Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fixing Health Care

Despite what the Health Care Industry, Congress, and President Obama would like you to think there really is a simple way to fix health care.

President Obama and the Democrats in Congress want you to believe that all the changes in their recently passed, much despised, and soon to be at least partially repealed bill is required to fix health care. However, it really does nothing for you - and it only makes the debts higher, extending entitlements where none are needed.

The Republicans don't have much to offer, but are at least doing right by trying to remove the bill that no one really ever wanted to start with - well, except the Democrats in Congress and Obama since it made them look like they were doing something when they really weren't.

So what's the correct fix?

  1. Insurance companies will be required to accept all properly licensed doctors. E.g. eliminate the whole "out-of-network" thing; it's really just a mess that is completely unnecessary.

  2. Insurance companies will be required to pay what the doctors charge. They must not be allowed to pay out only a portion of the payment, and no refusals to pay.

  3. Doctors will be required to charge only what is necessary - they may not inflate what is charged to the Insurance companies or to individuals.

Insurance companies need to remember what their business is - betting that people will not need the benefits they pay for. However, when people need those benefits they also need to pay out. Doctors are licensed by the American Medical Association, and as such need to be allowed to make the final call, possibly having a second opinion as well, but the AMA should lay out the rules. If people opt out of having insurance they they should have to pay the full amount themselves; but the insurance industry to not and should not depend on 100% participation to work. Simply put, people that are opting in are betting they will need while those opting out are betting they will not.

Doctors ought to be able to charge what they need to. If necessary the AMA or a Federal program can provide oversight to charges - to ensure they stay within reason (e.g. costs plus a small percentage of profit). But what is charged must be payed out in full without the doctors having to appeal or inflate prices just to get what they need to stay in business, and people shouldn't have to chose a doctor based on their insurance but based on the quality of care and services provided by the doctor. As a result, people not using insurance will be charged the same as the insurance companies - and doctor's would have no reason to discount it for them as a result.

So now we've solved the same program, far more effectively, and without intruding on State or Personal rights as granted by the U.S. Constitution.

All we have done, however, is forced Congress to break its ties with the Insurance industry, their associated PACs, etc. and actually represent the people.

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