Here's one man's [a physician's ] suggestions to address the problem of providing universal health care. Billions of dollars are presently being wasted/mispent/overspent on the following –with suggestions for change. Here are three—–
1] Reform the Tort System for Medical Malpractice– For those of you who have been living under a rock–wake up! A huge percentage of medical testing that occurs in individual practices is a response to fears of law suits . Much of this fear could be reduced if not alleviated by changing the way the public sues doctors. Take this out of the court/jury s ystem! Juries are composed of relatively bright, aware citizens who are NOT CAPABLE of evaluating medical testimony. The present system pits so-called expert witnesses who are paid to testify in support of one side or the other. These 'hired-guns' know who is paying them and are biased in that direction. There is no way the jury can decide who is correct. They ability to sue is a civil right and physician's are human beings–we are imperfect. The cases should be quickly adjudicated before panels of experts in the field. Awards for 'pain and suffering' should not be outrageous. Of course the trial lawyer's powerful lobby will not accept this easily.
2] Limit the profits of managed-care insurance companies and their officer's compensation. Insurance companies are middle-men. They take the premiums for average Americans, process them and then payout what they choose to doctors, hospitals etc. Whatever they refuse to fund or whatever they cut back in payments becomes their profits. Anyone find a problem here? They are sucking the system dry!
3] Please address the issue of end-of-life and the obscene amounts of money spent to keep dying people 'alive'. At least 30% of health-care costs are spent in the last six months of life. Let's open up dialogues with our cultural, religious, ethical, medical and political leaders regarding this growing problem. Oprah should have at least one show a week regarding this issue. Just becausee we 'can' keep the dying alive does not mean we should. This is an extremely difficult and emotional issue–but we are literally throwing away billions of dollars that could be allocated for the needy, and viable who have no insurance.
Now–I've gotten it off my chest. Don't know if anyone will read or care about what I've said. But the point is this–the money exists. We just aren't using it the right way.
None of these issues will be fixed overnight. But unless someone addresses them we will continue to cry about our lack of money for the uninsured. Wasting, mis-using and mis-allocating the money we do spend is truly a sin.