Published On: Thu, Oct 13th, 2016

If We Did These Four Things, Our Health System Wouldn’t Be Such A Mess

Most people would agree that the American healthcare system is a mess, and has been for some time. Incredibly, the American healthcare system consumes more GDP than the whole of France. And yet, most people get the impression that it’s not serving patients’ interests.

healthcare system

According to Gallup, the price of healthcare is the most significant cost facing families today. And the fact that employers are forced to pay for healthcare for full-time staff makes things even worse. Americans are struggling to get full-time jobs, and having to work in more than one place. Not good. There’s also the problem right now with doctors. Doctors are told to prescribe as many drugs as they can and to do as many procedures as possible on insurance. This way, the corporate structure behind medical professionals profits enormously. Doctors are not focused on solving long-term health problems. They’re more interested in pushing the latest and greatest pharmaceuticals on their patients.

But things could be improved. Here’s how the American healthcare system could better serve the American people.

Get Doctors In The Business Of Prevention

Bad health is an enormous cost to the American economy. Each year, we lose twelve percent of our GDP, just because people get sick. Right now, the medical profession is geared towards treatment. But if it changed its perspective towards prevention, costs would fall dramatically. There are inklings of this happening already. Take the influenza program for instance. Here doctors are being trained on who they should target to prevent the onset of flu once winter arrives. Using vaccines to stave off the flu might sound costly. But it’s a lot cheaper than providing round the clock care to a very sick senior with full-blown symptoms.

Allow Health Insurers To Offer Services Across State Lines

At the moment, there’s very little choice in the health insurance market. If you live in a particular state, you have to go with whatever insurer has a monopoly there. This means that prices are high and options are limited, and the insurance companies are raking it in. If the market were opened up, insurers would have to compete on price and quality. Prices would go down, and quality would go up.

Get Rid Of The Fee-For-A-Service Model

The fee-for-a-service model rewards clinics for the number of procedures they perform. A patient complaining about a ruptured appendix might also have their gallbladder removed. Instead, the system should be based on whether a patient actually gets better and improves. Insurance companies would only pay doctors if doctors made a material difference to the patient’s well-being.

Provide Families With Tax Credit To Be Used To Pay For Health Insurance

Each family should be given a refundable tax credit that they can then use to buy health insurance. This gets rid of the single payer problem experienced in countries like Canada and the UK. But it also means that families that can’t afford to buy healthcare themselves, get it through the government. This, in turn, gets rid of the need to force employers to provide health coverage for their workers.

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