This is the first of a series of blog posts which will end with what I believe is a common sense approach to solving our health care problem in a way that will make both as individuals and as a nation healthier, happier and wealthier.
Your comments and opinions are encouraged.
Health Care Who’s on First?
It seems to me that our objectives are to make sure that everyone is as healthy as possible for as long as possible at as low a cost as possible. The first two objectives are, or at least appear to be, at odds with the third. However, a healthier citizenry can in theory be a more productive citizenry. That extra productivity has the potential to make up for the additional cost.
As a business owner, I think a lot about where my resources should go to generate the most profit. Where can I put a dollar and expect to get two dollars back in the shortest period of time? When I look at the issue of health care I think along the same lines. If we first do what we can to keep more of our citizens productive and healthy during their working years, we may be able to generate more tax dollars and pay for some or all of the cost of better health care for all our citizens.
Some of the health problems that keep so many of us from working could be easily and cheaply fixed or could have been easily and cheaply prevented. In my health care proposal the money would go here first.
How do we easily and cheaply improve our nation’s health and wealth? Perhaps we can step up screening for the diseases that most affect people in their working years or as children. Perhaps we could pass a law that states that only those who are of legal age to smoke at the time of the law’s passing get to smoke in the future. Perhaps we get our school buses to drop our kids off a mile from school unless the weather is bad or the streets are unsafe. There must be a million creative ways to improve our nation’s health without spending a lot of money.
Too much of the health care debate is about who pays for health care. Too little is about what we can do to lower the costs of treatment. If we can use expensive health care interventions less frequently because we need them less, we can lower the cost of health care instead of merely shifting the cost of health care to different parties.
A healthier population will be a more productive population. This will increase GDP and our tax base. Further if we have a healthier country and fewer parents die before their children reach maturity everybody wins both today and tomorrow as we will also be helping to make the next generation healthier and more productive.
As stated above, your comments are encouraged.
In my next post I will attempt to answer the question “Why is Health Insurance So Confusing?”