Here’s my idea for health care.
Create an entirely new system. Hospitals can choose to join it, or not, and doctors and other health care professionals can choose which system to work in (but can’t work in both). Medicare will only pay into the new system. Allowable prices will be set by a panel with the mandate that profit margins can’t exceed 100%. (No more $30 Tylenols.) “Experimental” treatment will be offered free, as an incentive to actual researchers to improve their product to the point where they can sell it.
Patients *must* sign an agreement to use the new system. Just like a ski area, they acknowledge that medical care can be dangerous and the results can be “less than perfect” (to put it kindly … people die). Therefore, they understand that by accepting treatment they are forfeiting their right to sue for malpractice.
Doctors could then decide whether or not they want to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical insurance to treat patients who’s treatment is denied by the insurance companies they’ve paid 10s of thousands of dollars to, or work in the new system.
Of course, there will still be incompetent doctors. Any patient or family member of a patient can make a complaint against them, knowing that they will receive *NO* financial reward as a result. The complaints will be reviewed by a “non-partisan” panel with the power to suspend the doctor’s license to practice medicine or admit patients to the new system.
By not having to cover their ass against frivolous lawsuits, and by not having to pay exorbitant premiums for malpractice insurance, doctors won’t need to order so much useless and unnecessary testing. They will “treat the patient” rather than “cover their asses”.
And yes, to the critics, I expect that this system would bankrupt the insurance companies. I also expect it would *IMPROVE* patient care.
I’m sure there’s more, and I’m open to suggestions to improve on the idea.