I was thinking about this the other day (11 hours ofdriving gives one plenty of time to think) and actually came up with something. Mods, please
forgive me, as this may cover a few posts. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible.
First and foremost, we have to address costs. This cannot be done by the industry itself, as no industry has ever voluntarily lowered its prices. I do
know a few of the high costs involved, and will address those. If any doctors are reading this thread and have more concerns, please post them.
Insurance must not be mandatory, as this will have the opposite effect and raise prices. Rather, we must place the responsibility for medical care
squarely into the hands of the patients and physicians.
I propose a national board of physicians to oversee all health care issues. This body would be composed of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, politicians,
attorneys, and laymen. It's purpose would be threefold: advisory, determining methods to lower the costs to customers while maintaining health care
standards, judicial, overseeing all initial malpractice claims. and administrative, referring doctors with poor records for removal from the medical
This would accomplish several improvements immediately. No malpractice claim could proceed to the civil court system without first being resolved
through this board. Patients who lose their case are, of course, permitted to appeal to the regular courts, but doctors, as professionals, would be
bound by the decisions and unable to appeal. No patient would be denied the right to sue for damages; they would be given a more speedy and swifter
day in court before this board. No attorneys would be allowed; decisions would be based on the arguments of the parties involved and the facts as
shown by the circumstances. Think of it as semi-binding arbitration.
Since all malpractice claims would go through this board, it would be an easy matter to weed out those doctors who are drawing a large number of
substantiated claims and they could be removed from the profession via suspension of their license. This in itself would remove high attorney costs
from the malpractice insurance industry, and remove bad doctors form our health care system. It would also decrease settlements to the amounts that a
person is actually injured.
Malpractice insurance could then be capped at a level which would allow insurance companies to survive, but would remove the strain from doctors.
Additional services could be capped, such as making it illegal to charge more than double the lowest available price for non-prescription items. No
more $20 aspirins or $10 ice chips. This in itself would reduce the amount of the average hospital bill by a substantial amount. No prescription drug
should be able to be sold for more in the US than the lowest price it is sold in other countries (with obvious exceptions made for charitable
humanitarian work). Big Pharmacy is getting the benefits of operating in the US; they should give something back besides inflated prices. If a drug is
sold in Canada for $10, it must not be sold in the US for more than $10. (I of course refer to wholesale prices here.)
I am also an advocate of making it easier and more profitable to heal someone than to treat someone. I could go along with an idea I have heard t make
continuing treatment costly for the doctors. For instance, allow doctors to charge more for cures than for treatments. Perhaps an escrow system, where
a doctor receives only a portion of the bill during treatment, but receives a lump sum payment of the remainder when the patient is cured. I do not
have specifics on that concept, so someone get thinking on this. I can't be expected to do it all.
No person should ever go without life-threatening treatment. Any doctor or hospital should be required to give non-elective treatment to anyone who
requests it, within the boundaries of ability to handle the workload. Should a doctor become overwhelmed, they must be allowed to refer patients to
another doctor for simple logistic reasons, but all persons in need of treatment must be given that treatment. Here is where the government comes in;
anyone who receives such treatment and states they cannot pay should be referred to the IRS for possible collections. The government acts as a
collection agency. The doctors recieve a percentage of their bills up front, and every legal attempt to collect the remainder goes first to repay that
payment to the government, then to finish repaying the doctor. I know of no better collection agency than the IRS, and laws to allow those who are in
dire straits to keep a car, their home, etc. could be easily implemented.
Wow, I got the jist in one post.
Now, come on guys. We can do this! Make my ideas better!