Browse Month

August 2019

Free market health care: Summary

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (August 25, 2019)

Key Points:                                                                                                          

The goal of any new health care proposal must be to develop a patient-centered system. That is, a system which provides the patient the ultimate power to make his/her own medical decisions, which can be matters of life and death.

A secondary goal is to reduce the 2/3 of medical costs the US spends today ($3.5- $4 Trillion) thereby reducing the cost to the consumer.

The five major obstacles to these goals in today’s system are:

  1. A critical shortage of medical personnel
  2. Employers
  3. Federal Government
  4. State Governments
  5. Health insurance companies
  1. Solutions –Medical personnel shortage

U.S. Public Health Service offers full cost scholarships to medical, dental, paramedics, nursing and similar degrees to any qualified American student who is willing to serve a 2-year term in designated practices where critical needs exist.

  1. Solutions — Employers are relieved from all responsibilities for employee medical insurance.
  2. Solutions — Federal Government Actions:
  • Federal government sets limits on settlements for medical mishaps, ending need for “defensive medicine”.
  • Federal government declares medical insurance to be interstate commerce, subject only to federal regulation, with one set of rules governing all health insurance. Eliminating a major cost driver for health insurance.
  • Federal government maintains Medicare because of ethical and legal obligations.

4. Solutions — State Governments  

  • Oversight of standard business procedures governing organizations of private citizens designed to provide health insurance, whether church, credit union, cooperative, small business associations, neighborhood, or any other type of structure. This feature is the key to lowering health care costs by increasing competition for the patient dollar in the extended field offered by reduction of individual state requirements and the end to defensive medicine.
  • Management of a pool of funding for indigent patients based on a small per capita tax of each buyer of health insurance – critical component to universal coverage. Perhaps a restructured Medicaid without federal involvement.
  • State responsibilities limited to practitioner licensing for medical personnel and other specific responsibilities as indicated below

Solutions – Insurance companies   

  • There is still a place for insurance companies, albeit radically altered. The first factor to be considered is the new phenomenon of literally thousands of new organizations to emerge as the market for insurance carriers. This is a whole new opportunity for these firms — to seek out the new buyers, to develop new packages for buyers representing basically a new constituency – all anxious to maximize individual benefits to a much more vocal and demanding membership, and then to formalize the flexibility ceded to each member to choose treatments and decisions themselves rather than accepting bureaucratic stipulations blindly. Companies which cannot adjust to the new markets will not survive.
  • Another opportunity will also arise, namely the custody and deployment of medical savings accounts. One of the first trends may well be the simple transfer of the new payroll income from health insurance premiums no longer deducted from payroll to a medical savings account. The recipient of these deposits may well be in a new branch of financial management. And who better to do so with high credibility than your familiar insurance agent?

Finally, there will be some differences in how the average person deals with his or her health care, but not that many. The two most significant are 1) you will become the direct buyer of your own health care with the money you saved from your enhanced paycheck; 2) you will now be making the sometimes life and death decisions that now are made by budget-watching bureaucrats in the insurance companies or the government.

That’s it!

© Richfield Press, 2019. All rights reserved.

The Dr. Larry Show welcomes Dr. Ed Creagan

The Dr. Larry Show welcomes Dr. Ed!

They will discuss Dr. Larry’s column, “What a free market health care system might look like”, a  stunning proposal to convert  America’s ineffective health care to a patient-centered system by removing employers, governments and insurance  companies from patient care.

 

  https://bit.ly/2N9IN7s (60 minutes)

Edward Creagan, M.D. Emeritus Professor of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic Medical School at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Ed holds the chair as John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine and is now Emeritus Professor of Humanism in Medicine and an Emeritus Consultant in Palliative Medicine. An award-winning author among many other honors, Dr. Ed was also named Outstanding Educator from the Mayo Clinic School of Continuing Medical Education and has received the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award–Mayo Clinic’s highest honor.

 

Larry Fedewa, Ph.D. is a conservative commentator and radio talk show host on social and political issues. Former international technology executive, business owner and college president, he lives on an Arabian horse farm near Washington, D.C. Dr. Larry currently writes a weekly column for the Richfield Press, LLC, and hosts “The Dr. Larry Show”  on Wednesdays 7-8pm at
www.BatchelorNewsRadioNetwork (podcasts of recent shows on this website).

Note 1: Free market health care

ADD to Free market health care:
Before I outline  the new system, however, I would like to point out the there are only a few differences in the way the ordinary American will experience dealing with health care.
1) First, instead of having their health insurance premiums deducted from their paychecks, the average American will be responsible for paying these premiums themselves. The easiest way to handle that would a bank auto-pay.
2) The premiums will probably be cheaper than current payments because of the competition for you dollar.
3) You will pay your insurance premium through an organization of your choice — your credit union, church, town, neighborhood association, or a specialized medical insurance cooperative. Your medical insurance will NOT depend on your employment. It goes with you wherever you go.
4) When the medical bills do come due, they will be paid by your own medical insurance company and possibly  your own medical savings account.
5) Most important: the life and death decisions affecting your family will be made by YOU, not some nameless bureaucracy of the insurance industry or government.

What a Free Market Health Care System Might Look Like

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (August 10, 2019)

 

This week’s column is an edited reprint of a piece I wrote a couple of years ago when the backlash against “Obamacare” first inspired Republicans to talk about “repeal and replace”. Since they are still talking and since the Dems are now also talking about health care alternatives – especially a federal takeover of all health care – the topic remains open for new ideas. I have approached this subject from the perspective of a clean sheet of paper. Why try to build a system on the bones of a failed system, a system no one likes? Why not instead build a new system on a foundation of goals which everyone accepts and agrees with? This is  my answer to that question.

The starting point for a discussion of a national health care system should be setting our goals. I believe that American health care should be:

  1. High quality and state-of-the-art
  2. Available to all
  3. Affordable
  4. Abundant
  5. Well-funded

What are the principal obstacles to these goals? Keep Reading

A pie in the sky can hit you in the eye!

Let’s get practical! 

 

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (August 4, 2019)

If we thought that Hillary with all her baggage was about as sorry a candidate as the Democratic party could come up with, the current crop of aspirants is proving us wrong. This crop does not seem to have even a coherent message. They are angry, they fight each other, they see horror everywhere, they are advocating pie in the sky, and they hate Donald Trump. That’s about it.

Unless some superstar emerges from the shadows, or Mr. Trump flounders into a recession, it’s hard to see much of a contest in 2020. Not that the Republicans haven’t had their own streaks of weak candidates  — one winner in two out of six elections between 1992 and 2016. But so far it is difficult to take the people in the Democrat field seriously.

Eliminate fossil fuels in 10 years – when there is no comparable substitute? When the entire world depends on fossil fuels for survival? Even their statement of the problem is out of date. Nobody can look at the violent weather we have been experiencing and doubt that the climate is changing. But when has it ever not changed? As far back as records go there have been changes in the climate. What about the Ice Age? Keep Reading