Here’s my medical reform plan. I call it, “Get the Bureaucrats out!” plan.
There are three planks to my plan.
The first plank is to remove all federal government tax subsidies and expenditures on medicine, including medical plans for employees of the federal government and elected officials. If they want medical coverage, they have to use their salary to buy it, the same way anyone else would. This also means that Medicare and any other federal program to pay for someone else’s medical problems go away, saving the federal government tens of trillions of dollars. With these savings, taxes are cut across the board. People may choose to use their tax savings to buy their own medical insurance or to pay for grandma’s medical needs.
The second plank is to remove all regulations and departments regarding medical practice. The FDA and all other bureaucracies are simply eliminated. The federal government, constitutionally, has no say in what private citizens do in the name of medicine. In terms of interstate trade, its job is to regulate, not limit, trade. That means, it defines what things are called and how quantities are measured, but not what is allowed to go across state lines. In terms of international trade, the federal government should eliminate all tariffs and taxes on medical goods flowing into or out of the country.
The final plank is tort reform. One of the reasons why medicine is so expensive in the US is that it is so easy to “prove” a doctor committed malpractice, and then extort millions and millions of dollars from his malpractice insurance company. I believe that doctors should be protected from all lawsuits, unless you have evidence that he had criminal intent to injure. This is dramatically different from other industries where any damage you cause without criminal intent must be recompensed. In the case of medicine, there is no way that a doctor, even a highly trained and well-educated one, can ever prevent many kinds of things from going wrong. Medicine is an area where we simply cannot know what could have or should have happened.
These three planks will have the following effects on our medical economy:
- The federal government’s burden to pay for other people’s medical care will disappear, freeing the current and future generations from unimaginable levels of debt.
- The tax burden on the average taxpayer will drop significantly.
- The economic growth from this tax cut will free up many times more capital than was originally being spent on medical care. The people are free to choose whether to spend that money on medical care for the poor, research to develop new technologies to deliver better medical care for a cheaper price, universities to train new doctors and nurses, new hospitals, and so on, depending on the needs of society and not on political expediency.
- The free market, meaning, highly trained and professional doctors, researchers, scientists, and nurses, will be left to set their own standards and decide which standards they believe are most important to adhere to, rather than a group of uneducated and ignorant bureaucrats locked in a distant room in Washington D.C. Patients will be free to choose what kind of medical treatment they get and how much they are willing to pay for excellence.
- The cost of medical care will drop to a fraction of what it is today as premiums for malpractice insurance drops to a fraction of what it used to.
- The cost of medical insurance will drop as well as the cost of medical care drops.
- The combinations of a cheaper medical industry, with a higher quality product, and a more productive economy will mean that providing all the medical care we provide for the poor and elderly today will cost a tiny fraction of our economic output, compared to the monstrous burden it is today, and will always be a tiny burden in the foreseeable future, despite the changes that will come.
The alternative is to keep things the way they are, which, while a terrible idea, isn’t as bad as Obama’s plan.
The major points of Obama’s plan are:
- Give control over the cost and rationing of medical care to the government.
- Watch as government bungles the medical industry, the same way they have bungled every industry they have interfered with since the beginning of time.
- Moan when you realize that your type of disease isn’t covered by the government medical program, or any other program, and that you had better start digging your grave now because no one will dig it for you.