America is trying to reform health care, a complex societal problem affecting its diverse 330 million citizenry. Our health care system is unequaled in quality and availability but is far too costly. It will only become worse unless we provide practical solutions in a timely manner.
Single party payers and Medicare for All make the same mistake that the Affordable Care Act made. They put political philosophy and power ahead of the necessary and legitimate needs of patients.
Patients want a system that serves them, not one that dictates and mandates their choices. They want and need innovation offering available, affordable health insurance coverage with incentives to make wise choices. They want transparency in pricing to assist them in making these choices, not institutional vagaries and remote governmental department policies.
Government, the hospital industry, the insurance industry, pharmaceuticals, the nursing profession, and medical equipment manufacturers will all play a role. But all of our efforts must serve the patient, rather than merely salvaging what we can from a bad situation.
The future of the medical profession and the well being of our patients are inseparable. As past-AMA President Stormy Johnson so aptly puts it, “put the patient in the driver’s seat with the doctor riding shotgun”.
Fortunately, many organizations, think tanks and brilliant individuals have spent years examining the flaws in our current private system. Most of us are unaware of the great work being done. Efforts to educate the public have failed because of the complexity of the subject, politics, and deception.
The Health Policy Consensus Group has recently published “The Health Care Choices Proposal: Policy Recommendations to Congress”
Subsequent articles are intended to inform by emphasizing: the role of the states; expanded Health Savings Accounts; and, especially, caring for currently uninsurable patients.
Robert F. Hamilton, M.D., FACS
(This article was first published in Advantage News)