I am no politician. I am a family doctor. I have been blogging daily about our healthcare system for 15 years, though. And I think most of us DO want the SAME thing. We want AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE OPTIONS! In a sense, the Affordable Care Act had it right as far as the name. After that…ummm…not so much. There are some out there that demand that all healthcare be FREE but nothing is free in this world, right? I think affordable is a great term and I think it is a great goal. It may even be attainable. How? Well, it is my belief that the cost of healthcare does not follow free market patterns because it is artificially held from it by the law and by the insurance companies. Every other product’s price comes down (think computers, TVs, etc.) but somehow the price of an ultrasound and CT scan doesn’t.
Americans are the best shoppers in the world. They check prices and reviews and buy things on Amazon and there is competition due to this. This keeps prices low. If somehow we can do this for healthcare then prices would come down. I see it in my practice. I help patients, who have chosen not to have insurance or have one of the health ministry options, get cheaper labs (by 90%) or get cheaper MRIs and so on. If we can just use this model to build around while still having some safety net for the poor then it could work. That being said, it has no chance with physician organizations presently in place.
A coalition of these groups, like the AAFP or ACOG, have said this about new legislation being talked about:
“We urge Congress to reject these ‘compromises’ and instead focus on enacting policies that improve upon current law, thus ensuring that more people have access to affordable health care coverage,” the coalition wrote.
Among the priorities that Congress should focus on are
ensuring stability in the health insurance market,
adequately funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program,
supporting more preventive care measures,
reducing pharmaceutical costs,
reforming liability laws and
reducing the administrative burden on physicians.
This is all political speak in order to look good for the public. The current law did not ensure that more people had access to affordable health care coverage!
Just like politicians the big wigs in these groups want to stay in power for a long time. As you can tell by their demands, they live in a fantasy land where money grows on trees. If you analyze their statement you will see that all they want is MORE but they have no plan. They pretend that they are worried about patients losing coverage but they were ALL in on the ACA where many could not afford coverage. It was not a net gain because it was not AFFORDABLE. Again, that is the key word.
If you read the comments on the link above you will see the AAFP is getting hammered over this. They went political again and their members don’t want politics. Doctors, like myself, want an affordable system. Patients want an affordable system. The government always fails when it gets involved in these types of matters (think the VA or Medicaid). Let the free market work.