Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Mess We Are In and A Solution

I posted this short essay first on a physician discussion web site, www.sermo.com

For decades physicians in this country have let the AMA be their voice. However, due to monies from Congress for CPT codes and the pharmaceutical industry for the use of our AMA number, the AMA has represented itself and not us physicians. Thus the two major health related problems of our time, the failure of price controls and central planning of Medicare to control costs and the increasing numbers of uninsured have been neglected by the official physician spokesman, the AMA.
This created a political vacuum jumped upon by the liberal left to seek their style of a solution. Unfortunately for our patients and our profession, the left's solution to this problem is more price controls and central planning to the detriment of patient-physician centered medicine.
I believe the government does have a place in health care by providing tax incentives or payments for all Americans to have health savings accounts along with high deductible insurance. Then it would be up to us physicians to provide our services via the free market to the public. The state of Indiana has shown that this works well.
Because of my beliefs I have joined Dr. Richard Armstrong as an active member in Docs4PatientCare as the organization that is best qualified to help us provide better care for our patients and thus save our profession.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Viable American Health Care Plan

There is no doubt that we need universal coverage, but at a lower, not a higher percentage of gross domestic product. We need to provide health insurance to more Americans without increasing the demand on doctors, nurses and hospitals that would drastically increase costs. Therefore the increase use of medical services for the newly insured must be matched by a decrease in the use of these services by those that are presently insured. Health savings accounts along with high deductable insurance have shown to dramatically decrease demand and costs while maintaining excellence in care (Mitch Daniels. An Indiana experiment that is reducing costs for the state and its employees. The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, March 1, 2010).
These accounts could be funded by tax credits for those who pay income taxes, the earned income tax credit, and federal subsidy for the truly needy providing funding for all Americans. These accounts would be created at birth, grow tax free and provide care throughout one’s lifetime. All Americans would then also have the resources to choose from several nationally offered high deductible insurance to cover especially expensive items. Thus, each generation would be accumulating the capital to care for itself when elderly instead of depending on ever shrinking succeeding generations. Upon death the accumulated unspent capital would be passed on to their beneficiaries. By giving every citizen the authority to spend their own money for health care without the burden of the elaborate bureaucracy of central planning and price controls would allow this nation to insure all its citizens at significantly less cost.