In the event that you have been residing under a moss-covered rock, I am informing you that our healthcare system is a mess. I could spend days typing and still not cover a fraction of a percent of the reasons or possible reasons why. Everybody involved has a different idea of who’s to blame, from doctors to insurance companies to patients themselves, and everybody in between. It really doesn’t matter who screwed it up, because I doubt if they did it intentionally anyway. Let’s just fix it, and here’s how.
We start by making healthcare available to everyone at no cost to them. The insurance companies administer it so they can still make a profit and keep their employees working. The government pays the premiums with a flat sales tax on everything. Patients are allowed and encouraged to a fixed number of Doctor visits, unless they and their Doctor think they need more and state the reason. Nobody second-guesses their decision, but both Patient and Doctor will lose credibility with their piers if they abuse the system. Clinics can increase the ratio of preventive care and decrease critical care as a result. Healthcare Professionals can have more balance in their workload, which will reduce errors. The money saved by patients and employers by not having insurance costs will mean a major boost to the economy. People for the most part won’t notice a slight increase in the cost of their purchases because they will have more money to begin with. Those who already have a good plan that is paid for by an employer or retirement plan can get a rebate that can be split with the payer to offset the flat tax. All drugs prescribed by a Doctor would be covered, with an allowance for some over the counter drugs and vitamins. If we include both Long Term Care and Home Care there may even be hope for some of our Seniors who may be wondering why they worked so hard, only to have it taken away by a nursing home. Medicare will be replaced so no more debate about how to keep it solvent, and the amounts currently withheld will go into the kitty. There will no longer be a need for Medical assistance, so that is more saved.
What will it cost, how much of a Sales tax? It will cost what it costs, much less than it costs now. Will it be perfect and without problems or abuses? No, nothing ever will be. Will it be easy to implement? No, but the problems we face without a change will be a lot harder. Typically, my views are more to the right of center than this, but the time has come to repair the mess we have today. The hardest part of implementing this solution, will be to sell it to the arrogant individuals who should have came up with a solution a long time ago and didn’t.
This is an editorial. If you have valid reasons my solution won’t work, or if you have improvements on my ideas, by all means let’s hear them.