A consumer driven healthcare system is the solution to the dysfunctional and unaffordable healthcare system that americans are presently experiencing.
President Trump wants to create the conditions for consumers to take responsibility for their medical care and their healthcare dollars.
The negative noise in the mainstream media should be ignored.
The Obamacare health insurance exchanges have failed. The Democrats and establishment Republicans should realize that the health insurance exchange plan was a defective system that it can not be repaired with patches and more money.
President Trump has signed an executive order to permit private associations to sell insurance. There are many associations that a person could belong too. Consumers could shop for the right association at the right price.
Democrats are behaving as if associations are a foreign enemy.
UnitedHealth has contracted with AARP (an association) to sell Medicare supplemental insurance. UnitedHealth sells this insurance across state lines.
USAA has contracted with Humana to sell Medicare supplemental insurance and Medicare Drug coverage.
There are many supplemental plans that consumers can choose from in these associations. These plans are sold across state lines and are competitive.
The government has to change the tax law to treat individual healthcare insurance plans bought through the associations to be paid for with pre-tax dollars just as the employer sponsored group plans do.
However, associations selling healthcare insurance are only the first step in empowering consumers.
A well-known retired physician (DEF M.D.) sent me his view on what consumers need to be aware of to survive any healthcare system. He calls it
“My Three Rules For Survival”
Remember my three rules for survival:
1) Stay the hell away from doctors.
They always either want to do something or prescribe something, and all too frequently do both.
A large part of this physician reflex is their need to practive defensive medicine. Physicians are afraid they might miss something and get sued.
Major tort reform is necessary in most states. Defensive medicine accounts for $250 billion to $700 billion dollars in unnecessary expenses each year.
I have outlined the steps necessary to remedy the malpractice (tort) crisis and its resulting overuse of testing and medication.
If anyone in President Trump’s administration wants to review the issue in full click on this link.
Nobody confronts the reality you mentioned , people are too fat, they drink too much and smoke, AND they don’t even think about the importance of, and benefits from, exercise.
I started a war on obesity many years ago. Public officials and poly wonks have ignored my suggestions.
It would be worthwhile to read my post about obesity.
The cost to all of us (including them) of all this denial of personal responsibility is huge! We need to find ways to get people to focus on taking care of themselves, or to create cost incentives that will encourage them to do so.
While you are in this reading mood you should check out my pleas for the importance of patient responsibility.
We simply cannot continue on the path we are on. I don’t recall ever seeing a patient on a “scooter”, and many in wheelchairs that are obese, and only getting fatter and fatter over time.
2) Take as little medicine as you can.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are continuing to drive up the cost of their products and are making enormous profits as a result. Data is available re: the necessity of people getting medicines that they don’t really need, especially if taken long term on an ongoing basis.
To that, one can add the cost of unnecessary procedures that often leave patients worse off than they were before. Direct to the public advertising of prescription medications creates demand that is often unaccompanied by benefit.
More and more current information regarding side effects and late effects of medications need to be provided, and not just put into the “fine print” on the package stuffers.
3) Stay out of hospitals.
They are dangerous places, with a high prevalence of patient injuries and deaths due to various sorts of medical errors that occur all too frequently, despite a host of quality improvement projects that are well-intended, but would be better in terms of effectiveness if they were made public on a regular basis.
Scott Atlas makes good arguments for encouraging patients to “price shop” for services they must have. To that information should be appended information about outcomes of what is proposed, which could, over time, become both hospital-specific and physician-specific.
I have expanded on Scott Atlas’ Wall Street Journal article in my last blog.
Most doctors and most hospitals have not much of a clue as to the outcomes of the services they provide their patients.
And, that is probably plenty for today. DEF”
Consumers need to be educated to become aware of the many pitfalls involved in their new responsibility.
The educational process can be accomplished with online information and chat sessions. The government could provide the education necessary.
Consumers also need financial incentives to be encouraged to be responsible for their care and their healthcare dollars
This can be accomplished with my ideal medical saving accounts.
Then and only then can we have a consumer driven healthcare system that will lower the cost of healthcare.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2017 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Please have a friend subscribe