Thursday, July 23, 2009

Simple Fixes to Health Care

We have each picked apart the Obama Healthcare Plan as well as we can with the information we have available. This plan scares people. The plan calls for an overhaul of the entire health insurance system to provide an additional 10-15% of Americans with insurance that do not currently have it. The end results of this plan are price fixing of government plans, which will in turn undercut private insurance and cause rationing of care. Not to mention that the federal government operates with higher administrative and overhead costs than private businesses, which will cause the cost of health care to increase even faster.

With health care costs spiraling out of control, there are some simple fixes that we should explore that will drive down the actual cost of health care and open the doors for people to purchase their own plans.
Fix #1:
The current federal tax system requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees. This presents cookie-cutter approaches that drive up premiums because we are in common risk pools.

If the federal tax structure is changed to allow individuals to purchase their plans instead of employers, each individual could purchase the health care plan that meets their needs, much in the same way we currently purchase life insurance or car insurance.

Fix #2:
Examine what does not work and does not save money in Medicare and Medicaid. Many regulations are in place at the federal level that slows down the process of receiving health care, causes administrative hiccups in receiving reimbursements, and prevents a person from using the doctor of their choice.

Fix #3:
Provide methods to save doctors money on their overhead costs.

Tort reform, specifically, medical malpractice reform. The current health care system is about covering your butt instead of providing health care. Imagine if we empowered doctors instead of attorneys in the health care process! Doctors' insurance rates are increasing rapidly. Naturally, doctors must pass these costs on to customers. When third and fourth parties are involved in the costs the price naturally goes up because the direct parties are not responsible for setting the prices.

Doctors also leave medical school with thousands of dollars in loans and debt. To pay this off, they must pass the costs on to the individual (or the insurance company). Higher education is a whole other problem in itself, but imagine if students leaving medical school (or any other college, for that matter) did not leave with more personal debt then some small cities.

Every cost gets passed on to the consumer. The trick in health insurance is to drive down the actual cost of health care, which will drive down insurance costs. The government solution will not provide the cost efficiencies and lower costs necessary to drive down the actual cost of health care.

We must have solutions that empower individuals to make their own decisions and have options to deregulate the market. Driving down costs and providing more consumer options is the only way to truly improve both the costs and access to health care.


RedRose said...

Great suggestions. When the government leaves individual choice and responsibility out of the plan, it is doomed. And ObamaCare does. It is doomed.

We already have examples of how this will work: Medicare, Medicaid and the VA Hospitals. And this takeover by the federal government will ruin the best health care (not perfect, but better than any other out there) system in the world.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the US Post Office. The Obama Plan turns health care into the US Post Office instead of UPS. Long lines, no service, no personal care.