Now normally, I don’t tend to talk a whole lot beyond tech news, however this article in the New York Times caught my eye. So let’s start with the obvious, health care is a big issue now matter which side of the debate. I think everyone can agree that people should have some sort of expected minimum amount of care as opposed to simply throwing people out on the streets. At the same time people don’t and probably in all honesty at least for a while will not wish to have the government pay for everyone’s health care to the max – a single payer system such as in Canada/UK/France or socialized medicine as critics like to call it.
Personally I would like that system, but I know that as far as the immediate term goes it is an unattainable goal, so the immediate plan that I think could reduce health care costs, provide a better overall level of health to all Americans and hopefully cut costs for private insurance as well. The government should provide free annual checkups and physicals and provide tax credits for a “healthy lifestyle”. This provides several things, one people are checked at least once a year for diseases that if caught early could save a lot of money and time in treating. Many studies have shown that preventive care is effective. The other thing is that as people develop a healthy lifestyle – through the incentive of a tax break, overall health of Americans will improve. While the government will have to spend money to fund/pay for annual checkups/cancer screenings, and more, the government will actually save money by not having to spend money later on as people have a healthier lifestyle and suffer from less diseases such as cancer and heart diseases.
Something else, why are insurance companies a for-profit organization, does that make any sense to anybody? We have organizations whose stated goal and are required by law to reduce costs and maximize profits deciding if someone can get an operation or if a drug is medically necessary rather than the person’s doctor. If you can make sense of this, leave a comment, because I sure can’t.
If you want more info on this sort of thing, Sicko is a pretty decent movie to watch although I do have issues with the movie.
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