Check out this website below… A prescription for medical freedom!
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Assume prescription laws are repealed (like the proposals to repeal marijuana laws), how much money could you save by practicing “self care” (doable today with adequate study and internet access) for many of the things you now would have to pay a doctor for a prescription for? (There are things you ‘d still need to have a doctor do for you and you will still need to have lab tests for some things, although not as often as a doctor might recommend.) As a Libertarian, you are now taking responsibility for your own health…
You will find if you take the time to study (time will depend upon previous knowledge and locating the sources of information that you need) that for many conditions there is a choice of medicines. Often there is an expensive “brand name” drug and a less to much less expensive generic drug, both of which can be used to treat the same condition. As a “rule of thumb”, start with the lowest cost medicine used for your medical condition and work up from there. Doctors should be doing this, but the drug companies “encourage” them to prescribe brand name medications when a generic might work just as well. This is one reason “why” US health care is so expensive. As the doctor is in control of your health care and access to medical drugs, the drug companies are well aware that that if they can get your doctor to prescribe brand name medicines instead of generics, then they will greatly benefit financially. Nor is it difficult to get doctors to do this as providing doctors with “benefits” for prescribing a certain drug over another is apparently quite legal. Plus, doctors are “businessmen” who practice medicine, and like any businessman, are in business to make money. In most cases, they practice medicine as it pays better and offers the benefits of being “your own boss” instead of working for someone else. Granted, they will rarely admit this, but you will note that many of them refuse to take Medicaid patients because Medicaid pays less than does Medicare with private insurance paying the most. This is no different than any business. If you have as much business as you can “handle”, and doctors are in this position, then you naturally take the business of those who are willing to pay the full price for your services “first”, with any lower cost services or charitable services coming second. Lets be honest about this: Very few if any people are willing to work for “free”, at least more than just upon some occasions perhaps as “volunteers”. And since the doctor incurs costs for every patient he or she sees, naturally the incentive is to put those who can pay your fee those you see first…
Too, in the case of primary care physicians, the “demand” for their medical services exceeds the supply of available physicians, so there is even less incentive to provide services without payment. It also appears that many of those now signing up for Medicaid under Obamacare will find at least some level of difficulty in finding a primary care doctor willing to take them as a regular patient. There is also the problem that the American Medical Association is strongly opposed to using physician assistants and nurse practitioners as independent providers of primary care services despite the fact that with today’s technology, the development of medical computer software, the task of diagnosis of disease is less difficult than it was in the past before these developments took place. I should also note that the ability of doctors to accurately diagnose disease is considerably less than thought. I speak here from personal experience. The problem is due to the amount of time necessary to deal with the research and checking your own diagnosis against the available data. Realistically, no doctor can afford to do this today!
A private individual on the other hand, given internet access and the knowledge to know what to look for, can do a more accurate diagnosis than a doctor is likely to do simply because the private individual can spend the necessary time (perhaps measured in hours) to actually determine the true diagnosis. The doctor probably could do this faster thanks to greater knowledge, but he or she simply cannot afford to spend the time doing the necessary research either in reference books or on internet websites such as WebMD or the Mayo’s website among others that provide much the same sort of data to search.
Returning to the issue of prescription level medical drugs, the number of such drugs and their effects has grown to such levels today that expecting your doctor to know what all the side effects of the drug of choice actually are. You can obtain a list of these from sites such as WebMD and Mayo’s, as well as from “Drugs.com”. Again, this is time consuming, enough that while you may be willing to spend the time, it is unrealistic to expect your doctor to do so. All this indicates that “prescribing for yourself” might well be “safer” than having your doctor do it. Especially as your doctor is very unlikely to be able to give you a list of all of the possible side effects and warnings any drug may cause you.
In conclusion, it may be concluded that patient safety is likely to be higher without our prescription laws because the patient is far more likely to take the time to research the effects of the drug in question than the doctor. Of course there are those who do stupid things, and no doubt they would do so too with medicine, but prescription laws really cannot protect people from their own stupidity. Just as no law can prevent a drunk driver from speeding down the freeway at 100 mph to crash against a bridge abutment with the result that the wreck will have to be torn apart to collect what remains after the crash…
So what about cost? I refer the reader to check out “GoodRx.com.” Here you will find the various retail prices of medical drugs. You will also note that the cost of drugs even in the same “medical family” varies quite a bit, depending upon the source and type of drug. Let’s take “insulins” for example: You will see that there is about a 3 to 1 variation in the costs of insulins. The “novolins” appear to be the cheapest of the insulins available and for a cost conscious diabetic who is “insulin dependent”, would likely be their first choice. However, a doctor might have other opinions, especially if he or she is being “influenced” by the drug companies, who would of course prefer that he prescribes one of the more “profitable” drugs. Today you hardly have a choice except to either go along with the doctor’s prescription, or find a different doctor more willing to prescribe what you want. However, without prescription laws, the choice is yours to make, not the doctor’s. That is one of the major advantages of libertarianism. You, the patient, are the one who makes the decisions, not some MD who might be overly influenced by the drug company. Don’t forget here, US drug companies earn one of the highest return on investment of any class of business, and this is doubtlessly one good reason “why”!
However, unlike with Democrats or Republicans, who are both “statists” when you come down to it, libertarians of all types oppose giving government this sort of power over you. Realistically, only libertarians can reduce the cost of health care without introducing some sort of “rationing” of services or choice of medicines. No other political party can claim this. Not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not the Greens, only Libertarians!