The average amount of money spent on every American for health care, from the youngest of us to the oldest, is now $10,000 per year. This number is 30% higher than the next closest industrialized nation, for the same amount of coverage.
What happens when government starts handing out “free” money like we do with higher education and health care? Answer: The costs of these services uncontrollably skyrocket!
Look at the 2017 Connecticut State Budget: of the $19.5 billion spent, $2.5 billion is for Medicaid (healthcare for poorer people), and $1.5 billion is spent for state worker and retiree healthcare. This is over 20% of our budget. The costs for these continue to greatly escalate every year, with no end in sight. The State of CT brings in an average of $5,500 in direct tax revenue for every man, woman, and child in the state. For a family of 4 that’s an average of over $22,000. This means that average income family pays over $2,800 per year to support Medicaid and over $1,700 to support state worker health care, for a total of $4,500.
How much less expensive and more efficient would the health care system be if we were the most entrepreneurial government in the country, free from federal influence? Often we forget that every state is an independent Republic (or Commonwealth) with its own constitution. We have enormous legislative powers that we often overlook, and are not bound to Federal programs such as Medicaid (it is voluntary).
The Federal Government has clearly been unwillingly to reign in this completely financially broken and amazingly inefficient system, and we must ask ourselves “Why”? When things are a complete mess and make no sense, we look for answers. The answer is actually quite simple: just follow the money trail. Industries that benefit from the high costs generated by inefficiency and waste, such as insurance and pharmaceuticals, like the system just the way it is. Though they all seem to claim poverty or hardship, these enormous sums of money are of course benefiting certain groups, and clearly do not go to providing affordable and efficient services.
Are these some of the questions we need to be asking:
- With a large and ever growing shortage of doctors, why are less than 1% of applicants accepted into medical schools?
- Why are there not more medical schools and why has not even one state figured out a way to found an enormous one?
- Is the American Medical Association (AMA) just another labor union, limiting competition in order to drive up costs?
- With our Independence as a Constitutional Republic, why do we feel the need to blindly follow established guidelines from the AMA, Insurance Companies, and the legal world?
- When accepting money from the Federal Government for poorly run programs, are we essentially dancing with the devil and thus being controlled by their ways, however inefficient they may be?
- Why is the medical industry the only one that gives services without having to quote prices first? Why is this even allowed?
- What would costs for services be if Insurance companies reimbursed directly to the policy holder or individual, allowing them to shop for services first?
- With malpractice settlements, why are maximum dollar amounts not set? Why are frivolous law suits of all types not fined for court fees and attorney costs when the plaintiff loses and the Judge deems fit? Is it perhaps because an overwhelming percentage of politicians are attorneys themselves and don’t want to change anything?
- What would happen if 1 out of the 50 states had healthcare costs 30% lower than the others? What could that mean for jobs and economic opportunities?
- What would it take to build the newest and largest independent medical school in the country?
- Could that facility, and something like it, begin to handle a lot or most of the medical needs of the truly needy? Could it offer up efficient and affordable cash pay-as-you-go services to the general public, regardless of income levels?
We should be thinking about coming together and re-inventing the way Healthcare is done in our state. The innovation of one state could turn into enormous opportunities. With the goal of becoming an innovative high-growth state, we need industries in which we can be the leader. Perhaps, this is one.