Monday, March 15, 2010

Health Care is a business....as it should be.

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There's something very important missing from the discussion of health care reform, and that's the idea of Doctors running a business. I'm no PhD, but I hear becoming a medical doctor is no fly-by-night operation, in fact I hear that doctors take years and years of schooling in order to earn their right to practice medicine. It isn't taken lightly and probably not something that you stumble into after a decade of school. Some doctors open their own practice, which makes them their own CEO. That's the head of a company!

Why is this important? It's important, because no one should be able to tell a businessman who his clients have to be and how much he must charge them. The beauty of a free market should be that if you don't like someone's services or pricing then you have the RIGHT to go somewhere else, it is then in the interest of Dr. CEO to offer a great service at an affordable price and to be sure that he keeps you healthy. You know, the stuff business reputations are born of.

So, as a businessman what do you turn to once you no longer have control over your services, clientele or prices? You are in essence no longer a CEO, you're now an employee to a very large thumb. Finding a good doctor is already as difficult as finding a good mechanic, but once you start discouraging independent thinking then your hospitals and health practices will only be as good as finding a good teacher or school, because you'll chase away a lot of doctors.

Health care reform is certainly needed, but we need to reverse the trends, because right now health insurance is how we pay for nearly all health services, but isn't "insurance" something bought in case of an extenuating circumstance? Imagine having to pay $200/mo for "Mechanical Insurance" if you wanted an oil change! And if you chose not to have our hypothetical "Mechanical Insurance" then you'd be charged $100 for a $20 service. Once you take the actual rates directly away from the consumer then price inflation begins, because it is ultimately the consumer who needs to regulate costs and along with those costs the service itself. That is how a free market works, the good service at a valuable/reasonable price thrives while the bad business model falters, but when the choice is taken away from you (think "in network" vs "out of network") and it's regulated by anyone other than the consumer then the incentive is to make that governing/controlling body happy which means the client/patient suffers.

This doesn't even touch the affect on our Dollar and a dozen other implications. The reality is that a government owns nothing, and what it gives, it first needs to TAKE from someone else.
That doesn't sound like freedom at all.

2 comments:

Jo said...

Seriously, this helps me understand so much more than I get reading articles about the health care reform on President Obama's desk...unfortunately, it seems to be a very flawed attempt at a needed overhaul... :/

Wes Hemings said...

I totally agree, I think you can optimistically look at it as an honest attempt to improve the lives of many people (of course you can also look at it pessimistically as an attempt to further corrode our civil liberties and pad the pockets of the elite), but good intentions have so many ill affects that are missed when the principals are poorly laid out. I think the governing principal should be to provide the people with freedom and not to interfere with their lives, with our freedom we can choose to provide for ourselves and for others. Part 2 coming soon!

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