I support free economic markets, and health care is an economic market. Economic markets worst best when they are free to self regulate, with a minimum of government intervention.
Government intervention into free market systems always causes unintended consequences that run CONTRARY to their original intent, and currently there is extreme government intervention into health care. For example, about 20 years ago our federal and state governments pressured physicians to increase opiate use. In California, all physicians were mandated to take 12 hours of "end of life care", at their expense, and for 12 hours, over 2 weekends, we were told that we were under-prescribing opiates. 20 years later we find ourselves in an opiate prescription epidemic.
The physician patient relationship is at the core of all health care decisions, and at the core of all health care expenditures. By lifting medicare price controls on physicians, physicians would become economically empowered. By depositing your medicare and health insurance dollars into Health Savings Accounts under your name, with your control, patients would be come economically empowered. If your health care dollars were under your direct control, you would price compare and scrutinize every health care dollar spent, and free market forces would optimize the entire health care market, driving down costs.
You also might decide to use your Medicare dollars to buy glasses, or fix your teeth, things that our government has arbitrarily determined are medically “unnecessary”. And if you could pass your health care dollars onto your loved ones, or convert them into cash in the event out your death, you might not squander them in the last few weeks of life as we currently do with and estimated 25% of all medical expenditures. Economically empowering you, the patient would also ensure that life and death decisions always remain entirely under your direct control. Health care is an economic market. Making health care an economic FREE MARKET will make health care more affordable.
Government price controls are also limiting the quality of health care. Knee implants cost between $1,800 and $13,000. Surgery centers currently get reimbursed $9,000 for knee replacement surgery, and that includes all costs of parts and labor, so no one gets the highest quality implants! You don't discuss the full range of knee implants that might be best for you with your physician prior to knee replacement surgery because your physician can't choose the implant. Your knee implant is chosen for you by a hospital administrator based upon its costs.
Health care is an economic market. Making it a free economic market will optimize quality and expenses. Economic markets work best when they are free from government intervention.
Another simple, innovative proposal of mine is that private insurance companies should be non-for-profit. Profit in the private health insurance market should be reimbursed to policy holders, not distributed to share holders.
By the way, these proposed changes to health care can all be implemented at zero costs the federal government!