A Better Alternative to Obamacare.

In a previous post, I pointed out the flaws involved in Obamacare.  That the “insurance” provided by Obamacare can hardly be considered as useful “insurance” for those who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars “out of pocket” for what amounts to a “major med” policy with high co-pays.  The major flaw is that Obamacare does not “solve” the major problem we have today with our health care system. Any sort of “insurance” that requires an “out of pocket” deductible of as much as $4,000 will not be of much value to those who lack the financial “reserve” to pay this sort of a high deductible. They may decide to simply forgo the “insurance” and under current law, avoid paying the “fine” by altering their W-2’s so that they end up always “paying in” a relatively small amount instead of getting a “refund”.  One that the IRS would simply confiscate as the “fine” for not buying this virtually worthless Obamacare private health insurance plan!  One that pays so little, but has an unaffordable out of pocket deductible before it pays anything at all.  So is there a better alternative?

Without prescription laws any reasonably intelligent and competent person could take care of their own health to a considerable degree.  Chronic conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, non-insulin dependent diabetes are actually quite “cheap” to treat.  There may not be a “cure” for these conditions, but they can be treated at a surprisingly low cost, something under $200 a year, which is certainly “affordable” for most anyone who is employed even just part time.  We could also retain prescription laws, but require doctors to write “lifetime” prescriptions for chronic diseases.  This way, the patient is the one that makes the decisions regarding how often to see the doctor, not the doctor.  This would eliminate much medical “rent seeking” that is going on now. We could save perhaps as much as a hundred billion dollars a year just by passing a law requiring doctors to write “lifetime” prescriptions upon request.  Four of the conditions for which I take medicine are “lifetime” conditions that will continue as long as I live.  It is thus a waste of time and money to visit my doctor twice a year, have lab tests twice a year for something that is not ever going to change so that medication is no longer necessary.  Considering all the people that are in the same status as I am, there is a very large considerable amount of money being wasted here. No doubt the doctor benefits from this, as does the hospital lab, but creating income and jobs this way does not seem to me to be justified.  The term “extortion” seems to fit better…

Assuming we are willing to do it, we could easily develop a system of “Basic Health Care” using general practitioners, generic drugs, and create low cost hospitals with 1980 level technology, who are staffed by people adequately trained to perform the tasks they need to do.  We might do this by a “Financial Transaction Tax” of 1%.  This would be adequate to provide everyone with primary care level medical services and the lower cost specialist services where needed which could be “free at the point of service” much as is done in some countries with national health insurance.  Of course a system like this would have “rationing” as there would be a “ceiling” on what medical services were provided.  But it would take care of the needs of at least 90% of people, and those who wished would be free to “add” to their “Basic Health Care” through the purchase of private insurance. Roughly, the “Basic Health Care” system would handle the sort of things that a general pracititioner handles and some of the lower cost specialist services.  Which would be adequate to provide some pre-natal services, broken bones, infectious disease, and the more minor surgeries. Many of these tasks could be handled by people with less than MD level training at lower cost…

Additionally we should replace the current malpractice system with a system of arbitration.  Medicine is not actually a “science” (like engineering), but an “art”.  The reason for this is that humans vary genetically, and medicines that work on one person may not work on another.  For example, I am allergic to penicillin, but my wife is not.  The cholesterol medication that I take will not work on her.  Why, genetic variation. This is why no doctor can know in advance what a new medicine will do to a patient.  The fact that the medicine might cure 99% of the people and kill the other 1% is something that can’t be known in advance. Thus, repeal of the medical malpractice laws and their replacement by binding arbitration seems to be a far better solution to the problem.  No doubt the lawyers will disagree with this, but they are a “rent seeking” profession even worse than the medical profession has become!  In a Libertarian society there would be no tolerance for this type “legal extortion” by professionals, either medical or legal!

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About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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