As the Health Care debate around our country rages on, waxing and waning with each poll, I thought it was time to throw in some overlooked or outright discarded ideas. Bringing real access to health care to everyone without massive cost increases or symbolic coverage requires a total rethinking of how we do some things. Due to various regulations and liability issues as well as financial considerations most doctors now immediately after being in medical school go for specialty’s. Due to the cost of medical school and student loans it is not easy to make a livelihood as a doctor as a general practitioner of medicine. Now I realize that may be hard to believe due to prices that you are charged for going to a doctor but consider this first. Medical school can cost from 12-20K a year with books and other fees. This doesn’t include eating either. Now multiply that by 8 years to get a doctoral of medicine and you are looking at 96-160K in student loans cost. Don’t believe me google it and check. So you are fresh out of medical school with 100K in student loan debt. Now add whatever it costs to have a standard of living in your area. This puts most doctors out of medical school in a pretty big bind. Imagine having a house or apartment bill every month in student loans costs on top of all your bills. It doesn’t take much imagination to see why it is 50.00 or more just to see a doctor without insurance. Now add malpractice insurance to the equation. That can run from 20K to 200K depending on state and field the doctor is in. The point of all of this is we can pummel large health care companies as they are easy and in many ways justifiably part of the problem. But we are really only throwing a band aid on a gunshot wound if we don’t consider the entire system from college to hospital to managed care. So here are some suggestions or ideas for everyone to think about.
1.) Provide all or a portion of a pre-med students tuition to become a doctor up to General Practitioner with a few rules: they must maintain a suitable grade point average, depending on the level of financial help provided agree to work for a length of time at a government hospital facility or non-profit hospital for a standard wage, agree if they don’t maintain a proper grade point average or leave the position early they will be responsible for the loan or portion left that was given to them. If they fill the requirements they do not have to pay back the loan.
2.) Reform Malpractice laws. This can be done in a number of ways like setting a set percentage that lawyers can receive from winning a lawsuit while suing a doctor (in many cases lawyers take 40% area) to a realistic level, setting limits (reasonable) on how much a person could receive from a settlement ( I am in favor of this personally as long as the amount is fair and also if the injury or error causes permanent injury that the responsible party provides to have the costs of the injury for the duration of it.), reduce the timeframe that a patient can sue a doctor for an injury are all possible ways to do this.
3.) Streamline procedures involving medical practices and review them regularly with the heads of hospitals and doctors to ensure that the people doing the work are crafting the procedures.
4.) Enact Chargeback Rules. If you sue a doctor and your case is proven fraudulent or frivolous an award should be given to the doctor for the lost time and damage to his practice from the person accusing him.
5.) As lawyers have a rule that they must do a certain amount of pro bono work a year for people maybe adding in a rule of that nature may be worth looking at as well.
All of these ideas are just smaller pieces to a bigger puzzle but I haven’t read or heard of anyone in the “overhaul” of our health care mention anything close to this. We have spent so much time focusing on how big companies screw us we don’t or haven’t paid attention to how the actual doctor’s get pressured and screwed all the time. If we started with the fundamentals of health care at the bottom and worked up reforms may come in smaller packages but they would be real. Currently as it is we are trying to reform health care by replacing the board of a company not asking or listening to all the workers of that company what could be done to really change things for the better. Well writing about the entirety of the Heal care bill and debate would make a full time job I just wanted to throw in my two cents on it. See you all next time.