Free America from Health Care Debt

“Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.”

—National Coalition on Health Care

In 2013, the United States spent 17 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected to reach 20 percent by 2020. In contrast, health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. If advanced countries like our own are holding steady at 10 percent, what on Earth is causing ours to double?

“For decades, the U.S. healthcare system was the envy of the entire world. Not coincidentally, there was far less government involvement in medicine during this time. America had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients enjoyed high-quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of private charities provided health services for the poor. Doctors focused on treating patients, without the red tape and threat of lawsuits that plague the profession today. Most Americans paid cash for basic services, and had insurance only for major illnesses and accidents. This meant both doctors and patients had an incentive to keep costs down, as the patient was directly responsible for payment, rather than an HMO or government program.

The lesson is clear: when government and other third parties get involved, health care costs spiral. The answer is not a system of outright socialized medicine, but rather a system that encourages everyone – doctors, hospitals, patients, and drug companies – to keep costs down. As long as “somebody else” is paying the bill, the bill will be too high. “

—Ron Paul, M.D. and U.S. Senator

To assure the best medical care money can buy, America needs legislation passed that streamlines the industry. For one, medical insurance should be pretax to the populace. There should be caps on legal remedies regarding malpractice, so doctors can “operate” without unnecessary risk. We waste half a trillion dollars a year on claim paperwork and over-testing alone to minimize their liability. Astronomical lawsuits drive doctor’s liability insurance premiums through the roof, and our healthcare premiums follow suit. Other countries don’t permit this; we shouldn’t either. One alternative is “negative outcomes” insurance proposed in House Bill HR 3076, which could be purchased by patients undergoing surgery, avoiding the immense cost and time to litigate a claim if something goes wrong.

Healthcare costs would drop drastically if the sick rich stopped trying to kill us 30 different ways. The huge amount we will save when existing cures for cancer and heart disease go mainstream will also revitalize the economy as its former victims become more active and engaged in life. “Managing disease”—like provoking war to keep the military industry profitable—will fall by the wayside as patients recognize how fraudulent omission and Pavlovian conditioning (take these pills for at least 21 days…) by pharmaceutical companies and their pushers have been used against them. Tailoring fees to the honorable and factual needs of patient and doctor is the way back to a strong healthcare system for America.