How Can We Fix Healthcare in the 9th District

Today I want to talk about healthcare. Obviously any solution must apply to the good of all Americans, but that does not mean that medicare for all is the right way to go since it would bankrupt the system and wind up as medicare for none. No, the solution has to make health care more affordable to the average American and there is a way to do this.

Many small towns have no doctor because it is simply to expensive to operate an office there. Why does it cost so much? Prescriptions are out of sight and take years of research and billions of dollars to bring them to market. Again why does it cost so much here while the same prescriptions are less expensive in other countries? The answer lies in our legal system! Doctors pay approximately one million dollars a year each for malpractice insurance because courts can give outrageous amounts to patients in punitive damages, insurance companies set rates according to the risk they have to assume and hospitals pay based on the same thing. Lawyers normally get approximately one-third of what is awarded so they try for the most they can get for their clients. It is like a circular firing squad with you in the middle!

Nobody would limit the payment of medical bills to the patient but “tort” laws allow these outrageous awards. The governor of Texas realized this and push a tort reform law through the Texas legislature because the doctors became in very short supply there. The law doesn’t effect actual health care cost,rather it limits the amount the court can award for punitive damages to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per doctor, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per hospital and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per insurance claim.

The result of this reform was amazing! Doctors are now in good supply in Texas, medical services cost have gone down and insurance premiums for hospitals and doctors have diminished. Doctors can now afford to practice in small towns and the treatment is now rated the best in the country!

Could this same solution work for the whole country? Probably but getting it into law by a congress that is loaded with lawyers is going to be a real fight. After all, how would you like your income reduced from millions to whatever the average person makes, maybe the same as a college educated teacher makes?

When the last administration tried to solve this problem, they came up with ObamaCare and drove many insurance companies out of the business altogether as well as driving the overall cost of medical care through the roof. We have to avoid that mistake.

There are many hurdles to overcome to get this into law. First off, each state has it’s own insurance commissioner and laws and they may not be happy to allow the federal government to make laws that effect those laws. No doubt the Supreme Court of the United States would be involved. Then the bar associations will not like it either and probably oppose it whole heartily.

However, it is a fight worth fighting. The American people are judged worldwide by the way they treat their least citizens. Are we being fair to those of our people who are less fortunate?