Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Saddest Part Of The Health Care Reform Effort

The saddest part of the health care reform effort is the aversion to change the known, underlying, fundamental, structural problems of the US health care system. The Congressional and Presidential endeavors to expand health coverage and alter medical costs, insurance and reimbursement focus on the current deficiencies instead of the causes.

Our elected officials' attempts to call a patchwork repair a permanent solution to the health care problem create the mainstream public's dissatisfaction with all the proposals.

Our health care system, through government policies and interventions, has fortified itself from the normal economic, capitalistic forces that affect all other services and products in the US and that deliver services and products to as many as possible at the lowest achievable costs while maintaining quality.

Despite the dialogue in the press, the media and by elected officials, correcting our medical services requires dealing with the forces that distort the proper functioning of a cost effective, competitive, market serving, demand meeting health care system at its roots and not through a band-aid solution.

A long-term fix to our health care system requires removing the distorting forces, which will allow capitalistic, competitive forces to reestablish themselves.

The structural problems with our health system are well documented. They are just not part of the government proposal to fix health care.

Some of the structural problems with health care that need fixing for a permanent solution are:

To fix the medical system, the government needs to remove the tax advantage that employers have for providing a health insurance benefit. The government needs to eliminate the employer tax deduction for providing a health insurance employee benefit.

The government needs to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines to allow insurance portability and to increase insurance competition.

The government needs to override state licensing laws to allow medical professionals, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, etc. with less training than doctors to provide cheaper medical care for simple health matters.

The government needs to increase the supply of doctors and other medical professionals in the US, which has not grown to match US population growth.

The government needs to lower the cost of medical training.

The government needs to change Medicare and Medicaid to a Food Stamp model. The government should give vouchers to seniors and the poor to purchase their own private health insurance.

Only when the forces that contributed to the current state of our health care system are dealt with straight on, instead of through a patchwork response, will we have an effective, believable solution to health care. A believable, effective proposal will garner the public's support.

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