We are truly at a crossroads in American healthcare. The seemingly endless layers of regulations and requirements, as well as the overhead for the bureaucracy itself, are crushing it.
Our healthcare system has become rife with corruption and inefficiency. Special interests lobby politicians to force you to buy their services and pay for subsidies, while politicians leverage their influence to garner votes and enrich themselves and their friends.
Doctors and patients have been reduced to being mere commodities.
When Obamacare was being pushed through Congress, we were told premiums would go down; that we would get to keep our doctor; and that visits to the ER would decrease. Exactly the opposite happened. The government has exacerbated, if not created, this crisis.
Unfortunately, it appears the politicians we elected to repeal Obamacare are warming up to the notion that government knows what’s best for all of us.
Of course, the ultimate prize for government is single payer, and we are speeding along in that direction. The perverse incentive created by Obamacare to push people into Medicaid has set us on a trajectory that will eventually collapse state budgets. There is widespread panic because of skyrocketing premiums and deductibles.
It is not too late to save our healthcare. However, we must act swiftly to start rolling back government and encourage free market reforms. We need to encourage our politicians to honor the commitments they made to the American voter, and hold them accountable if they do not.
In the following four-part series, I have attempted to concisely identify the primary drivers of the American healthcare crisis, and have outlined targeted common-sense solutions.
-Between 1970 and 2009, the number of doctors doubled, while the number of administrators increased by over 3,000%.
-We have almost no transparency in healthcare pricing, so nobody really knows what the real costs are.
-Medicaid was designed in 1965 to provide a basic safety net for the very poor.
-Obamacare destroys Medicaid and state budgets, paving the way for single payer.
-Even with subsidized premiums, many cannot afford to see the doctor (due to high deductibles and co-insurance).
-Paying cash for services, such as labs, x-rays, and medications, is often much cheaper than using insurance.
-Health Empowerment Accounts (HEAs) would be portable and provide continuous coverage for patients with and without pre-existing conditions.
-Patients need to be allowed to purchase the kinds of medical plans they want, and insurance companies should be allowed to compete nationally (across state lines).
“Doc” is a primary care physician in private practice in Colorado.