Health Care For All

  • by: |
  • 02/12/2008
But not if the special interests, single payer types, stick-in-the-muds get their way...

Here's Benjamin Brewer's column on how he could deliver cheap primary care for $20 a month per person, but can't because of the usual collection of regulations and organized resistance. Reminds me of the obstructionist stance of doctors groups and protectionist fault finding of Health Care Renewal when it comes to retail health clinics..

But it makes sense to me that there be fair payment for primary care services that require a lot of what is now largely uncompensated work beyond an office visit. The cost would be peanuts, and the benefits of improved care could be enormous. What's missing in the debate over our nation's health-care crisis is that primary care is cheap. Cheaper than your cellphone bill. Cheaper than a tank of gas. Cheaper than dinner and a movie. It's so cheap the average person doesn't value it properly. I could have covered my salary for 2007 and the costs of all my staff and overhead for less than $20 per patient per month, including maternity and hospital care. My practice covers 80% to 90% of what the average person would ever need a doctor for. Compare that to what you or your employer is paying for health coverage, and you'll find that the high costs are due largely to catastrophic illnesses, hospital charges and money going to middlemen.

"....Even though I'd like to, I can't offer comprehensive primary care on a subscription basis for $20 per month. The Illinois Department of Insurance would send me to the slammer for running an unlicensed insurance company.

But most Americans could afford a package that combined $20-per-month primary care, $4 generic pharmacy prescriptions and some catastrophic coverage. If the combination was tax-deductible for the individual, then I think it would be a slam dunk. Netflix can rent you 4 movies a month for $23.99, but I'm not allowed to rent you a medical home for less than you'd spend to watch a movie each week. Before we're saddled with an unaffordable national health plan, we should consider renting an affordable medical home...."

But that's the point Dr. Brewer. Screw the fact that you can deliver an affordable and quality product to people who would buy it an open market that you are proud to deliver. It's all about saddling us with national health care. Ideology uber alles...

Oh, and did you disclose your conflicts. The folks at Health Care Renewal -- the arbiters of politically correct speech in the health care arena -- demand to know before you are allowed to give your opinions again.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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