Lately I (Mr Centrist) have begun to toss around an idea that's beginning to grow into an opinion. Since most of you are pretty fiercely Left or Right, can you give me your thoughts?
I've always opposed state health care, and living this close to Canada have heard some stories about problems people have had.
They wait in lines, they can't sue anyone, and "availability" is often for the priviledged.
..But aside from lawsuits, is it really that different here now? I pay 400/month for my company's crappy Blue Cross plan. I have to go crawling to my primary physician for permission to go to any specialist. If I can't be sure my emergency is an emergency (which apparently makes me my own triage nurse) I could be charged hundreds of $$$.
My brother on the other hand pays 300 a month, and his plan doesn't require all the "permission/Referral" crap.
My retired in-laws are former teachers. They can do anything they darn well please. Optical, Chiropractors twice a week, aromatherapy, whatever. But by God, let's not "Ration" health care. Let's not tell some people they can go to a doctor but others can't.
So, if we're as rationed as the next country, then we're going through with all this....just for the right to sue? I think our society is paying a huge price just so uncle Morty can cash in on his bum hip.
1) The incredible expense in time and years to train Doctors. We do not have enough options in allowing for education, the stardard to practice medicine is too high. There is no reason we can't have pharasists and nurses have private practices that could. Doctors need to charge so much just to recoup the both the real and opportunity costs of becoming a doctor.
2) Lawsuits are just crazy, Tort reform is essential.
3) The FDA: the amount it costs to get a drug approved by the FDA is ridiculos. It is biased to type 2 error (the FDA much rather not approve a safe drug then let a bad drug out. It doesnt matter how many people die/get sick because of the inavailability of the drug because the headline risk of an unsafe drug would be career ending to teh person that approved the drug . But, everyone is killing Merck because of Vioxx right now, which just proves how inaffective the FDA is anyway.)
4) Medicare, Medicade and the current setup of issurance. When you aren't paying for the service or are paying a fixed amount, the tendency is to abuse the service (get your moneys worth.) This means more patients, less time per patient and a lower quality of service
If we were to socialize medicine we would not only have less quality care(see point 4), but also less innovation in drugs. When companies aren't allowed to profit, the incentive to research and develop new drugs is elimanated
The solution to me is less government in medicine, not more
According to a report I saw recently in the “liberal” media (in this case ABC News ;) ), the ongoing crisis in health care has resulted in the greatest cause of bankruptcy in America (and many of these people had health insurance!). I don’t profess to know the answers, but it doesn’t take a degree in health care administration to know that the system is bordering on the obscene. And for all the recent talk about Social Security, all the pre-election polls indicated that health care was near the top of the list of current concerns.