Medical care has been corporatized as the result of introducing Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to control the increasing cost of medical care benefits provided by corporations. The cost increased because employees perceived medical care to be free, and so naturally took advantage of it. Medical benefits became part of employee benefits as a means to attract labor during World War II wage and price controls (federal government restrictions initiated the problem). The benefits continued as a tax-subsidized legacy of that era after wage and price controls were removed (federal government extended the problem). Then medical benefits were mandated by state governments, which expanded the demand problem.
To combat the cost increases, the corporations invented managed care organizations, and gave them responsibility for medical employee benefits, so the HMOs would reduce their medical benefit costs by rationing medical care, and do so while making employees angry with the HMO rather than the employer. While reducing medical benefits, the HMOs added a layer of management to the medical cost equation, and interjected themselves between practitioner and patient, reducing the quality of medical care.
The nation's largest union, the American Medical Association (AMA) increased medical care costs by advocating licensing and the education requirements therefor in order to reduce the supply of doctors relative to demand, and thereby increase the profits of those AMA members who were "qualified" to practice.
While I have not investigated it, I suspect the tendency of the AMA to protect is members rather than regulate them contributed to the growth of medicine related lawsuits. As the only country in the world in which the loser does not pay all the legal costs, extortion lawsuits are prevalent in America. Billboard and TV ads are full of attorneys getting rich on medical lawsuits. Ralph Nader got rich on environmental extortion lawsuits. Jesse Jackson got rich on affirmative action extortion lawsuits. The profit from such lawsuits makes the union of trial lawyers very influential in government circles. As a consequence, medical practitioners pay exorbitant malpractice insurance rates, and pass them on to business and individual medical insurers, which pass the costs on to consumers.
It is not the free market that ruined medical care, it is government and unions, which destroy everything they touch as history has repetitively shown. Such cause and effect is predictable. Unfortunately, our simple-minded mass media focuses on symptoms rather than root causes, so simple-minded Americas demand more of the problem: government and unions.
The solution is
6/19/2009 article written by Bill Holmes
- Eliminate all licensing requirements, which will free consumers to choose whatever practitioner they learn from other consumers is competent, and risk less money on new, unproven practitioners.
- Eliminate all employee benefit requirements and subsidies, which will eliminate the intermediaries between practitioner and patient, except perhaps insurance for extraordinary medical costs exceeding $2,000 annually or whatever the consumer wants to afford.
- Bill trial losers for all legal costs or adopt arbitration.
- Privatize the FDA, which will free consumers to pay the higher cost of FDA-approved drugs, or not.
- Eliminate government, which will effectively double the income of every American by eliminating taxes and interference with the economy, and make private arbitration and police and fire protection extremely inexpensive in comparison.
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