Originally Posted by VVG
The solution to the US healthcare situation/reform is actually VERY SIMPLE. Yes, you read correctly. It is VERY SIMPLE. It requires making only ONE DECISION. Once that decison is made, EVERYTHING ELSE will fall into place, I guarantee it. Until, this one decision is made, nothing will ever be resolved.
The decision is this:
Is health care in the US going to be a capitalistic enterprise, like any other profit driven industry, or is it a basic right of all citizens? Answer this one question, and the remainder of the path will define itself.
You are absolutely spot on.
As an IM chief resident I went balsy and gave my grand rounds on "how to fix the health care system." My fix was to get rid of all insurance companies and require everyone to pay out of pocket. I don't actually believe this to an an actual fix, but more to highlight the issue with our Hodge-podge of medical services we call a system. And it is exactly what you pointed out, that we treat it both as a business and as a right. We expect acute care hospitals to provide emergency care regardless of insurance status but we throw up a fit that the Affordable Care Act has an insurance mandate - that line of logic absolutely makes no sense.
I will go one step further though... if we deemed health-care as a right, I do not believe it will be a true fix either. Every major country that has universal coverage (be it through a single payer system or mix of different insurance options) still has an issue of rising costs. Everyone's costs are rising. Outside of the outlandish plan of getting rid of health insurance I haven't been able to come up with a plan to stem the rising cost of health care.
I consider this tread to be officially jacked...
PS I guess surgeons learn their skill set at the cost of forgetting basic physiology based on the consultations I've had to deal with... I joke! I joke!