to advertise the program and the restrictions, like the emergency room refusal policy. Public clinics should have lower costs with these programs, but they can get extra help in a streamlined fashion from the government when shown that the policy is working and they are seeing more patients.
Finally, any angle that I didn’t cover could be addressed with your input. The bottom line is that there is enough need and money to go around for government to help be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. A young doctor, just finished with their residency should want to open their own community practice back home because their small town needs a doctor. This also would include things like changing how doctors are compensated…whatever works for both the doctor and the insurer. Heck, if costs were low enough, doctors could charge customers directly without health insurance just like most other transactions.
The best legislation we can make is legislation that gets the legislation out of the way and lets the free market truly be free and let capitalism work. We still need basic FDA protections and anti-trust protections, but give this program a try for 2 – 5 years. I believe that it would be wildly successful and the healthcare industry in other states would CLAMOR to have this system adopted.
This system would give better care, be more profitable, and save tons and tons of money for all involved. Government would spend less on red tape, make more money on taxation of businesses, and the care would be so much cheaper that not only could everyone now afford healthcare, they would have multiple options to choose from, people would WANT to opt-in without being forced to, and the cost of government providing healthcare via Medicare and Medicaid would plummet.
That greatly reduces the ballooning costs of the social contract our government has with its citizenry, especially the elderly. However, the specifics of Medicare is my next segment. Most costs associated with health-care come at the end of life, and there are ways to curb those expenditures as well within the system I just outlined here.
Thoughts, improvement, criticism? I want it all because I know there is a solution but I surely haven’t covered all the angles.