Affordable Health Care For All
For decades the AMA has held a tight monopoly on medical treatment, a monopoly authorized and ensured by the federal government. Breaking the monopoly of a single provider pricing at extreme “pay or die” prices should be a first priority. Breaking the pharmaceutical monopoly should be second. A month’s worth of pills that costs $0.25 in Africa will cost $25 in Europe and $250 in the US. The monopoly pricing must be broken, and Americans must be able to buy from low priced sources at home or abroad. Better information is needed. People need to be told before their $400,000 bypass surgery that the average patient doesn’t live any longer, but does suffer 6 months of surgical pain. People need to know that hormone treatments given to females for 40 years kill more patients than they save. Men need to know that prostate tests have more false positives than correct readings, and that even if you know you‘ve got it, there is no effective treatment for prostate cancer. The US medical business is fairly good at fixing broken bones, but beyond that they are often worse than useless.
For some years we have heard numerous Democratic politicians whining about guaranteed medical care for everyone. But NONE of them is even willing to talk about actually doing anything to improve medical care. All they ever propose is to write a massive blank check to the medical industrial complex at taxpayer expense. The medical industrial complex, AMA, doctors, hospitals, and drug companies all pay huge sums to campaign funds to buy politicians.
Hussein Obama plans to write a blank check for universal health care Here
Senatrix Hitllary plans to write a blank check for universal health care Here
John Edwards plans to write a blank check for universal health care Here
Bill Richardson plans to write a blank check for universal health care Here
On the Republican side there is a little less uniformity, some attempts at innovation, and fewer proponents of blank check solutions.
Senator McCain advocates restructuring the medical industrial complex to bring competition into health care. Here
Rudy Giuliani focuses on “insurance” coverage which, again, is simply writing a blank check to the medical industrial complex. He talks about “innovative approaches” but missing is any thought of breaking the AMA monopoly or the pharmaceutical monopoly. Here
Mike Huckabee recites much of the same old saw about improving “insurance” blank check medical care. No improvement there either. Here
Ron Paul talks about making health care more affordable by elimination of government regulation, but has no specific proposals. He also does not mention breaking health care monopolies and monopoly “pay or die” pricing. Here
Fred Thompson talks about innovation lowering costs and reducing regulations to allow competition. No blank check is proposed Here
Mitt Romney is a big city liberal who’s narrow vision focuses on ways to pay the blank checks demanded by the medical industrial complex. Here
1. We need to break the AMA monopoly on doctor education and licensing. High prices are maintained by limiting the number of doctors and unreasonably extending the difficulty of new doctors in medical schools. End the government sponsored AMA quota system that limits medical school enrollments. Allow medical schools to train as many doctors as they are capable of training.
2. We need to allow some lesser practitioner for lower technical medications. Routine medications should just be available from trained pharmacists. Stitching up cuts and bruises doesn’t need 6 years in medical school. Save the high priced doctors for the highly technical or unusually difficult, non-routine, injuries and illnesses.
3. Surgery should be subject to the same kind of “safe and efficacious” standards that drugs are subject to. Hundreds of thousands of needless or harmful surgeries should just be eliminated, surgeries that do not prolong life or increase quality of life.
4. “Heroic” end of life care should be drastically reduced. One report said that 80% of “health care” is spent in the last 6 months of people’s lives, after which they die. Much of the time the only effect of the “treatment” is to reduce the quality of life during the person’s final few months, and to empty their life savings into the bank accounts of the doctors.
5. Medications should be available on Internet order from the lowest cost provider, whether American or off shore. A month’s supply of pills that costs $0.25 in Africa should be available by Internet order for about a buck plus shipping. The $250, pay or die, pricing of American monopoly pharmacies must be broken. There is no reason to require me to pay another $100 to visit an AMA member for permission to pay $250 for overpriced medicine. I can read the manufacturer’s web site with all the “doctor” information just as fast as the AMA member can. I am the consumer who has to pay. I have a right to buy from the low priced supplier without government standing in my way.
I don't see any of the politicians talking about the real solutions that Bob has proposed. Only John McCain even talks about real reform, but his platform is not very well thought out.