Once again, healthcare is a political football as we see Obamacare being kicked down field, worked over, leaving the country behind without a good system accessible to most Americans.
Once again, politics rules, instead of the healthcare of Americans. And once again, a new system, yet to be named, most likely will be so complex that most Americans won’t understand it, and our lawmakers in Congress won’t know what new monster they passed.
So what should Congress create and pass? A system that reduces costs so much that most people and the country can afford it. How?
First, they should fix the tort (malpractice) system by not allowing lawyers to sue on a whim and eliminating the need for doctors to order tests and do procedures just to legally protect themselves. Savings — based on a 2010 study — could be $55 billion annually.
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Make healthcare available for all. This could dramatically improve economic productivity by increasing work quality and reducing healthcare costs by an estimated 2.5 percent.
Require negotiations for drugs, to rein in the skyrocketing costs. Look at the TV ads for so many drugs. The cost for those ads is huge and is added to your medical cost, but you can’t buy these drugs anyway without prescriptions. This runaway status and can be dramatically reduced.
Return to the system where employers must offer health insurance and employee deductions are required with the government subsidizing the difference between what business can afford and cannot afford.
Require all healthcare providers to immediately implement electronic records, which would inherently reduce medical fraud by $300 billion and lead to improved patient medical outcomes via efficiency.
Message to Congress: Focus on the real health-system issues, not the politics.
Gunther Karger, Homestead