The Right to Health - A Holistic Health Plan for the Next Administration
Barbara P. Billauer
Foundation for Law and Science Centers, Inc.; Institute of World Politics
Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 2007
This plan recommends maximizing health care, not coverage, for those currently uninsured, and suggests preserving the status quo regarding health insurance where it is working, at least for the immediate future. It is, first, a market-driven plan, favoring incentives and practices that maximize profits for physicians who can demonstrate improved health (or increased wellness) in their patient population, and recognizes the financial expectations and motivations of the diligent, motivated and/or entrepreneurial physician. Second, it does away with practices that allow profits to accrue to non-medical owners, such as HMOs, where individual health providers have no financial stake (or capitalistic incentive) in the outcome of their ministrations, the satisfaction of their assigned patient group, or the overall health of the subscribers.
This plan also suggests that the government assumes non-medical infrastructure costs, similar to other low-profit operations that do not lend themselves to private enterprise, while protecting the practice of medicine from outside intervention. Thus, third, the plan creates a federally-run health facility (Health House) where rental and administrative costs, supplies, laboratory services, and basic diagnostic machines are assumed by the government and/or shared by the medical members invited to join. This practice would lower overhead and maximize physician profits, without interfering in patient care or physician selection. In exchange for this financial incentive, physicians would donate a portion of their increased income in the form of medical care for the uninsured. Fourth, the plan broadens the class of those allowed to perform certain routine health services, while noting the legal implications of licensing changes. In addition, and fifth, the plan contemplates targeting specific diseases for enhanced treatment programs and allocating additional research resources, especially for diseases of the aging. Sixth, and finally, the plan contemplates regulating conduct and lifestyle choices of minors that threatens their health. This would be accomplished by broadening the reach of regulations, such as those banning access to alcohol, and tobacco, or exposure to media deemed harmful. An exposition of the last provision is outside the scope of this article.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 57
Keywords: health care, insurance coverage, health coverage, market driven health plan
JEL Classification: A13, D63, D78, H4,H42, H51, H54, I11, I18, K32, L3Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 24, 2007
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