Radical Surgery: Reconstructing the American Health Care System

Overview of a Uniquely American Healthcare Solution!

While the debate over healthcare legislation rages on, let us take a look to see what the fuss is all about.  One would think we could all agree with the simple idea that everyone deserves access to quality medical care but opposition to this and every other idea to provide universal healthcare is rampant.  That opposition seems to be based on several concerns and it would be helpful if we could identify them:

Socialized Medicine – a huge portion of the American people are adamantly opposed to even the idea of a government-run healthcare system.  They do not trust their government to do a decent job of providing healthcare and they do not want the government running their lives. So powerful is this aversion that when someone talks about universal healthcare, a national healthcare plan, or other attempt to extend access to care to all Americans, all these men and women hear is “socialized medicine.”

Higher Taxes – many people are convinced that any plan for universal healthcare will result in huge increases in the taxes hard working Americans will be asked to pay and will also result in massive growth in our national debt.

Higher Cost – there is fear that healthcare, which already costs the American people $2.5 Trillion, will cost even more.

Free Ride – many Americans seem to be concerned that people who don’t want to work will get a free ride at the expense of the rest of us.

Rationed Care – There is wide belief that national healthcare plans in other countries result in the rationing of care and that ours would do the same.

Low Quality Care – many believe that a nationalized health plan can only serve to diminish the quality of the care we receive.

Restricted Choice – Finally, many believe that our freedom of choice regarding the providers of our care will be severely restricted if not altogether lost.

The trillion dollar question is, would the American people support a health plan that could categorically assure that none of the above would happen?

Radical Surgery: Reconstructing the American Health Care System, introduces a uniquely American solution to the healthcare dilemma in the U.S.  Lays the philosophical groundwork and provides an historical context for a health care system that will:

  • Provides comprehensive medical care and prescription drugs to all Americans;
  • Keeps the government, both state and federal, out of the healthcare delivery business,
  • Requires that all Americans pay their own way, proportionate to income, irrespective of source;
  • Enables all businesses, both large and small, to help their employees pay for the cost of care for themselves and their families and still be profitable;
  • Returns control of the practice of medicine to the primary care physician;
  • Gives patients the freedom to choose their primary care physician and also the freedom to change that choice whenever they think it necessary;
  • Eliminates the middle men (health insurance, managed care, Medicare, and Medicaid) so that all healthcare dollars flow to actual providers of care;
  • Reduces the out-of-pocket costs for the vast majority of Americans;
  • Slows the growth of aggregate healthcare costs to less than or equal to the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), saving the American people as much as $6 Trillion over the next decade;
  • Relies on free market forces to drive price, quality, and accountability;
  • Aligns the interests of patients and providers, changing healthcare from a transaction-driven system to one that is relationship-driven;
  • Provides real incentives for doctors to practice preventive medicine and to educate patients about healthy lifestyles;
  • Provides incentives for young physicians to choose primary care rather than a subspecialty practice;
  • Rewards physicians who choose to locate their practices in communities that currently have limited access to healthcare services;
  • That rewards physicians and other providers to work together as part of a team under the coordination of a patient’s  primary care physician; and,
  • Does all of the above in a simple way that even your 90-year old grandmother can understand.

In 2001, when Radical Surgery was written we predicted that, left unchecked, the total healthcare expenses in the U.S. would rise to $2.6 Trillion by 2011. We were off by only $200 Billion. At that time we projected that if the proposals in Radical Surgery were implemented, healthcare expenditures would have risen to only $1.8 Trillion, which would represent an aggregate savings to the American people, over the ten-year period, of over $3 Trillion.

If things continue as they are for another ten years, annual healthcare expenditures will rise to nearly $7 Trillion. The potential aggregate savings to be enjoyed if we were to implement the recommendations in Radical Surgery, over the next ten years  would approach $15 Trillion.

Just think about the impact such savings would have on our lives.

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Radical Surgery: Reconstructing the American Healthcare System: