What Would You Do To Fix America’s Rapidly Failing Health Care System?

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You may be quite surprised by how people answered this question on Facebook. Earlier today, I posted the question in the headline to my Facebook profile, and I got dozens of responses. Obamacare has resulted in much higher insurance premiums, lower quality care and more red tape, and I have talked to so many conservatives that desperately want Congress to do something about it. Today, Americans spend more on health care per capita than anyone else on the planet, and yet we have one of the unhealthiest populations in the entire industrialized world. We must do better, and I believe that we can do better.

 

In this article, I would like to share my thoughts on just a few of the comments that were left on my Facebook profile. The original comments that were posted by others are in bold, and my responses follow each one…

“The Federal government should not be involved in health care.”

I definitely agree with that. Whenever the federal government gets involved in anything it tends to get worse. We once had the greatest health care system in the world, but the more that federal bureaucrats have gotten into the mix the more it has declined.

“A free market system!”

This just seems like common sense to me, but unfortunately most members of Congress don’t seem to agree. Free markets work if you allow them to, but the trend all over the globe is to move toward socialized healthcare. Personally, I believe that we need to move toward free market principles throughout our society, and true competition would do much to dramatically drive down health care costs.

“Crack down big time on Medicare fraud, leave feds out of healthcare.”

Medicaid fraud costs us about 140 billion dollars a year, and Medicare fraud has been estimated to be somewhere around 60 billion dollars a year. So if you we could just crack down on those two things, we could save up to 200 billion dollars a year.

“Break the FDA big pharma monopoly.”

Yes, there are way too many executives going back and forth between the FDA and the big pharmaceutical companies. I don’t understand why Republicans and Democrats both don’t want to fix this.

“Go hard after big pharma and hospitals for being the greedy pigs they are.”

Greed is a major problem in our health care system. Way too many are in it just to make as much money as possible, and that should not be what drives people into this profession.

“Let people join medical clubs like Sean Hannity proposes.”

Rand Paul has also suggested the same thing. We should allow any group of people to band together to purchase health insurance. That would greatly level the playing field between us and the big health insurance companies, and it would definitely help drive down costs.

In addition, models such as direct primary care that cut out the big health insurance companies completely should be encouraged. Health insurance companies are the number one factor driving up health care costs, and collectively they now make about 15 billion dollars in profits a year.

“Stop the illegitimate lawsuits based on greed. Again, doctors are human and unfortunate outcomes happen even when care was provided correctly. There are risks in everything.”

Tort reform is going to have to happen state by state, but it is desperately needed. Malpractice insurance has become exceedingly expensive, and doctors pass those costs along to their patients. If we ever want to drive down costs to where they should be, this is something that must be addressed.

“Be like Canada!!!!”

That sounds good, but it isn’t the solution to our problems. I personally know Canadians that have come down to the U.S. for care because they can’t get the care that they need back home in Canada.

“Legislation needs to be introduced that forces health insurance companies to compete across state lines.”

This is something that President Trump has been pushing for a long time, and I very much agree with him. Competition across state lines will drive down rates, and this is something that should be implemented as soon as possible.

“More emphasis on nutrition, education about whole foods and natural healing, non- GMOs.”

I very much agree. Today, most doctors only have two types of solutions to offer: drugs or surgery. I believe that natural solutions need to be incorporated much more extensively into our system of health care, and that is something that we should all be able to agree upon.

“Force all US Senators, Congressman and their families to be on whatever healthcare system they force on us peons. No exceptions!”

That only seems fair, right? If I am elected, I am going to push very hard to make sure that the same rules that apply to all of the rest of us also apply to all members of Congress. And if you would like to help make this a reality, I would encourage you to visit HelpMichaelWin.com.

Ultimately, I believe that we need to rebuild our system of health care from the ground up, and that begins with medical school. For decades medical schools have been greatly restricting the number of medical students, and now the growing doctor shortage in this country is becoming a major crisis.

Like others have proposed, I believe that we need to double the number of medical students immediately. And we need to do whatever else we can to promote more competition and the implementation of free market principles in our health care system.

It won’t be easy to fix things, and we have got a lot of corrupt politicians that we need to kick out of office, but I believe that we can get there if we all work together.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

 
  • greanfinisher .

    Simple: Everyone should be responsible for their own health care.

    • Zlatko Milanovic

      Perhaps you were unaware that 28 million Americans have no insurance, can’t afford any, and go without care? Is that OK?

      • greanfinisher .

        The federal government was never intended to become someone’s nanny.

        • James

          Should the US emulate a model similar to Somalia or Mexico?

          • greanfinisher .

            No, the US should emulate a model similar to that originally laid out in the Constitution.

          • James

            You mean a flexible government that adapts to fit the needs of citizens?

            See amendment process.

          • greanfinisher .

            The Constitution does provide for amendments.

          • James

            Why are the thoughts of couple of people who existed 300 years ago the most adept ideals to respond to today’s problems?

          • greanfinisher .

            The framers of the Constitution were brilliant and visionary people, and because that flawless document is still relevant to this age is testament to that fact.

          • James

            Does Newton get to decide infrastructure policy because his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica is still relevant?

            Please stop, just because they were hyped on Enlightment ideals doesn’t mean everything they did is relevant to the modern day. All the Founding Fathers had slaves and believed that women shouldn’t vote. Should we return to slavery and female servitude?

          • greanfinisher .

            As you previously alluded to, the drafters of the Constitution did provide for the amendment process.

          • James

            So your point is that the Founders created a government outlined in the constitution that can be changed with the amendment process and popular input?

          • greanfinisher .

            The Constitution can be altered, but bearing only 27 amendments to date, it is by no means a simple task.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Ocare… the law that is repealing itself!

    • Zlatko Milanovic

      More like the law that would succeed if Republicans would stop sabotaging it, but we can’t have that,because then the American people would benefit!

  • Zlatko Milanovic

    Universal, single payer system. See Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, etc. It works, ours doesn’t. Get rid of the profit motive and get down to real health care.

    • AmazonisBilderberg

      And get rid of the fine. No one should get hundreds of dollars stolen from them for not buying something.

  • DJohn1

    We do need more doctors in competition with each other. Not going to happen.
    The American Medical Association will make sure of that.
    When you go to a hospital they share the wealth, yours that is.
    You are likely to have 4 or 5 doctors signing off on your chart daily. I suggest you might need one doctor instead. A second doctor’s opinion might be necessary to confirm the first doctor’s diagnosis and they are really good at diagnosis. Not so much at curing anything cheaply.
    Currently for the latest and greatest insulin injection via pen you are talking $300 per month out of pocket for the slow acting insulin and over $600 dollars per month for the fast acting insulin.
    Those rates are likely to continue to rise so that no one can afford to live that is type one or type two diabetic. And that is just one problem with the pharmaceutical companies bought out by speculators. These people are business oriented and they want huge profits from you and me.
    India is experimenting with a plant called bitter melon that is an alternate to insulin. It is cheap to produce and is a natural plant so there is no prescription necessary. Do not think they will allow it when it becomes known that it might make regular insulin obsolete. It is taken by mouth. And it really tastes bad.
    There is no regulation on price. So they can just about charge anything they want if you are dependent on a prescription to live.
    Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, all professionals are likely to attempt to steal your money either legally or not so legally and they have many examples of this corrupt behavior.
    Try getting workman’s comp without a lawyer taking 0ne third of your first check which includes all the back pay that may take 3 months to get.
    It is probably the greatest professional organization in the world. And they steal legally.
    The problem is the really professional crooks are in charge in our Congress. THEY MAKE THE RULES BY WHICH THE REST OF US ARE STOLEN FROM.
    The greatest theft of all is our Medicaid system of paying for nursing home care for the elderly. First, they drain all funds from the recipient. Then they put the person on Medicare for approximately 3 weeks to 6 months to the tune of about 6,000-8,000 per month. I think Medicare comes first, then they drain your finances of everything they can. After you are totally broke, they switch you over to medicaid. In some cases that means you lose your house that you paid a bank a lifetime to own.
    Our system of mortgages is messed up big time. You start by paying 95% interest and 5% principle. If you bought a car for the same amount of money you put in a house then it might be paid off in 5-10 years. The banking system stiffs you for 30-40 years on a mortgage. The only way around it is to add principle payments to the mortgage payment so it pays off early.
    It is all part of the theft from the average American people. So no, there is no way to get rid of Obamacare as long as the professionals are in charge.

    • Amazon NWO

      The profit motive explains why doctors always get asasinated (restricted word) whenever they find a cure for cancer. To make things worse, the medical mafia likely puts nagalase in vaccines to cause cancer on purpose, which ensures high profits later. Some of the doctors who wound up dead or missing believed that the nagalase protein/enzyme was being introduced intentionally into the body either virally or directly through vaccines.

      The nagalase protein was not present in children at birth but was introduced into autistic children likely during the immunization process according to Dr. Bradstreet. Needless to say Dr. Bradstreet is no longer alive.

  • newpapyrus

    I’d dramatically reduce government and private health insurance expenditures by replacing both of them with Federal and employer financed medical savings accounts.

    $100 per month would be deposited into your Federal account every month ($1200 per year) if you’re an American citizen or a child that’s at least a permanent resident. Additional deposits of $100 per month would be placed in your Federal account if you’re also permanently disabled, a veteran, or a child. And if you’re a senior (65 years of age or above) you would receive an additional $300 per month into your Federal account.

    If you run out of funds in your Federal account, the Federal government would still pay your medical bills– but you’d have to pay the Federal government $100 a month (out of pocket) until your savings account is once again in the black. An additional annual fee of 3% of your annual income would also be charged if your account is in the red.

    This Federal medical savings account system would replace government Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans health care expenditures, saving the Federal tax payers more than $200 billion per year. State tax payers (for the entire nation) would also see a more than $150 billion reduction in annual taxes.

    Your employer would also deposit $100 per month into your– private medical savings account– plus $50 per month for up to three relatives. This would reduce employer expenditures on health insurance by more than 60%. Private medical savings accounts would also be deposited in an FDIC insured bank of your choice where they can garner interest.

    When you use your health care card for medical, dental, or eye examinations or procedures or when purchasing pharmaceuticals or health care related devices, money would be taken out of your private account. If there are no longer any funds available in your private account then money would be extracted from your Federal account.

    Because there would be a strong incentive by consumers to avoid paying monthly and annual out of pocket fees to the Federal government, most Americans would keep their medical accounts in the black by choosing the best medical care– at the lowest price. And you could finally go to the doctor, hospital, or clinic of your choice, anywhere in America and change them anytime you want.

    This would dramatically drive down the cost of medical care in the US– as it has in other countries with a large medical savings account component– such as Singapore. Plus Americans would no longer have to worry about going bankrupt because of the high medical expenditures.

    Marcel

  • James

    Medicaid fraud costs us about 140 billion dollars a year, and Medicare fraud has been estimated to be somewhere around 60 billion dollars a year. So if you we could just crack down on those two things, we could save up to 200 billion dollars a year.

    Except no, because you need people to analyze records and that costs money. You need to put those people in an office and that costs money. You need to litigate it and that costs money.

  • James

    Yes, there are way too many executives going back and forth between the FDA and the big pharmaceutical companies. I don’t understand why Republicans and Democrats both don’t want to fix this.

    So let me get this straight …
    the FDA takes too long to approve drugs and approves drugs just so Merck can make money? Okay…

    Also, yes the FDA does approve cures. See Harvoni (Hep C), Azithromycin(Strep), and Synthroid(Stage I, II, III Thyroid Cancer).

  • James

    That sounds good, but it isn’t the solution to our problems. I personally know Canadians that have come down to the U.S. for care because they can’t get the care that they need back home in Canada.

    I personally know Americans who go to Canada for care because they can’t get the care that they need back home in the States.

    I also see that Canada has better health incomes and no medical bankruptcies.

  • James

    This is something that President Trump has been pushing for a long time, and I very much agree with him. Competition across state lines will drive down rates, and this is something that should be implemented as soon as possible.

    Obamacare also allows cross state lines with state consent. Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming. Yet none of these states has had a single new insurer enter its market because of its law.

    SEC. 1333. PROVISIONS RELATING TO OFFERING OF PLANS IN MORE THAN ONE STATE.(a) HEALTH CARE CHOICE COMPACTS.—

    (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than July 1, 2013, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, issue regulations for the creation of healthcare choice compacts under which 2 or more States may enter into an agreement under which—(A) 1 or more qualified health plans could be offered in the individual markets in all such States but, except as provided in subparagraph

  • R.C. Gerber

    Well, what did they do with the Hindenburg?

  • James

    Ultimately, I believe that we need to rebuild our system of health care from the ground up, and that begins with medical school. For decades medical schools have been greatly restricting the number of medical students, and now the growing doctor shortage in this country is becoming a major crisis.

    The biggest problem is the lack of RESIDENCIES. International med students come in droves to sit for American board exams but can’t find residencies because they are grossly limited. Further, you need a residency to practice medicine in any state. Medical schools are not the biggest cause.

  • James

    Tort reform is going to have to happen state by state, but it is desperately needed. Malpractice insurance has become exceedingly expensive, and doctors pass those costs along to their patients. If we ever want to drive down costs to where they should be, this is something that must be addressed.

    Case Study: Iowa and Missouri.
    Iowa didn’t tort reform, Missouri did tort reform.
    Guess where premiums increased more for tort insurance.
    MISSOURI.

  • James

    Rand Paul has also suggested the same thing. We should allow any group of people to band together to purchase health insurance. That would greatly level the playing field between us and the big health insurance companies, and it would definitely help drive down costs.

    No, it wouldn’t. It makes for terrible risk management and the two largest insurance companies in the United States – Medicare and Medicaid still can’t negotiate prices well.

  • James

    In addition, models such as direct primary care that cut out the big health insurance companies completely should be encouraged.

    No they are not. Insurance is necessary due to high hospital costs; insurance acts as a management of risk. Insurance companies stabilize prices and do not raise them because hospitals are exposed to higher patient volume.

  • James

    Health insurance companies are the number one factor driving up health care costs, and collectively they now make about 15 billion dollars in profits a year.

    True but misleading. Look at the Consolidated Income statements for Aetna, Cigna, Anthem, and other publicly traded health insurance companies.
    They lose money on policies and underwriting. The companies profit comes from investment (in stock/bond markets), not from underwriting.

  • James

    Greed is a major problem in our health care system. Way too many are in it just to make as much money as possible, and that should not be what drives people into this profession.

    Money is the only thing that drives people.
    How do you suggest busting greed? National bargaining for drug prices and health care procedures?

  • James

    This just seems like common sense to me, but unfortunately most members of Congress don’t seem to agree. Free markets work if you allow them to, but the trend all over the globe is to move toward socialized healthcare. Personally, I believe that we need to move toward free market principles throughout our society, and true competition would do much to dramatically drive down health care costs.

    The only reason there is government intervention is because the free market failed. See price elasticity, Great Depression.

  • James

    We once had the greatest health care system in the world, but the more that federal bureaucrats have gotten into the mix the more it has declined.

    Since when? Since government research began, more drugs came out and life expectancy rose. Since government launched Medicare and Medicaid, outcomes rose slightly.

  • Midwesterner

    The article (and most people) miss the biggest elephant in the room. The first meddling Congress did to health care that lead to steep price increases is the law that requires a health care facility to treat everyone that comes in regardless of ability to pay. The medical facilities simply pass that cost along to their insured patients. Healthcare costs skyrocketed and the hospital emergency rooms began filling up with Criminal Aliens as a result.

  • Jim Bergsten

    Posted the following elsewhere (apologies for the length). Little traction. Basically nobody cares, except for those attempting to move the profits from other people’s pockets to their own.

    ——————————-

    “Until insurance providers need customers more than customers need insurance providers nothing will change. Meanwhile, soundbite away.”

    This seemed to get a bit of response, so here’s the longer version written the weekend before:

    Here are the actual issues with US health care as it stands today:

    1. There is no control on or understanding of cost. A person seeking care has no idea what the cost might be, which is understandable to a point when the treatment requirements may vary considerably. Complex care justifies some difference in cost, but overpriced “thousand-dollar cotton swabs” doesn’t.

    2. The reason there is no control is because there is no accountability, because the perception is that “insurance will cover it,” so patients generally don’t care (and to some degree exhibit glee) when they see outrageous bills that are then “discounted” and largely paid for by insurance. We see similar behavior in student loans, where college costs skyrocket simply “because they can.”

    3. The reason health insurance costs are so high is because there is no effective competition either (cost and coverage being set by regulation), so these companies grow internally to outrageously large size with no interest in efficiency. Note, I am not talking “profits,” or even “executive salaries.” I’m talking tens of thousands of employees, in hundreds of buildings, with hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure, doing what exactly?

    (In passing, a friend who works for one of the Dental insurance companies, said they have over 25,000 DIFFERENT contracts with dentists, employers, and unions. This is so complex that they haven’t the ability to even tell whether a given contract is profitable, or even break-even).

    4. A contributing reason for this inefficiency and size is that the insurance industry has placed itself in the middle of EVERY medical transaction, taking a piece off the top each time, just like a taxing agency. They are in the middle of patient care, medical malpractice, prescriptions, preventative health care, workplace-related injury, disability, and so on.

    5. Because of the “tax agency” nature of current insurance, they can be in an adversarial relationship with everyone – their customers, their providers, their employers, and so on. Since there is no real interest in either customer service or efficiency, as soon as one attempts any transaction that doesn’t involve paying for insurance, it’s a prolonged, difficult battle. I’ve personally witnessed cases where insurance companies, if they can be reached at all, seem willing to spend thousands to deny the payment of a few dollars.

    6. Once health insurance became “obligatory,” companies no longer have to worry about revenue, so they turn their attention to maximizing profit. This has resulted in poorer coverage, higher deductibles, forced changes to lifestyle, and so on.

    7. Finally, as in other major industries, they have the resources to lobby and get laws and regulations passed and candidates elected to favor them over constituencies. Meaning, there is no way they can or will be coerced to change. To think otherwise, or to propose a solution that would seem to jeopardize them is illusory.

    So, it’s hopeless.

    But, let’s for a moment assume it isn’t. What might be better? In priority order:

    1. All governments need to get out of the business of legislating obligatory health insurance. Without this, nothing else can be done as there is no impetus to change. Insurance companies need to be put into a position where they must “work for their money.”

    2. Insurance needs to get out of the “discount healthcare” business. The original intent of insurance was to cover one against unexpected, catastrophic events, just as auto and home insurance do (or should). The popular belief that paying thousands of dollars per month justifies saving ten dollars on a prescription is ludicrous beyond belief. Insurance shouldn’t pay for “minor” health-related costs. A huge amount of overhead and infrastructure, on the patient, practitioner, and company would be eliminated. This would also force providers to be competitive as the cost of these services would come out of patient’s pockets.

    Presently, the only groups that I am aware of that do this are some “faith-based” insurance alternatives, where the group pools their contributions against claims by their membership. Is this working, or a scam? Really don’t know.

    3. Health care needs to become competitive and providers need to charge the same for identical service, so that published costs are known or reasonably estimated before treatment commences. Yes, the rich will get better health care if they are willing to pay for it, but that’s true already.

    4. With competition and accountability, cost saving tech will lower patient costs as opposed to simply increasing profits.

    5. Some mechanism is needed to control the cost of life-saving medications. At some point, some modicum of ethics and humanity are needed in what should be a humane industry.

    6. Insurance companies should NOT be disbanded, imprisoned, capped, re-regulated, and so on. What is needed here are reasonable alternatives and freedom of choice. They should be allowed to compete on their own merits.

    Is this a naïve belief in efficient markets? No way in hell. I am of the firm belief that, thanks to “middlemen” it has become impossible to make an honest living in America, so I am positive that, even with changes, the brightest and most avaricious amongst us will figure out a way to game the system. But, perhaps in the meantime.

  • Jasper

    First, I would eliminate television advertising of drugs. People can’t buy them without a prescription so it’s like advertising to kids with no money who then go beg to their parents, in this case doctors, to get them what they think they need.
    Second, I would allow CMS to negotiate drug prices with pharma. That CMS can’t is borderline criminal.
    Third, I would end meaningful use subsidies which for health system’s electronic health records. What other industry gets tax payer funded subsidies to pay for their information system upgrades? I think the health systems can afford to pay their own way.
    Fourth, I would study how the requirements of those EHRs have created financial burdens which have led to the centralization of health systems. I would seek ways in which the EHRs can contribute to decentralization instead.
    Fifth, back to pharma, I would allow importation from Canada. The safety argument is silly. We don’t hear of Canadians dying from their unsafe drugs.
    Sixth, I would like to see health systems encourage an extra 5 minutes to talk to doctors face to face. I would be glad to give the glass elevator ride from the multi-storied atrium with the waterfall in return.

  • richardwicks

    Wait for the United States government collapse.

    Funny, how few people know what happened to lead to the collapse of the USSR.

    • kfilly

      Groveling for tyrants to give you freedom never works. Tyrants need to be removed by force. Thomas Jefferson said something about the tree of liberty needing to be refreshed by blood of patriots. We are past that time, but most Amerikans are brainwashed idiots.

      • richardwicks

        I’m being censored. Not allowed to respond. I give up.

  • Jim Bergsten

    Posted earlier. “Detected as spam.” Seems TPTB doesn’t want my opinion. Nothing new there.

    • Ryan

      A lot of moderation on this site, especially many blacklisted words.

    • richardwicks

      Yep, I’m being censored here as well.

      My rule of thumb is if you’re unfairly censored, or not allowed to comment, don’t waste your time on the site. It means either the site has an agenda and doesn’t care if it’s right or wrong, or it’s pure propaganda in which case, they’re perfectly willing to promote lies.

  • 1776vtgmb

    How many illegal aliens, 40-50 million, does it take to ruin health care?
    How many young people switched out of premed when zerocare was passed?