6 Steps to Improve Healthcare Access/Lower Costs
Freedom of Choice + Free Enterprise = Healthcare Solutions Americans Trust
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own
choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read,
or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
~ James Madison
America’s healthcare delivery system has been the envy of the world for decades. Even today, with the highly charged and partisan controversy surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), people all over the world continue to flock to our shores to heal all manner of disease and malady. So what’s the problem?
Well, it isn’t the quality of healthcare, which in most places remains the best on Earth. It’s skyrocketing costs and widespread abuses of our healthcare system – from individuals using hospital emergency rooms as free clinics to repair hangnails and headaches, to insurance companies stacking the deck to avoid paying benefits to even the most deserving patients. In a true sense of the word, America’s healthcare dilemma can be viewed as a microcosm of everything that’s good AND bad about American society and government today: a combination of arrogance, greed and instant gratification that undermines even the best efforts to create wellness.
Whether one likes the result we call “Obamacare,” one can argue that the intent was noble. Freudian slip or not, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable statement that “we have to pass the bill (Obamacare) so that we can find out what is in it) must have inadvertently caused James Madison to spin wildly in his grave. It was Madison who, in 1787, told Thomas Jefferson that “it is more convenient to prevent the passage of a law than to declare it void after it has passed.”
Any bill that requires 2,700 pages to explain creates a minefield of future bureaucratic bungling and wasteful spending. Worse, any legislation that purports to “take care of us” inevitably “takes away” some of our freedom. The unintended consequence of government largess is that “Washington” failed to address the real flaws in the system while undermining what is best about it – the time-tested doctor-patient relationship and maximum freedom of choice for American citizens.
As is the case with every major problem in America (and all of our Smart Solutions, too), the sources of the healthcare problem are found in all three areas – government, economy and especially society. Our “spectator sport lifestyle” has created a society is just plain lazy … and lazy leads to poor health … and poor health results in the use and abuse of hospital emergency rooms as free clinics. And the by-product? Both the cost and availability of insurance is through the roof.
Those who are opposed to federal government mandates like Obamacare surely agree that the goal of providing better, cheaper health care to the masses is a noble one. And those who are determined to make Obamacare a reality surely agree that it must be improved, and that among its serious flaws is its failure to reduce the cost of healthcare OR health care coverage. There are wonderful, smart solutions all around us, solutions that take advantage of competition and freedom of choice. Sadly, yet another unintended consequence of “passing a bill to see what’s in it” is that too much time is now being spent trying to “undo” or “nullify” what’s been done instead of focusing on better answers.
Imagine how difficult it would be to buy food in the same way we buy healthcare! Imagine trying to plan and purchase this week’s family meals without knowing the quality, dependability or even the price of the products – to say nothing of the cleanliness and efficiency of the food preparation and service. Then imagine being at the checkout counter as every item is “rung up” with a price you cannot see – because your grocer just sends the bill to your “food insurance company.” Your costs increases would be dramatic; your quality and service would be a disaster.
At Up With America, we agree that we must find ways to lower the costs of healthcare and health insurance; that we must work together to find ways to offer coverage to those who with pre-existing conditions; and that maintaining maximum choice and the doctor-patient relationship will make and keep us healthy.
As is always the case, Up With America invites you to participate in this critical American dialogue and even to submit your own Smart Solutions for American Healthcare. There are many details our advisors are developing, examining and refining right now, but we believe the quickest, surest path to improved health, healthcare and healthcare access must include these seven (7) requirements:
1. State boundaries must be invisible to insurance companies; offering health insurance should require offering it to all Americans – and the 50 states must be used as they were intended … as laboratories or incubators for new and improved healthcare, health insurance and well-being
2. All insurance plans offered by any private interest or governmental agency must not be allowed to interfere a citizen's God-given freedom of choice and freedom of religion and must provide for the purchase of or refusal to purchase those items that any citizen considers against their religious beliefs
3. All healthcare programs, products and plans must always maintain, honor and emphasize the Doctor-Patient relationship
4. Congress must pass Comprehensive Tort Reform to prohibit the perpetuation of frivolous and often unsubstantiated lawsuits and to place caps on “damage” penalties currently so exorbitant that the entire healthcare of this nation is in jeopardy
5. American citizens and the healthcare industry should seek methods of providing both preventative and treatment-oriented healthcare services as part of our charitable society … a process and behavior that can lower costs and improve health while removing millions of from Emergency Rooms around the nation
6. The Federal Government, specifically the FDA, must remove or relax rules that delay reasonable and potentially life-saving medicines and procedures here and abroad from access to patients and their doctors. Up With America urges Congress to authorize the FDA to offer “a waiver of liability and responsibility” to patients and doctors willing to attempt the newest solutions. We are simply too civilized to permit some bureaucrat to prohibit an individual's access to healthcare … or to force any citizen to leave America to seek treatment.
Freedom of choice, competition through free enterprise in the market place and a strong doctor/patient relationship are the lynchpins of the American healthcare system. After searching high and low, we believe that two organizations stand above the others in terms of Smart Solutions for America’s Healthcare.
D4PC (Doctors 4 Patient Care) offers outstanding answers that slash costs and help ensure better patient outcomes. We invite you to examine their plans in greater depth and to watch these videos which best serve to explain their D4PC Solutions!
Still another potentially exciting proposal now on the public agenda is one proposed and endorsed by Dr. Ben Carson of Johns Hopkins University. A patient-driven health care reform concept called "Save Our Healthcare," this program offers a number of interesting and potentially positive proposals to improve health and reduce costs.
In a country with the most powerful economic engine on earth, it’s time to unleash free enterprise and capitalism on our healthcare problems. There is simply nothing like wide-open competition to insure that Americans received the very best products and services and the very lowest costs. No other system allows its citizens that luxury.