Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE
The following is Part 3 of my review of your healthcare reform platform. You have a viable alternative to Obamacare. Your alternative needs some vital additions.
In my last blog I omitted the link proving that only 1 million people signed up for Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
I apologize for the oversight. Today enrollment is only 2.3 million. I also noticed that the enrollment date was extended to January 30 from December 31 without fanfare. The site I omitted that follows daily enrollment is acasignups.net.
Obamacare is still a long way from the 20 million claimed and the actual 10 million enrolled for 12 months.
The Obama “experts” still believe that Obamacare is viable. They refuse to believe it has been a healthcare disaster as well as a disaster for America’s economy.
Your next proposal is;
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) should be changed to Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) to provide better financial incentives for people who choose this form of insurance. The Medical Savings Accounts can easily be customized so that consumers can choose the level of insurance they desire.
The cost of first dollar reinsurance for coverage after the deductible is met plus the MSA contribution is much cheaper than the first dollar coverage Medicaid coverage. The insurance vendor will still make a sizable profit by providing first dollar coverage reinsurance.
The contribution to the MSA should be flexible to provide an adequate amount of money to be put into the savings accounts to provide financial incentivizes to consumers to maintain their health.
Obesity is a huge problem to health maintenance of health. Obesity can be effectively cured behavioral change of consumers.
The incidence of chronic diseases in obese people is five times that of normal weight people. Financial incentives must be provided. The is also the area that social engineering might be helpful.
Obese children are becoming diabetic and hypertensive at a young age. This must be prevented because of the potential explosive cost effect of complications of both diabetes and hypertension on individuals. The overall costs to patients, Medicaid and society will be devastating.
Medicaid must be converted to a system where the recipients are responsible for their health with financial incentives. Only then Medicaid patients will not be treated as a commodity. Service will improve. .
- Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals.
Price transparency is an essential provision for individuals, businesses and groups in order to produce smart consumers of healthcare.
It is also necessary to require insurance companies to provide verifiable price transparency for their administrative costs and their direct patient care costs.
Consumers must be empowered to be responsible and shop for the best healthcare service value. They must look for the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical related procedure.
The only way to decrease the cost of healthcare services is to produce smart and motivated consumers of healthcare.
Social networking should be used as the backbone for the establishment of consumer empowerment.
The success of Angie’s list, Trip Advisor and Open Table are a result of social networking.
All medical care is local. Local communities have their individual social networks that empower people in their neighborhood to know which vendors provide the best value in their community.
Healthcare consumers can use this simple procedure to decrease the cost of healthcare and medical care.
This could also be a place where government can lead the way in establishing accurate educational resources.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states.
These block grants can be used by the states to fund MSAs without a threat of increasing state budget deficits or giving up states’ rights to the federal government.
Block grants for social networking should be used to provide incentives to help individual Medicaid patients seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse of some of its local providers.
It would eliminate expensive big data collections that often times are inaccurate for policy making by central federal control.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.
Federal and state governments should help their citizens choose safe, reliable and cheaper products for the treatment of their diseases.
This would help with compliance and adherence to recommended treatment and also decrease the cost of care.
It would provide consumers with information to take responsibility for their own health and healthcare dollars.
- Encourage Congress to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America.
One example is allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas. It will stimulate competition for consumer dollars in the U.S. and lower the cost of brand and generic drugs sold here. Drug prices are artificially high in the U.S.
This is only one example of many ways to decrease the cost of drugs in this country.
You have made many proposals to make a lot of important changes to the healthcare system.
Some are good proposals. Some are not very well thought out by your advisors.
It is absurd to let Obamacare “experts” like Ezekiel Emanuel and Jonathan Gruber heckle your “non viable” healthcare reform plan.
However, you are missing the other important elements in reforming the healthcare system. Those elements are the elements of the use of consumer power, consumer initiatives, and consumer incentives.
By utilizing these elements you will begin to “Drain the Healthcare Swamp.”
Your healthcare changes must include a consumer driven system with an ideal medical saving account. Otherwise, the healthcare system will remain an unmanageable, expensive and abused mess.
You have admitted these proposals are simply a start. You can easily fall into the trap of listening to academicians who have never practiced medicine in a private setting. You need people who understand patients’ needs.
Obamacare has been a disaster that is unsustainable. It is increasing the cost of care week by week, while rationing care and decreasing access to care.
You must repeal and replace Obamacare. No one wants it. You have outlined a viable proposal even if the progressives don’t like it.
It is a good start.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE