Healthcare

Contrary to what Washington says, there is no “healthcare crisis.” We have the finest healthcare system in the world. We really don’t have a “healthcare insurance crisis” either. Crisis is a word politicians toss around to give themselves an excuse to take drastic measures, like take control of 17 percent of our economy.

Now, what we do have is a healthcare system that is far more expensive than it has to be. There was a time when a medical bill could be paid for with a chicken, or a pie or some other cheap article or service. (I concede back then it didn’t take 8 to 12 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to become a doctor.) The same is true of health insurance: it doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is.

Let me state I am on the side of neither the physician nor the insurance company. And I won’t side with the patient. Each of those groups represents a portion of the populace. Each have the same rights under the Constitution, among which is neither healthcare nor health insurance. But liberty is a right, and if we allow our federal government to provide us healthcare or health insurance, we’ll have no choice but to sacrifice our liberty to get it.

Instead of choosing a side, let’s try looking at all sides. If you’re the patient, you expect your physician to give you the highest level of care, all the time. After all, he’s paid good money for the service he provides. If you’re the physician, you believe your patient deserves the best care possible and you’re responsible to secure it. This is part of your oath. Lastly, as an insurer, you expect to provide a necessary service at a profit. This is what motivates us all to provide either service or product.

Patient, let’s call you Doctor for a moment. How much would you charge for your services knowing that if your patient fails to pull through, despite your best efforts, you can be sued for millions of dollars?

Doctor, let’s call you the Insurer. How much would you charge for your product if you knew each time an insured person sees the physician that every conceivable test will be performed as a means of defense against a lawsuit?

Insurer, you be the Patient now. Knowing that you or your employer have paid thousands of dollars a year for a service that is rarely used, why should you care how much it costs to get treatment when you need it?

Fixing Healthcare in 2016

Create a system in which patients, physicians and insurers enter into a contract without government intervention. Physicians would agree to provide the best possible care. Patients would agree that, in exchange for more affordable care, they’ll assume they’re treated responsibly and forego any thought of lawsuit if things don’t go the way they hope. Insurers would agree to pay the bill they receive, and it would be much smaller than what they receive now. It would cover costs for procedures and tests absolutely relevant to the treatment, nothing more. The physician would no longer perform unnecessary tests to prove what is already known, because there’d be no need to protect against a lawsuit.

This approach may require the removal of certain restrictions from both medical professionals and insurers, but it doesn’t require any new legislation. As I’ve said, Congress should be doing very little to affect our daily lives. What the States choose to do is up to the States. If we’re not pleased with the direction of our State, we have 49 more to choose from. (Our federal government is another matter entirely.) The United States is a one-of-a-kind enterprise and we really must return it to greatness.