Health care plans can solve problems

There has been extensive press coverage regarding financing of our health care.

The current system, including Obamacare, is not working and continues to become more expensive. Because of the high cost, many employers and individuals find it difficult to afford and may drop health insurance coverage.

Why the high cost? We are spending 15 percent of the GDP now, five times more for our health care now than we did in the 1930s.

Our state and federal governments have been involved in the health-care business and show no sign of solving this increasingly costly system. Many want a single-payer government run system.

The cost estimates for this are extraordinary ($35 billion/year) and are probably underestimated as is the usual case for government run programs.

Look at our government run programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service), which are noted for slow or lack of attention to patients and inefficient, often corrupt and wasteful operation. Do we want more of this type of care?

There may be a plan to provide health care in an effective, less costly manner, but many (hospitals, health care providers, health insurance companies and politicians) are going in various directions that will continue to fail to solve the problem.

How about moving toward a program that may solve the problems? Employers or individuals should provide a health insurance plan to cover major medical expenses and a health savings account to cover much of routine healthcare costs.

If the money in the savings plan is not spent, it can be rolled over into an IRA or saved for the following year.

These two plans would be tax deductible for either the employer or individual paying for the plans. To stop frivolous lawsuits, we should follow many other nations and have the loser of the suit pay all expenses for both parties involved in the suit.

Hospitals, pharmacists and providers should make the cost of the common services public, to allow the consumers an opportunity to choose the least expensive provider.

As we grow older and our bodies begin to break down, is there a need to order numerous studies and medications (often done only to protect the provider from a lawsuit or to show that the provider is doing “something”)?

Shouldn’t we be supportive and provide comfort when there is no apparent effective treatment for the older patients multiple complaints?

If we go in the directions suggested above, good care will be provided and the cost excessive.

William J. Kirsch, M.D.

Roaring Spring