What are three things that could be done that would have a real impact on health care costs?
1. Eliminate all advertising by pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and others selling medical care or products
2. Implement real tort reform
3. Ban physician ownership of health care facilities of any kind
Of course, there is nothing new here; it has all been talked about before. In fact, I even mentioned it to legislative staffers in recent visits. Oh, we hear you, but we are not ready to tackle that now. How do you not tackle three drivers of health care costs in the most sweeping attempt to change health care in history? It’s too much of a third rail one of them said quite honestly.
Any why is that? Well, you could summarize it in three words, big companies, trial lawyers and the AMA. I know that’s not three words, so let’s try one…money.
What people need is real information and facts to make some informed health care decisions. Does Aunt Marie really know the doctor she sent you to is the best in his field? Do you know that if you are in Europe and have high cholesterol you may have a far less chance of going on a prescription drug than you do in the US with the same LDL level? Why is that? Just because a hospital says you get a better outcome if you go there first, does not make it so. We do not need info on a powerful prescription drug (that works for some people) squeezed between the Biggest Loser and America’s Got Talent. Did you realize that if you have enough tests they will always find something to treat?
We do not need to be subject to more tests than needed just so a doctor can try to avoid a malpractice lawsuit and higher premiums and we don’t need to help the doctor who owns a surgical center make more money or give him an incentive to do so.
This health care reform stuff, if that’s what it is, is not all that complicated…unless of course, your top priority is staying in office.