Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0

We as a country pay a higher percentage of our GDP for health care that any other country in the world, we also have a higher GDP per person than most other countries. Currently our costs per person are high and 10% to 20% have inadequate health care. The system needs to be fixed and at least the DEMs are proposing plans to fix it... The GOP has no proposals other that cutting coverage and cutting medicaid and medicare... The GOP proposals in other words fix nothing.

Fundamentally, this properly requires a constitutional amendment. There is no provision whatsoever in the Constitution of the United States of America for the Congress to establish a national health care program or to provide medical services to the people of the United States. The Medicare program still exists only because no individual has standing to sue to challenge its constitutionality in court.

I also am not persuaded that a government takeover of our health care system is in anybody's best interest. As it is, we have the best medical care in the world -- which is why many wealthy people from other countries come to the United States to receive medical care, at their own expense, even though the countries from which they come provide allegedly "free" medical care for everybody. A government takeover would mean that a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington would get to decide what care is covered and what care is not, with no option to obtain a different policy or a policy from a different provider that might cover what the government's policies disallow. Rather, it should be up to the patient and the physician to determine what treatment is appropriate for each patient -- not left to policies dictated by some bureaucrat in Washington.

That said, I agree completely with your assessment that costs are spiraling out of control because the system is broken -- and the so-called "Affordable Care Act" is a major contributor to the problem. Here's how I would fix it.

>> 1. Require that medical providers extend the most favorable rates that they have negotiated with an insurance company to every patient who pays in full at the time of service. I routinely get statements from medical providers that show insurance discounts of approximately 75% to 80% of the gross charge for the service. A provider who can provide a service at a discounted rate negotiated with an insurance company when the insurance company is paying the bill most assuredly can provide that service equally well for the same price when the patient pays in full at the time of service.

>> 2. Require that medical suppliers and pharmaceutical companies extend the same prices that they have negotiated with foreign governments to all wholesalers in the United States, for the same quantities of their products. Again, a pharmaceutical company that can sell cases of ten thousand vials of a thousand CureAll tablets to Angola for $9,750 per case ($0.975 per bottle) can full well sell the same cases of CureAll tablets to wholesalers here in the States at the same price point.

>> 3. Phase out company-sponsored medical insurance by requiring each employer to terminate its insurance plan and to give each employee a raise equal to the company's contribution to the current plan whenever the contractual obligation to maintain the plan expires or becomes amendable.

>> 4. Allow companies that sell medical insurance to sell insurance across state lines.

The first two provisions would put an end to the current practice of price gouging against patients who don't have medical insurance, or whose insurance does not cover a particular service, and thus would make routine medical care affordable for the overwhelming majority of the population. The last two provisions would force insurance companies to develop affordable insurance policies that meet consumers' needs. With these changes, most people probably would revert to relatively inexpensive insurance policies that cover only major expenses (surgeries, hospitalizations, etc.), and would pay their providers directly for routine services.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.