Constitutionally Right

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Repeal Replace - Bucks County Courier Times January 17, 2017

     Everyone’s talking about repealing and replacing the ultra-failure known as Obamacare, but not one person says a thing about what to replace it with.  It’s as if those criticizing it are as bad as those who support it.  Well maybe not as bad, but still not good.  Nonetheless, you simply cannot fix a problem with what caused it in the first place.
     The solution is nothing new and has been spelled out with precision by Harvard professor Regina Herzlinger in both of her books, “Market Driven Health Care” and “Who Killed Health Care”.  The author explains what went wrong and how to fix it.
     The beginning of the end was in the late 1930’s when health care started to become attached to employment.  Seemed like a good idea even though salaries were reduced by the cost of coverage, but then someone in Congress got the bright idea to give corporations a tax break for the benefits they provide.
     This naturally led to someone in a basement cubicle selecting health care plans and has morphed into every special interest and their brother getting a mandate for something or other.  These people selecting your plans for you are often pretty smart, but not necessarily smart enough to know what you want or need.
     Many speak of tort-reform, erasing state lines and different types of plans, but there’s a larger factor that drives insanity.  That would be the current mechanism where payments go directly from the payor to the provider completely bypassing the patient.  The patient often doesn’t know or care what anything costs.
     Fortunately, some of the greatest minds on earth go into medicine and do a phenomenal job regardless, but you know that there’s a big problem when a practice has a 5-story building just to manage the bureaucracy.  And nothing’s changing until the patient is in charge of their own health care.  As far as I know there’s no known case of a severely injured person screaming for a politician or a lawyer.  Sometimes lawyers scream for patients, but that’s another thing.
     The Free Market really hasn’t existed in medicine for most of our lifetimes, but that’s where the answer lay.  When pennies on the dollar of a $2 trillion annual health care expenditure actually goes to health care one can’t help but to conclude that the first step is to forbid your children from going to law school. 
     Aside from that, the real first step would be to create a mechanism where the patient shops for their own health care with money from insurance.  They would have incentive to find the best value in quality and cost in an environment that would be seamless to do so. 
     It wouldn’t be much different from buying a car where most consumers don’t know much about cars, but those who do would provide all of the necessary information to make great decisions.  Providers would compete for your health care dollars and there’d even be competition for pre-existing conditions.
     Then, with all of this money being spent a lot more wisely there’d be plenty available to truly help the poor. 
     The positive ripple effects of a Free Market are endless and far too complex to create any other way.  The current system of government setting prices would be an example of a market that’s not free.  It’s rather oppressive and is what creates the $60 aspirin. 
     I could go on, but it just occurred to me that I’m writing this for free when elected officials making 6-figures should be doing this.  So I shall hand off the baton for them to start doing something meaningful for the first time.  I used to think that elected officials were synonymous with leadership, but now know better.
     In the meantime try to avoid getting sick or injured, but if you must chances are good that a doctor or nurse will be at hand that has a greater sense of duty than those we periodically vote for.  We’d like to vote for the best person, but they rarely run (since they’re too busy doing the real work).  Maybe if we banned politicians from running for public office…

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