Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health Scare - Bucks County Courier Times August 20, 2009

Underlying the healthcare debate is the finest medical delivery system in the world. The solution is to make efficient use of available resource; to include the most intelligent, caring and hardest working people on the planet. Giving bureaucrats more control and interfering with the patient/doctor relationship will result in one of the greatest declines in our history.
Markets are incredibly complicated and their manipulation will often have undesirable ripple effects. The good news is that free markets are a "perfect machine" if left alone. Consumer choice and competition create an efficient environment of simplicity and availability. The first step, though, is to correct the current legal climate.
Tort reform is critical. Doctors are not malicious people and things do occasionally go wrong. Those trying to help you are the last ones to blame. Caps on non-economic damages simply have to happen. Specialists cannot perform their duties to their fullest potential when having to pay well into the 6-figures for medical malpractice insurance just to practice their craft.
There are legitimate claims, but there is terrible abuse by the legal community. Half of our traitorous members of Congress are lawyers so there's no surprise why this isn't on the table. There's just too many in leadership positions today putting their dysfunctional self-serving elitism before what's really important. Their corrupt behavior legitimizes dishonorable practices and encourages a vicious litigious cycle. Most of our problems today can be traced back to the core American values of personal responsibility, accountability and self-reliance getting lost in the shuffle.
Additional unnecessary costs are a direct result of doctors favoring expensive tests over clinical expertise. They are backed into this corner to cover themselves from an oppressive legal system. Excessive testing often has nothing to do with outcomes, but has everything to do with documentation for potential lawsuits. The costs of defensive medicine are unfortunate and remarkably draining to our entire economy (not to mention outright dangerous).
Another measure to consider is to penalize lawyers who make frivolous lawsuits. Introduce a "Loser Pays" rule to make some think twice about demonizing highly dedicated professionals. There can be special health courts presided by judges with unique experience in health related matters.
An additional step in solving our healthcare challenges is to reduce mandates. Allow people to select plans that meet their specific needs. I may wish to have a "catastrophic" plan only and pay for my annual physicals out of my own pocket as I go. Or I might prefer a health savings account that serves as an investment from which I can pull funds to pay for health requirements as needed or keep the money if I don't need the healthcare.
Tax breaks for the self-insured will be an important part of the solution as will access to plans across state lines. Higher co-pay/higher deductible/lower premium plans might make sense for some. Also, HMO's and insurance companies should not be making the patient care decisions that only medical professionals are qualified to make.
A problem with "free" healthcare is that there will be a core of people who will try to get as much of it as they can (whether they need it or not), will use it to get out of work and/or will simply make it an activity in and of itself. A free market healthcare system is the only way to put doctors, nurses, their supporting personnel and us back in charge. There is no other way to best serve the patient with quality care. The current proposals knock the patient down a few rungs on the priority list in favor of politics. Government programs will not lead to better care and will eventually lead to rationing when expenses become unsustainable.
Those who embrace universal healthcare are looking for government to solve a problem that they created in the first place. The unintended consequences of good intentions are often worse than the original condition and are grossly unfair. The solutions are simple and already at our fingertips and our President and Congress are in desperate need of a 2nd opinion before we all become terminal.