The Op-Ed of Sep. 7, 2017, “Make healthcare work for the nation, not political points,” ends with, “Partnership between the insurance companies, medical industry, and Washington is the way out of the swamp…” Wrong! These entities are the problem, not the way out of the swamp. Restoring free markets and the doctor patient relationship is the way out of the swamp.
A free market in health care is where patients hire their doctors and, for the most part, pay them out-of-pocket. This makes the doctor the agent of the patient and restores the doctor-patient relationship. For big-ticket costs, patients would have insurance, much like auto collision insurance. Individuals would own the insurance policies, not their employers.
How do we get from the swamp to free market medical care? Obamacare has helped, as pointed out in the op-ed, by increasing the numbers in individually owned health insurance policies. The federal government must make sure there are no federal regulations on the plans. They should also discourage employer-owned health insurance by removing the tax subsidies. They could sweeten this for workers by giving subsidies to individually owned insurance policies.
Once these things are put into effect, individually owned health insurance will increase and prices will drop as more patients pay out-of-pocket. This is how to start getting out of the swamp.
Bert Loftman, M.D.
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