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Fixing Healthcare Could Be Easy If We Wanted It to Be

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 29, 2017 16:31

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When something becomes hideously complex -- like health care or our tax code -- it might be better to simply start over from scratch.

Donald Trump says it should be easy to fix healthcare.  Many disagree.

But why should solving this -- or just about any problem facing our country -- be so hard?

If anyone set out to design a healthcare system or a tax code that would serve our country well, would anyone in his or her right mind come up with the systems we have?

Of course not. 

The problem with political systems is that they're designed by politicians. 

In making compromises to make the special interests happy, things get gunked up. 

Then, layer on top of that the desire to force what should be common sense solutions fit into some ideological box.

Then there's the issue of not wanting to take on sacred cows.

In the case of healthcare, it seems like the politicians are protecting the insurers.  But why (other than these companies employ people back home and contribute to campaigns)?  Why should a healthcare system for all be designed to enrich the middle men and their exorbitantly-paid bosses closer to the top of the food chain?

How does denying coverage for the poor square with the need to maintain basic healthcare standards for all?  If some dread disease breaks out among those without healthcare, there's little stopping the spread of that disease, even to the wealthy who have great healthcare.

Some politicians fight providing birth control for the poor, but if there were fewer babies, wouldn't that help reduce the size of the problem?

And is it really so important to spend a fortune on keeping an 85-year-old on life support alive? 

Other countries provide as good or better care for one-third the cost.  Healthcare is now a monster gobbling up a huge chunk of our country's GDP.  Tinkering around the edges of the system we have solves nothing.

Smart people are capable of coming up with clean, simple solutions.  It's a lack of will power, resistance to change by those who stand to lose and bureaucratic inertia that combine to stand in the way of progress.

We need to start over from scratch.  Let's empower a blue ribbon panel to not worry about special interests and simply focus on designing a system that provides the most quality healthcare for the lowest cost.

There was a bipartisan group that years ago figured out how to balance the budget.  Most elected officials only saw which of their favorite programs were getting cut and they proceeded to ignore tons of good recommendations we should have adopted years ago.

It's time to try the "blue ribbon panel" approach again. 

I wouldn't want to pre-guess what such a panel would come up with, but it seems like a blend of single-payer for the poor and Cadillac programs for the rich could work.  All the money saved by squeezing out all the excesses in medical care would make healthcare affordable for the middle class. 

And why should companies pay for insurance?  Nobody stays at one company forever.  Personal accounts would make healthcare far more portable.

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 29, 2017 16:31

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Source: WashPost
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