This op-ed showed up on Fox New today: Trump, Rubio, Cruz all want to repeal ObamaCare. But none of them has a plan to replace it. My first thought was, “What the [explicative deleted]?”
Well, if you’re going to tout your credentials to have an opinion, I’ll tout mine. I’ve been in healthcare for 30 years. I’ve done clinical care, pharma and device research as a clinical scientist in both clinical and industry environment and hold multiple patent. If you see a public access defibrillator hanging on a wall in a airport or stadium or building that odds are good it has technology that I helped pioneer inside it.
So I ask, who the hell are you to say it has to be replaced by something else from the government? Everything bad predicted regarding government involvement in health care has occurred through the course of my career. And that goes back to the implementation of DRGs back in the 80’s. Medicare hasn’t helped costs either. You are aware that if you take Medicare, you cannot charge anyone else less than what Medicare reimburses. In my early days, we could simply bill insurance only for people in financial straits. Or we’d just eat the cost. Not legal to do that anymore.
If you want to help the healthcare industry, then get the government out of the way. No, the private system was not perfect. However it was far, far less dysfunctional than the mess that has come about under government control – and God help us if it went further to single payer. Let policies cross state lines. Do something about frivolous litigation. Improve health savings and flex spending accounts rather than cripple them the way Obamacare did. And at the same time you’re doing that, put people in more direct contact the cost of their healthcare.
Of course you’ll never support that. The moment the costs are not hidden from the consumer and market forces come into play, the gravy train for providers and insurers ends. You don’t get the 10-14% increase in fees each year driven by Medicare. You have to justify your rates to your patients. You will still make a fine living, but yes, it’s true you can expect a significant pay cut without the shield of the government and insurance industry.
And no, this is not a compromise on my conservative position, It’s actually an affirmation of it. I do believe in letting the market establish the worth of your work. That’s not what happens now, however. If you want to charge more, then provide sufficient added value that patients are willing to pay it. Don’t have the government or insurers fix the prices for you.