Health Care: Problems and Solutions
The following is an analysis of the problems with American medical system as gained from multiple standpoints, and some proposed solutions to the same.
- The lack of basic general government care is a problem especially for the working poor, but now increasingly for the middle class and even wealthy Americans. People continue to lose all that they've worked for in order to care for a sick relative or themselves. There must be an option for basic general government-funded medical care that is available to all Americans.
- The single-payer option will not be acceptable to people who want to choose their own doctors. People who want to choose their doctors and are willing to pay for it should be able to do so as they presently are.
- I recommend the Australian model, in which public health care and private health care are available side by side. Everyone is taken care of at a basic level; those who want choice or extra quality can pay for it. This will fulfil the demands both of the need to provide basic health care to all, and of the demand for consumer choice by those who are willing to pay for it.
- While this is not often discussed in policy circles, the main reason for the exhorbitant prices of health care in America is that the number of doctors is far too low to meet the demand for health care at a reasonable price even now, not even to consider the demands it will have when the baby boomers come to old age. This practice is a result of AMA not graduating enough doctors and not licensing enough foreign doctors to practice in America. As the demand for medical care continues to grow, the supply remains at an exceptionally low level. This leads to demand meeting supply at an exhorbitant price - the price that will remain exhorbitant, whether the government or the consumer pays for it, for as long as this problem persists.
- The artificial shortage of doctors also means that doctors are overworked and overstressed. This leads them to make more errors than they would otherwise. These errors result in malpractice lawsuits, which then result in extremely high malpractice insurance premiums. This cost is then passed on to the consumer, adding more to the already outrageous prices.
- This structural problem can only be resolved by there being more doctors in America. The growing demand for health care must be met with growing supply of medical professionals. This will result in more available health care; lower prices of health care; and a better lifestyle for doctors than their current overworked, overstressed, error-prone lifestyle which is just as bad for their patients as it is for themselves. America should graduate more doctors; it should also allow more foreign doctors to practice in America. This will redress the major structural problem with American medical system that is responsible for the overly high prices of medicine in America. The result will be in more available treatment; more affordable health care; and better life for doctors themselves.
- American medical system has an added problem of being incentivized for expensive and wrongful practices. These involve: Lack of preventative medicine (as treatment of the disease is more profitable); needless expensive machines which need to be replaced with newer models each year; overuse of machines and machine-based testing; overprescription of antibiotics; forcing people against their will on life-support machines; and overdiagnosis and overmedication of mental disorders with expensive and dangerous multi-drug combinations (the latter, at taxpayer expense).
- Preventative medicine funded by government should be available to all Americans. This will result in less need for catastrophic medical treatment, lower costs, and greater health of the population.
- The prohibitive price and length of medical education makes it accessible for only a few people, excluding many others who would make qualified professionals. Students graduate with $500,000 in debt after putting in up to ten years of 18-hour-day education, not including living expenses. Very few can actually carry this burden, and it excludes many who would make good doctors. Those who do take on this burden need to pay it off; they must charge prohibitive costs to their patients; and the price spiral continues to rise.
- There should be more medical schools in America, leading to greater competition among the medical schools and resulting in both more admissions and lower price of tuition. The lower price of medical education will make possible for doctors to pay off their loans by charging less exhorbitant prices for their services.
- The practice of overdiagnosing and overmedicating mental disorders with dangerous and expensive multi-drug combinations at taxpayer expense is the case of pharmaceutical industry scamming the taxpayer. ADHD is overdiagnosed and over-treated in American children with drugs that are addictive and often carry severe, even lifelong, effects. People who get depressed for real-world reasons or who have a temporary life crisis are diagnosed with lifelong disorders and put on medication for life at taxpayer expense - frequently expensive and dangerous multi-drug combinations that do them more harm than they do good, including severe harm such as health destruction and early death. These practices must be put to scrutiny and, if not ended, then at least curtailed to a level that is significantly less expensive for the taxpayer, less harmful for children and less dangerous for adults.
- Corruption in American medical system is a growing problem. Doctors cover up their medical mistakes and involve police, coroners, and lawyers and judges, in their coverups. There must be direct, insightful and uncompromising scrutiny of corrupt practices, leading to their exposure, punishments for those who partake in these practices, and the end of these practices that continue to result in death and disability of countless Americans.
- Severe abuses continue to take place in the in-patient mental health system. The definition of patients as mentally ill and the resulting lack of credibility given to them in court of law, along with the unchecked credibility given the mental health professionals, creates an environment in which corruption, abuses of power, and injurious and destructive practices have the inherent capacity to reach extreme levels. There must be constant and diligent scrutiny of in-patient centers to balance and check this capacity for corruption and abuse that is a logical effect of this reality.
- Severe abuses also take place in the nursing home system, including physical violence and even murder. These practices are rarely investigated and, if found out, are covered up. This system must likewise be scrutinized against these and other abuses. America's senior citizens deserve better treatment from their country than that.
I am respectfully putting this to the attention of the voter and the officials involved in hope that this be taken into consideration.