Cause and Effect

Congress and the Obama administration are treating the effect of the rising cost of health care instead of the cause. Treating the effect doesn’t solve problems. For example, if there is a hole in a roof, no matter how often the water is dried and how elaborate the drying method, when it rains, water will always fall onto the floor until the hole is patched.

First, anyone, who believes another government health care program will save money, should accept offers to buy the Brooklyn Bridge and the Island of Manhattan. The basic causes of the increasing health care costs are the inability of insurance carriers to cross state lines, frivolous law suits, and health systems where costs are paid by third parties.

Limiting insurance carriers to one state reduces of the number of companies seeking this business. Competition among all of the health insurance companies would reduce the cost of their premiums.

Frivolous law suits against physicians for malpractice is another reason that health care is expensive. Doctors order unneeded tests and procedures in order to prevent or minimize any litigation. These additional unnecessary tests and procedures significantly add to the cost of health care. These frivolous cases have other consequences affecting the medical profession. Malpractice suits have made the premiums for medical insurance so high that it is reducing the number of practicing doctors. Many physicians, especially specialists, have abandoned their practices. Medicine is no longer a profession that is attractive newcomers. New doctors, in training, avoid critical specialties causing shortages in these important fields of medicine.

Health care costs continue to rise because of Medicare and Medicaid. There are tremendous annual losses through errors and fraud as a result of the lack of proper oversight. These skewed systems, where Medicare and Medicaid, third parties, pay medical bills make costs skyrocket for they remove the motivation for patients to be frugal.

National Health Care programs that are currently being proposed, in a confusing number of bills, will fail to reduce the cost of health care because they address the effects rather than the causes. Actually, this new program will increase medical costs.

There are many Americans included in the 15% of people without health insurance, who voluntarily refuse to seek this protection. The remaining lesser percentage of individuals, who truly can’t afford health insurance, could get the coverage in a subsidized plan, easily paid for by the savings of changing the present health care system.

Making health insurance available from all of the insurance companies in the country, limiting or punishing frivolous malpractice suits, and eliminating third party payment of health costs could easily solve the escalating expense of health care.

For further information, read “Election Hangover” a nonpartisan, unbiased book that presents a complete overview of our government with practical suggestions for reform. This book is available on www.democracyconservator.org and Amazon.com.

Art Woodrow

THE DEMOCRACY CONSERVATOR FOUNDATION

www.DemocracyConservator.org

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