Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Defense of Doctors

The doctors are not really to be blamed for the health-care mess. Instead, it is the intricate web of regulations, medical boards, AMA, lawsuits, insurance companies, etc.

The corporatization of medicine is reducing doctors and patients to mere cogs in a monster machine. Because the average American has become brainwashed to rely on insurance for routine care, the typical doctor's office must deal with mountains of paperwork involving insurance forms. The doctor, being paid by the insurance company, must abide by its restrictions.

The private insurance company is a defacto government. Instead of being directly financed by the taxpayers, it is financed by premium payments from the policy holders. But these premiums are akin to a tax. Plus the insurance company is large and bureaucratic. Whereas Medicare is answerable to the citizenry, the insurance company is answerable to its shareholders.

If people want to be truly free, they should not rely on either the government or the insurance company for routine care. It would be so much better for the patient to be a free agent, paying a doctor directly for his services. Then there wouldn't be this interference from a third party between you and your doctor.

On the other hand, insurance (whether government or private) would be important for catastrophic care. But having a high deductible in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA) allows the person to be in charge of his own health-care. So for the poor, charitable organizations will kick in to help. What is wrong with that?

Now what about the doctors? Are they the bogeymen responsible for ripping off their customers with high fees? Not really. They are merely small players within the monstrous health-care spider web.

Sure, there are bad apples amongst the physicians. But the system does not effectively weed them out. The medical boards -- analogous to school boards  -- are reluctant to delicense bad doctors. This situation is akin to teachers on tenure. So with the bad doctors still practicing medicine, the price of malpractice insurance goes up. In other words, the good doctors end up subsidizing the bad doctors.

Another reason why doctors must charge us high fees is due to the overhead costs of requiring several clerks to do the insurance paperwork. With ObamaCare, the requirement for comprehensive insurance for routine care will enshrine this costly arrangement. Plus the increase in regulations from the federal level will worsen overhead costs.

When the baby boomers were young, the public school system was swarming with huge numbers of new students. Yet the country did not go bankrupt.

So now with the baby boomers becoming old, the health-care system will be swarming with huge numbers of new sick people. The country can survive.

As a nation, we must get away from the notion of requiring comprehensive insurance for routine care. We must build new medical schools. We must have more doctors. We must have more hospitals (including physician-owned hospitals.)

With an increase in the number of providers, with the elimination of insurance for routine care, with a reduction in burdensome regulations for the private doctors -- healthcare will become cheaper. Unfortunately, things like ObamaCare and RomneyCare do the opposite -- healthcare becoming too expensive.

So which is it America ...  FreedomCare or ObamaCare?

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