According to NPR the whole health care crisis comes from paying your doctor. "Fee for service" they call it. They rambled on this morning about how "fee for service" encouraged doctors to do more medicine to make more money. After thoroughly bashing "fee for service" the rant sort of petered out. They never did get around to discussing what might replace "fee for service". Apparently doctors would do medicine out of the goodness of their hearts and starve in the gutter. Somehow I don't think that works.
Only two alternatives to "fee for service" occur to me. We could put all doctors on the public payroll, make 'em GS13 civil servants. They get paid bi weekly whether they do anything or not. This way the doctors all work for Uncle Sam rather than for their patients. Obama would love this. I wouldn't.
Or, each patient pays the doctor a fixed yearly fee for which the doctor treats anything the patient might encounter. Depending upon the fee, this might be a good deal for us patients. For the doctor, it's scary. Sign on too many patients that get seriously ill and you are bankrupt. Come to think of it, this sounds like insurance, only the doctor is assuming the risks rather than an insurance company.
I love NPR, it has so much really wierd stuff on in the morning.