Thanks to Eric for asking this question. I’ll try to be short but you asked for it. This is a big topic. PLEASE, forgive typos, I am in a hurry. Yes, I always think about and have positive suggestions for what I criticize. So, here goes:
First repeal ObamaCare completely. It is not about healthcare, it is about government control over people’s lives. The government that controls the health of its people controls its people. Never forget that. See previous post on the absurdity of ObamaCare. Come on, 16,000 IRS agents? The Surgeon General becoming part of the military? 2 other regiments of Pretorian Guard units? Taxes on tanning beds? That’s not about healthcare.
Next, lets look at the uninsured. There are those uninsured by choice. They prefer it. Why?
Some are young, healthy, and cannot justify the expense. Most get by just fine.
Some have found that insurance will not pay for the services they would seek and/or use. Specifically alternative providers and methods.
Some are wealthy and can afford to completely self-insure, even against catastrophic illness or accidents, so why give insurance companies thousands a year? (I am NOT in this category.) Leave these people alone, they are not the problem.
Probably un-pc to mention, but the uninsured numbers are inflated due to illegal aliens. While some consider border crashing a right, it is not. Laws should be enforced until they are changed. But that is a another story.
Point being, the numbers are not as significant as they appear. But, that is no consolation to someone who needs care, cannot afford it, and has no coverage. SO, what to do? Here’s my suggestions.
Understand healthcare is not a right, it is a responsibility, each individual’s responsibility. If it is not, it means I am responsible because someone else (or their parents) choses to smoke, drink, skydive, eat at Burger KIng, whatever. Screw that. People who chose high risk behavior should pay the price for it, not have their risk spread out over all of us. Individual responsibility must be created in people’s minds. The notion that people can do whatever they want and when their body fails someone else should pay for it is not only morally wrong, it is a lot of the reason for the dis-health walking the streets today. However, this attitude is the foundation of allopathic medicine, which can only thrive if there is ever increasing dis-health. If wellness broke out it would be an economic disaster to our current system. There must be an attitudinal shift to health & wellness and it must be forced down people’s throats if necessary. Not to restrict free will, but if you want to dance you should have to pay the fiddler.
The true solution is to make coverage, or the ability to pay for care, affordable again. When I was born, everyone could afford healthcare and few had insurance. Now few can afford healthcare and everyone almost has to have insurance. This is not an accident, it is by design. It is a brilliant scam to scare the public into buying insurance, create a huge pool of money, and draw from it. Insurance companies make money as it passes through their hands. The allopaths can constantly increase their rates and thus insurance costs must go up, and around goes the wheel. Then make sure people keep getting sicker and sicker and it is a gold mine for the allopathic-insurance cartel. This cycle must be broken. (NOTE: ObamaCare facilitates the cycle with government funding and mandatory participation.) .
There are two main sides to address, the patient and the providers.
First, create a system of health savings accounts, with unlimited contribution levels and every dollar contributed eligible for a 100% tax credit. This would apply to either the individual purchaser or to the business (employer) who contributes to the employee’s fund. People can then “shop” for care, compare prices and purchase the best options for themselves. Unused funds accumulate year to year. (This would be a huge boon to alternative providers.)
For people who cannot afford to contribute to such a plan, based on income and circumstances, the government, that’s the taxpaying (working) citizens, will contribute to fund plans for those people, administered through state governments using some form of controlled debit card.
Because savings accounts might not be built up enough to cover a catastrophic health event, insurance companies would offer “umbrella” policies that would reimburse savings accounts for catastrophic, or even minor events, depending on the coverage one purchases. Again 100% tax credit to the individual or employer. The indigent would be covered by government subsidies.
Insurance companies would be allowed to market a wider menu of products nationally (across state lines). True, unrestricted competition is good. (John D. Rockfeller said, “competition is a sin,” and thus began the era of the cartels. Our current medical system is a cartel of the allopaths, the pharmaceuticals, insurers, and government. Government is always a player in cartels.)
All billing for care must go through the patient’s savings account and must be approved by and paid for by the patient. Insurance would reimburse the patient, never the provider. This would virtually eliminate the billions lost to insurance fraud. Counselors and advisors can be provided for those who cannot figure it all out. Of course they will get corrupted and soon be on the take but it would be better than the current system.
Cost efficient systems of care must rise to the top of the medical food chain. Allopahty must be relegated to crisis and trauma care - which they are the absolute best at. Alternative providers of the patient’s choice should be able to be reimbursed from the patient’s health savings account. Likewise alternative remedies and procedures.
The allopathic medical monopoly, granted and enforced by state governments must be broken and open market competition between all providers encouraged. Freedom to practice acts should be passed in every state. If you hurt somebody you should get punished big time, but no harm - no hassles. In conjunction with this, Freedom of Choice in healthcare legislation should be passed in every state and no one should be forced to submit to forced healthcare of any kind against their will.
Providers should be able to advertise rates and services openly. Success and failure rates would have to be posted publicly for hospitals and providers providing surgical, radiological, and pharmaceutical care. Again, encouraging competition.
Government regulations like HIPPA and other oppressive, expensive government regulations would be repealed.
State boards would be forbidden from persecuting providers who use or recommend alternative procedures.
The malpractice system needs to be changed, but in some way that still protects the injured while allowing providers to practice without constant fear of being sued for trying to help someone. Too much money is currently wasted due to CYA tests and procedures.
Reduce as much federal regulation as possible and delegate government oversight to state and local agencies.
Women face more healthcare challenges than men and this should be considered, There may need to be some form of local or state government operated or subsidized clinics to provide contraceptive care, OBGYN services, etc. for this very important and special needs group that is currently under served as health in future generation begins here. No government funding of abortion, as is currently the case.
Something has to be done about the degradation of the food supply. We are what we eat and health begins with nutrition, not medications. Strong organic standards must be established, rigidly enforced, and given priority over conventional food production. 100% accuracy in food labeling, including clear labeling of irradiated and GMO foods. Extensive safety studies must be done on all GMO food plants and animals as well as any mass treatments such as fluoridation. (No, there has never been a safety study done on fluoridation, but that’s another story.) No vaccine should be required until extensive safety studies are completed and published. (But you could take it prior to safety studies if you want.) Mercury should be banished from healthcare.
Finally, incentives must be given for health & wellness, either to individuals or to providers, maybe both. This can be done through tax incentives, lower umbrella policy rates, education from early ages, or other creative ideas.
In summary, create open competition, less regulation, incentives for wellness, and a safety net for those who need it, but never a hammock. This coupled with an improved food supply, increased education and awareness and you will see a dramatic decrease in healthcare costs, an improvement in services delivered, and overall improvement in the health of the citizens. What do you think?