O, Canada… and the US Healthcare Crisis

Sometimes I wish I live in Canada.

My employer is rolling out changes to our healthcare plan.

“You now have more options,” they say. Which of course, we do. What they don’t tell you up front is that 2 of the 3 plans will cost you more than you are currently paying on a monthly basis as well as in deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. And the third plan only works for people that never go to the doctor and have no concerns about getting a major illness. In other words, plan 3 is for single guys.

I’ve never seen so much discussion around the office (other than World of Warcraft). And the concensus is of course that the employee is getting screwed, while the companies (employer, insurance company and healthcare providers) all walk away with a win. They try to tell use it’s a win-win situation, but both those wins are going to the big company.

It’s frustrating. Times like these make me wish I lived in Canada. Free healthcare to the masses. Nobody goes without and everyone is taken care of. Of course, there are all kinds of problems with that methodology. It smacks in the face of what we as American’s see as holy… and yes, I’m talking about Capitalism. But most importantly, it hinders research and development and brings a, what some would call, lazy, attitude within the medical profession. Which is what we see in far too many of our public education professionals these days.

So what’s the solution? Socialized medicine isn’t the answer. Too much capitalism in medicine isn’t the answer either (as we are starting to witness). So what do we do?

Here’s my proposal:

  • As much as I don’t like government involvement, it’s time we have it in the medical industry. We need to regulate the HMOs better. They have too much power.
  • Put some type of limit on the malpractice law suites. I know that sounds counter intuitive for the common man, but in reality, it will lower medical costs by lowering the physicians costs. The doctors will also have less reason to practice CYA (cover your… er…. butt) medicine, which accounts for lots of unnecessary procedures and tests.
  • Get back to a more personalized practice of medicine. Too many physicians run their practice just to make money. It seems like it’s not about the people anymore. It’s not about helping those in needs, it’s just a business and maximizing profits. In saying that, I know there are plenty of good doctors out there. I just see this attitude more and more in medicine and dentistry, etc.

Anybody have any other ideas? Or perhaps some corrections of my misconceptions? Let me know.

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