Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Care

Health Care Delivery and Payment System Reform

Much is being said but I am not certain those with the highest volume are speaking for their constituencies or for the donor interests possibly aiming at short term profits for themselves at the expense of the actual constituency. If this proves to be the case, then a reevaluation of qualifications is in order.

Individual choice is glibly paid homage to by saying these are the allowed possibilities and you have your freedom to choose by choosing among these. This is not freedom. True freedom would allow for all the choices the individual could imagine or research for the spending of hard earned cash. Being told to buy something created by others for their own profit and using their definition of greater good for all is not freedom.

Money is earned and taxes are paid and insurance is another mandated tax? Or should that insurance money be in the hands of the earner for discretionary spending in healthcare? Discretionary money is the key to competition. Competition eliminated by mandatory insurance and subsequent price fixing has resulted in high prices for the services and huge administrative costs while rates rise and rise, like ticks. Who benefits?

The series of siphons on this insurance money is supporting an edifice of personnel who want to keep their control over the insurance premium money. These people are hiring lobbyists and donating to campaigns. How about health care paid for in cash by people on a discretionary basis? That means cash and competition, which lowers prices. The issue is availability of health care, which I translate as the cost of health care. If the cost for routine care is low, people can afford health care. Sell insurance at a high deductable for catastrophes and if somebody does not buy it and needs specialization, they are referred to social services. Catastrophic insurance should be freely chosen and of low cost.

Tort reform is another need. How about individuals carrying their own insurance against malpractice on a discretionary basis per procedure? Individuals would then only pay for the actual instance involving them, rather than subsidizing high insurance rates. Doctors would be relieved of the burden of malpractice insurance, since the patient would have personal insurance. We should have the right to choose discretionary spending on health care at a reasonable price over mandatory insurance programs with ever rising costs.

Stimulus money could be used to establish clinics in neighborhoods, which would employ people and provide health care at a reasonable cost. Don’t forget that health care is not synonymous with health insurance. We need affordable health care.