OP-ED

Time to Brexit the Health Care System?

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Can’t. Won’t work. We’re stuck with this. We have to fix it.

But “Brexit” was a great logo/hashtag/campaign meme, with echoes of “Britain, break it, exit” all in one. Falls right off the tongue, it does. And it described fairly exactly the mood behind it, one of breaking, getting out.

So in healthcare? Time to FFSexit — exit the fee for service business model. Nah, doesn’t trip off the tongue. And it has echoes of “sex” and even “sexist.” Next!

Time to ITexit — exit the non-interoprative, non-communicative garbled EHRs and other information systems we have ended up with. Nope, nope. Sounds too much like inviting Texas to re-think this whole annexation thing.

Time to Vexit — exit the volume-based business model. Hmmm, no. Sounds vexatious, vexed.

Time to exit the fragmented, opaque, partial, byzantine, and outright cruel healthcare financing system we have now —FragOpParByzOutCrexit! Sigh.

Wait. Wait. Here’s the core problem of this meme-pondering: We don’t want to “exit” healthcare in any way.

The Congressional Republicans hope to exit the defined benefit Medicare system and make it a defined contribution system, presumably so that sooner or later they can drown the contribution in the bathtub. Republican state legislatures have found as many ways as possible to exit Medicaid, or its expansion.

But we the people can’t exit the healthcare system because unlike political parties and ideologies, we actually have bodies, and those bodies need tending whether we like it or not.

The healthcare economy is hollow. You know the drill. It costs twice as much as it needs to for no good reason, overtreats to the tune of close to $1 trillion per year, at prices that have no real support in the cost basis or the market, still is a major cause of personal bankruptcies, and manages to cut vast numbers of people even people “covered” by high deductible plans, out of any treatment at all because it’s so expensive to use the system.

We don’t need to exit. We need to fix it. Fixit!

#healthcareFixit!

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Steven FindlayJohn IrvineBobbyGvegasscapula49Barry Carol Recent comment authors
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Steven Findlay
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Steven Findlay

Clever and fun. Thanks Joe. Wouldn’t it be great if we could hold a simple referendum in the U.S. on “The Health Care Systems in America – Like it or not? Vote YES or NO.” I have no doubt “NO” would win.

scapula49
Member
scapula49

Where are my comments?

scapula49
Member
scapula49

Everybody keeps talking about our healthcare system here in America. Our healthcare system is the greatest in the universe. First, let us define healthcare system. To me, a physician, it means doctors, nurses, allied healthcare workers, researchers, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. I do not include payment methods, such as cash, credit, insurance policies, etc. in the definition of healthcare. The confusion in this country about healthcare is that the medical insurance carriers and government insurance carriers and policies and rules and regulations are what are portrayed as “the American Healthcare System”. Yes, Obamacare is pathetic as a method of payment… Read more »

Barry Carol
Member
Barry Carol

In a perfect world, there would be a transparent cash price for all services, tests and procedures that is less than the commercial insurers’ contract rates. The reason that it should be less is that the cash paying patient costs less to serve than the insured patient does. The provider doesn’t have to file a claim or wait for his money. If I pay at the time of service, he gets his money immediately and with no hassle. While insurers may, in theory, provide access to more lives than I can as an individual patient, the insurer does not guarantee… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

“However, my limited experience with cash pay for both dental care and routine vision care is that I’m expected to pay the full list price which always exceeds the rates paid by whatever insurers the provider has a contract with. I think that’s unfair and unreasonable.”

My experience also Barry when I was cash pay uninsured. Attempts to bring up cash charges brought sideways looks and vague response. They’re just not set up mentally to comprehend.

This is why I laugh at Republican’s push for “free market solutions” as the “cure” for high prices.

BobbyGvegas
Member

LOL. There’s no such thing as a “Free Market.” Private markets, yes, but human affairs get regulated one way or another. Moreover, in a truly “free” market, powerful incumbent interests would be “free” to collude and restrain trade in whatever ways suited them.

BTW, people can spare me the “No True Scotsman” beg-off.

Peter
Member
Peter

SinglePayit

Perry
Member
Perry

Well, some doctors are “drexiting” the system by going direct pay. Many I have seen are working out ways to enable people to see them for reduced prices, so they can at least get a basic eval by a doc. Problem is paying for meds, testing, radiology studies, etc., these prices are going out of sight. I don’t know the answer to bringing those costs down, but the ACA certainly hasn’t.