Healthcare is a consumable, let’s act like consumers

Why aren’t medical practices being run like consumer businesses?

Why should I pay in full BEFORE services are rendered?  Do I hand over my money to Publix supermarket and walk out of there without my groceries?  Do I pay Toyota BEFORE they fix my car? Of course not!  So, why should I pay the dentist in advance, when I’m not going to walk out of there today with my crown?

And why do we need insurance, anyway?  Insurance is nothing more than legalized gambling.  The insurance company is betting that the consumer will not get sick, and the consumer is betting that they WILL get sick. And isn’t that just putting negative karma into the universe? If you EXPECT to get sick and prepare to get sick won’t you … get sick?

We would not need insurance if the rates were reasonable and competitive. Why is there no competitive pricing from which consumers can choose? “Crazy Dr. Eddie – his prices are IN-SANE!” (I think only people from the northeastern USA who grew up in the 60s and 70s will get that reference). If competitive pricing were in effect, we’d be able to afford doctors and surgery and dentistry without insurance, and without taking out a second mortgage… that is, if we can even qualify for a mortgage these days.

Medical professionals say they have to charge so much because a) they owe so much in student loans, and b) malpractice insurance. Again with the freakin’ insurance! If it wasn’t so easy to sue people these days, they wouldn’t need the freakin’ malpractice insurance! And if education wasn’t so exorbitantly expensive, they wouldn’t have quite so much in student loans.

What the world really needs right now is for someone to find and push the global economic reset button.

3 thoughts on “Healthcare is a consumable, let’s act like consumers”

  1. Well there might be one aspect of the medical system in the country way to the north of you that you might agree with then. My understanding of that socialized medical system is that doctors are paid by a rate schedule which determines how much they are paid for any particular service by the government health service. IE: Doctor A doesn’t get paid any more for a particular service than Doctor B does.

    Of course, we are just comparing one aspect here. No medical system in any country is perfect. And comparing different medical systems in any two countries is like comparing apples and oranges.

  2. I think that’s one way to try and control costs – cap the price of the service. But real competition would mean that consumers could shop by price, judge the value of the service for themselves, and go somewhere else freely and without any of this “in network” restriction nonsense if they think they can do better elsewhere. Real competition would pit doctors against each other for the privilege of our business. Competition would mean cheaper costs for the consumer. I’m hoping to see this in my lifetime.

  3. I agree. However, keeping in mind that comparing medical systems in two different countries is like comparing apples and oranges – making medical coverage mandatory (the law) for every citizen answers some of these concerns.

    In a socialized medical system, consumers judge the value (quality) of the service for themselves, and are free to go somewhere else if the service is found lacking. Doctors, by turn, are free to open and close their practice to new patients. They cannot judge and restrict who they will or will not accept, only that they are accepting (or not accepting) new patients. *(see footnote below)

    As to monthly premiums, they generally run around $50 for one person; $100 for a family of two; and $110 for a family of three or more. Premium assistance of up to 100% is available for those with low incomes.

    Again though, it is hard to compare the two systems and make generalizations. Both medical systems have their advantages and their drawbacks.

    *Little footnote: Being able to close your practice to new patients has proven to be extremely beneficial to female doctors who wish to raise a family. By pairing up with another doctor, they are able to restrict the size of their practice, and work-share with the other physician.

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