Capitalism and socialism: America’s health care system is built upon the worst of both worlds. Mired in bureaucracy, Obamacare tried to fix it by throwing even more bureaucracy at it.
Each state has its own health care ruled by its own state bureaucracy. These are standardized through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The laws and bureaucracies are all similar, but slightly different. Insurance companies and health care organizations must deal with a different regulatory environment for each state. This is like McDonalds having to modify the Big Mac for each state market, to comply with each state’s fat content laws. How much would a Big Mac cost? It’s no coincidence that California, with its specially blended gasoline, always has the highest gas prices in the lower 48 states.
And then the doctors are free to charge whatever rates they want. The rates paid by Medicare are so low, that many doctors don’t accept Medicare insurance. Different organizations enter into contracts to set rates at various levels for doctors’ services. And if you come in off of the street, without insurance, needing medical services, you will be charged several times the price of these lower contractual rates. How much is a glass of water worth to a man dying of thirst coming in out of the desert?
States and doctors can do as they please, but the real solution is to turn health care into a national market. Make the federal funding of health care dependent upon interstate standardization of health care. Set pricing guidelines at the national level. If a doctor wants to be associated with the national system, he will have to comply with the pricing structure. The same for prescription drugs. If a drug company wants to be part of the national distribution system, it will have to get its pricing structure approved at the national level.
And if a patient wants the right to sue for malpractice, let the patient buy malpractice insurance up front, freeing doctors from this financial burden.