Remember the bad old days? Back before AT&T was split up? See, prior to 1984, the government required certain services from AT&T. In exchange for providing these services, the government allowed AT&T to operate in a near monopoly. [notice that without the government enacting certain regulations, AT&T would not have been able to construct such a monopoly on it’s own.] After that divestiture, AT&T was forced to compete and guess what happened?
Price decreased. Quality and choice increased. In fact, the price for a minute of long distance has come down more than 70% since divestiture. Amazing. When the government, through regulating private companies, gets out of the way, competition ensures that the consumer wins. Why? Because these companies, in search of profit, will innovate in an endless drive to obtain more customers.
The same thing is happening with medical care as well:
Michael Harris, MD, opted out of Medicaid and Medicare and rid himself of all commercial insurers. He put his urology practice on a strict cash-for-services basis in 2001 and he has not looked back.
And guess what happened?
“All the bureaucracy that is inflicted on a typical medical practice today contributes absolutely nothing to the care of the patient. All it does is hamper performance.”
But surly moving to an all cash based business cost him customers?
When Dr. Harris opted out, he lost about half of his clinical volume overnight. He has been steadily rebuilding his patient base, but estimates his clinic is 20% under capacity.
And what does he think of this downturn in his practice?
This is not altogether bad news, he claims. The reduced workload allows him to spend more time examining patients and educating them about their disease and therapeutic options.
Now granted, Dr. Harris is a highly specialized professional. But this model works just as well in the general practice world as it does for him. Consider this:
|Three Problems||Why don’t you schedule a physical?|
|DOT Physical||$65.00 (lab extra)|
|Evenings, Weekends, and Holidays||Extra Charges Apply|
|Complete Physical||$130.00 (lab extra)|
|Incise and Drain Abscess||$100.00|
|Forms filled out||$16.00|
|After Hours Phone Calls||$10.00|
|Biopsy Lesion||$70.00 (pathology extra)|
|House Calls||starting at $90.00|
|Pap smears||$25.00 (pathology reading extra)|
|Counseling||$90.00 / 50 minutes|
All of these services are provided on a cash only basis. Imagine, calling a real doctor, after hours, for only 10 bucks. And if he has to, he’ll come to your house for $90.
THIS is the model we need to strive for, not some bloated government plan that is doomed to fail and bankrupt us in the process.
I recently lost my job of 23 years due to cutbacks stemming from the under regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry. Because of this, I lost my health insurance (as well as disability insurance) and can no longer get the medicine (which would now be $1,800 a month) that kept me able to work. So now I, a person who wants very much to work, will be forced to apply for social security disability, meaning I will be drawing from the public coffers instead of filling them. If I lived in one of the rational nations that guarentees health care to its citizens, instead of one where the people have been hoodwinked into supporting the interests of the rich corporations, I would be able to continue working and supporting my family.
If the opposition to heath care had real opposition, based on real issues, it would be great to hear them. Instead, we get lies, distortions and cries of losses of freedoms.
You come up with one example, list prices that do not include all the costs to the patient for his treatment, and imply that that is what health care would cost if we don’t interfere. Well, I don’t think your readers are that stupid.
Because of this, I lost my health insurance (as well as disability insurance) and can no longer get the medicine (which would now be $1,800 a month) that kept me able to work.
I am sorry to hear about the job situation; I wish you luck in your efforts to find employment.
One of the ideas that the Left rejected was to separate insurance from work. This could be done by remove the tax advantage employers enjoy when providing insurance to their employees. That tax advantage could then be passed onto individuals who purchase their own policy. If this system were in place today rather than the system the Left wants to keep, you would still have your insurance; you never would have lost it.
f I lived in one of the rational nations that guarentees health care to its citizens
You would have significantly less economic freedom and and enjoy a lesser quality of life than you are able to in America. Those countries that offer those plans are in a financial hole bigger than our own under funded Social Security. Those nations are broke, and getting broker. The systems are unsustainable and in the end will bankrupt those countries.
You come up with one example, list prices that do not include all the costs to the patient for his treatment,
I’ll try to dig up the numbers, but check out how prices have fallen for very advanced and technical elective
procedures; lasik, cosmetic surgery etc. Those prices have been falling just like any other product or service in the market. Only medical care as we know it is rising. There is no good reason for it except for the illogical regulating of the industry.