The fundamental role of the health care industry is being fought over.
The republicans think it is all about making money.
The Democrats think it is about providing health care.
The present situation is unsustainable. As the number of people who cannot afford health care rises, the economic viability of the industry shrinks. Economic realities of the present system are pushing new doctors toward specialty practices, and away from rural medicine, general/family practice, and geriatrics.
Conservatives want to lock in this failing trajectory, but America needs a radical change in that trajectory.
Consider what a free market NFL would be like: the big, wealthy market teams buy up the best talent. The smaller markets become uncompetitive, unprofitable, and drop out. As the size of the leagues shrink, so does interest in the sport – and profitability for the larger markets. In the end, the entire league fails.
At a micro level, measuring success in dollars is fine. But at a macro level, success must be measured in contribution to society, or the society fails.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
- Gingrich Wanted To ‘Sustain The Good Parts’ Of Health Reform In 2010 (thinkprogress.org)
- What happens if republicans repeal ‘Obamacare’ ? (examiner.com)
- Trahant: GOP Congress Threatens Indian Health Care (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
The economics of medicine and health care are leading it toward failure from the perspective of the average consumer/patient. Rural medicine was only the first victim.
The high cost of a medical education all too often leaves more debt than a general practice could reasonably pay off, driving doctors to more lucrative specialties.
The present system is no longer viable. Rural medicine, general practice, family practice, geriatrics, whole areas of medicine are in decline due to the present financial structure.
Slowing the growth of health insurance premiums was only the first step in health care reform.
- We need to cut down on defensive medicine.
- We need to find ways to bring down the cost of malpractice insurance.
- We need to get politics out of the doctor’s office.
- We need to get the church out of the doctor’s office.
- We need to get drug salesmen out of the doctor’s office – there are better ways to disseminate new drug information, ways that do not manipulate what doctors prescribe.
- We need standardized electronic medical records – and very simple, intuitive ways to generate, maintain, distribute, and use them.
The GOP plan to privatize Medicare does none of that. Their
voucher subsidy price support plan literally and figuratively passes the buck and doubles down on the very system that is failing.
We may have to redesign how we handle malpractice cases where punitive damages are currently awarded. There seems to be a number of situations where monetary penalties are not working, possibly because it is too easy to pass the cost on to others.
- Primary care providers are needed to support health reform (kevinmd.com)
- Medscape/WebMD Poll: How Much Are Doctors Paid? (webmd.com)
- The future of your health care (money.cnn.com)
- You: How patients can help doctors practice better, less costly medicine (washingtonpost.com)
As usual, people are asking the wrong questions.
Given the increasing cost of a medical education and the resulting debt carried by graduates, and given the growing disparity between compensation for specialists and general practitioners, there is a fundamental divergence between the free-market health care system and the needs of patients.
The first question to ask is:
What is the purpose of the health care industry in America: the exercise of free-market principles or maintaining and improving the health of the American people?
More simply put:
What is in the best interests of the country: the health and productivity of the American people, or the economic theory that has produced a system that is failing Americans by the millions and failing more every year?
Is health care a right, a privilege, or a necessity?
The third question:
What is more important: the needs, rights, and expectations of the patient, or the religious beliefs of health care workers?
Lost in the reform debate are the efforts of religious zealots to inject their beliefs into patient care. Overshadowed by the battle between reproductive rights vs dominionism is the Bush-era “conscience clause“ rule that allows health care workers to put their religious beliefs ahead of the medical needs of patients, undermining health care delivery and the doctor-patient relationship – without which the American health care system falls apart.
- Poll finds Americans undecided on healthcare repeal (thehill.com)
- Republicans erred with health care reform repeal vote (sfgate.com)