Going back and re-reading some of my posts over the last few weeks makes it pretty apparent that I’m finally taking a long-overdue interest in my health. Between the optometrist visit, the dentist visit (including follow-ups), and the doctor visits, I’m trying to get myself in the best shape possible. Part of this is because I haven’t been to these various doctors in so long, but I’m really going to these places because I have health benefits and I feel that I should use them…before the government finds a way to mess up healthcare.
Speaking of healthcare, one of the subscribers to this blog (by the way, have you subscribed to the blog yet? If not, go to the top of this page and subscribe there!) sent in his proposal to reform healthcare. It’s interesting, to say the least. Frankly, I think there is merit in the proposal, which is copied below from a recent op-ed:
A proposal to reform medical care and save the federal and state governments and the American taxpayer billions over the long run.
Federal and state governments would pay all costs of a medical school education for students who otherwise would not be able to afford a medical school education. No student would be excluded, provided that upon completing medical school, the doctor would be obligated to provide a percentage of their time and practice for treating low-income patients deemed eligible by federal and/or state governments.
The doctor would be obligated to treat a small percentage of eligible low-income people for free (office visits only). The percentage and number of years of obligation to do so would be decided by peer review. The less money provided to the students for their medical education, the smaller the percentage of their obligation for treating the eligible poor.
Participating doctors would not bill Medicare, Medicaid, insurance companies for the treatment of the eligible poor, thus saving federal and state governments billions of dollars in the long term.
The cost of the free medical school education provided by federal and state governments would be offset by the savings achieved by not having doctors bill Medicare, Medicaid and the insurance companies. Students in any stage of medical school would immediately be eligible to participate.
Doctors would have the option to treat eligible patients in their office, at hospitals or clinics. Clinic space could be provided for out of office visits.
The same premise can be applied for health providers and caregivers willing to participate under the same above rules and obligations. The federal/state governments would defray all cost to all eligible health providers and caregivers to open up their medical practice/office. Doctors, labs, chiropractors, and therapists would be eligible under my proposed program.
The potential saving to the federal/state governments from non billing by participating caregivers would be enormous.
Regarding unnecessary diagnostic tests that are ordered by doctors out of fear of medical malpractice, a meeting of the minds could be convened among federal and state policy leaders, bar association representatives, medical insurers, and health providers, to come to an agreement of understanding as to limiting diagnostic tests deemed unnecessary.
Joseph P. Martino
Millburn, New Jersey
What do you think?