Health Care

Director of Health Care:
(Insert MD name here)

Many Greedheads assert that no change is needed because the U.S. already has the best health care system in the world. The current health care system may be the best for them, but it certainly is not for the ordinary citizen. (See After Surgery, Surprise $117,000, by Elisabeth Rosenthal, September 21, 2014, NY Times.)

My experience having my hip pain misdiagnosed for over twenty years, unsuccessful spinal fusion surgery which left me in greater pain than before, and subsequent physician refusal to prescribe the most effective pain medication approved by the FDA, leads me to question the Greedheads’ assertion that change is not needed.

Even our “reformed” national health care system (Obamacare) is wasteful in continuing a perverse system of incentives for the major players at the expense of patients and taxpayers. Hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical and insurance companies (and their lawyers) all try to maximize profits by fighting at cross-purposes with each other. This results in an avalanche of paperwork and a huge administrative staff necessary to keep track of it all.

I propose exploring a more efficient model—a single payer system of universal health care similar to the system in the UK (where doctors are employed and hospitals run by the government) or Canada (where the government purchases health care services from outside organizations). It is hard to imagine a more dramatic example of Greedhead power than the fact that a single payer system was not even on the table as one of the alternatives to our broken free enterprise health care system. And perhaps there is a creative alternative system that hasn’t even been explored.