A single payer-system sounds good in theory, but in practice the results are often long delays in rationed services, higher taxes (that invariably grow even higher without competition), increased government bureaucracy, less innovation, and less personal freedom and individual responsibility.
We all acknowledge that healthcare costs have skyrocketed. What can we do about it? Here are a few ideas worth discussing that might contribute to safeguarding our freedoms and purses:
Require transparency in the costs of doctors, lab tests, and procedures so that “customers” can shop for the best deal they can find, just like they shop for their electronic devices. This approach lowers costs and increases service.
Encourage the use of some type of Health Savings Account for those who do not have insurance coverage. For low-income people, the government could put a set amount of funds annually into personal accounts for participants enrolled in the program. This could allow them to use that money for their regular medical expenses with their own preferred doctor, rather than using the emergency room and any doctor that’s available. A further incentive comes if they can use the unspent money in their accounts for other needed expenses, like education or job training.
Reduce government barriers, incentives, or mandates that have limited the choices of alternative forms of healthcare delivery, such as Direct Primary Care [DPC}, “an emerging medical movement that seeks to cut out the middleman and put patients first. Instead of billing insurance for individual services, physicians charge a regular fee as low as $60 a month directly to patients, increasing patient access and letting doctors focus on quality of office visits over quantity. Under a direct primary care model, your doctor is more available, with easier appointment scheduling and direct access to medical advice via phone, text, or email. A better doctor-patient relationship allows more personalized care, and research into DPC has yet to find a single instance of malpractice.
Health care without a third party brings entrepreneurship to medicine and saves patients money. While most direct primary care providers recommend patients carry a high-deductible insurance plan to protect against emergencies, taking insurance out of the equation for regular medical expenses allows physicians to reduce their overhead and provide better quality at a lower price” (https://cascadepolicy.org/tax-and-budget/direct-primary-care-puts-patients-first-lowers-health-care-costs/).
Contain medical malpractice litigations costs through tort reform and other laws: “Examples include patient compensation and injury funds, pre-trial alternative dispute resolution and screening panels, affidavits or certificates of merit, frivolous lawsuit penalties, and non-economic damage award schedules. States also have considered safe harbor rules, which make adherence to evidence-based medical practice guidelines a presumptive defense; and health courts, where cases are decided by specially trained judges, assisted by neutral expert advisers, instead of a jury.”
(For more information see https://www.ncsl.org/portals/1/documents/health/MedicalMalReform-2011.pdf.)
Consider “a plan that would abolish each state’s medical malpractice system and replace it with a no-blame model similar to workers compensation.
“Under the proposed Patients’ Compensation System, an injured patient would instead file a claim before a panel of healthcare experts that would determine whether a physician had injured the patient. If so, the patient would be compensated in a matter of months with an amount similar to what they would get under a protracted, expensive legal fight in court.
“Doctors support the concept as they would not be personally sued. As a result, physicians would have a real incentive to avoid practicing defensive medicine and we would see a reduction in healthcare costs. Their medical malpractice premiums would drop as litigation would disappear and the reduced premiums would fund the no-blame system, just as employers pay into a workers compensation fund” (https://www.physiciansweekly.com/traditional-tort-reform-wont-reduce-healthcare-costs/).
Encourage ways to reward people who voluntarily use wellness and preventative measures, thereby lowering their healthcare needs and expenses.