The first principle of the proposed new policy would be that NO ONE WOULD BE DENIED COVERAGE, regardless of their insurance or monetary status. Here is how it would work.
ALL teaching centers that train physicians would be designated as centers of excellence with MULTIPLE GOALS.
These goals would be:
- To expertly train new and up-coming physicians so that American doctors would be the top physicians in the world
- To engage in research so that the quality of medical practice, incorporating the latest in cutting edge technology and knowledge, would be maintained at the highest level and passed on to physicians in training
- Never to turn down any patient regardless of their insurance status
So, you might ask, who will pay for these centers and this activity. The federal government would be engaged to deal with these centers. They would have to oversee these teaching institutions to make sure that they were operating efficiently, were cost effective, etc. This would be far simpler than dealing with the entire American public as well as all the insurance companies.
The Feds would make it even simpler by just dealing with the states and letting each state monitor how the federal money would be doled out to its teaching institutions. The states would regulate the costs, oversee and institute rules and guidelines of their teaching institutions.
People who were at one end of the non-level playing field would have a choice:
- They could go to the teaching institution where their insurance would help pay for their care
- They could go to their local hospital where their insurance would help pay for their care
People at the other end of the playing field, who for whatever reason had no insurance, would have no choice—THEY WOULD HAVE TO GO TO THE TEACHING CENTER WHERE THEY WOULD NOT BE REFUSED AND WOULD RECEIVE EXPERT CARE. [NOTE: As you recall, I was once a Resident physician. I feel that I was a pretty darn good one too. And when I was in a teaching position I made SURE that the Residents under my tutelage delivered quality care as well.]
This system would allow local, private hospitals to flourish and engage in competition with each other and with the teaching institutions. This competition would further increase the quality of care. The local hospitals would not have the cost issues they currently have for they would not have to treat those who did not have the money or the insurance to pay for their care.
Check back for the last of our four part series on an alternate plan for our nation’s health care.