Laissez-faire Healthcare?

Healthcare, specifically its cost and efficiency, has been a reoccurring problem in the United States. Socioeconomic disparities between income and opportunity has reduced the access to healthcare for many families in the U.S. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has aimed to provide affordable universal healthcare, but instead, has also resulted in higher clinical prices and has intensified the problem of unaffordable healthcare. Even though the U.S. is the only country without a publicly financed universal health system, it still spends more public dollars on healthcare in the entire world. Compared to other countries, Americans have relatively few hospital admissions and physician visits, but are greater users of expensive technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The problem is that incomes of middle class Americans and lower class Americans have been greatly affected by the ACA and its policies because of higher taxes to combat the rising prices of healthcare, which still doesn’t result in positive trends in clinical efficiency. New policies have to be amended to the ACA and/or the ACA needs to be eliminated and revised so that medical care can influence positive patient outcomes without increasing health care prices and taxation. The restoration of incomes and the strengthening of preventative medical care can save the tax plan and also help increase the positive outcomes for patients.

The first way that I believe that incomes of middle-class Americans can be restored, is to develop new healthcare business models that reward healthcare providers on the basis of their patient population’s health outcomes. Providing incentives such as reduced corporate tax rate to private sector companies who invest in research and development (R&D) and innovating in healthcare fields to improve medical outcomes. In global comparison, the United States spends the most on healthcare per capita, but its medical outcomes and efficiency aren’t as positive as other countries who spend less on healthcare. This means that the gap isn’t necessarily in medical treatment, its in the budget allocation and the institutions/healthcare facilities where American money goes.

Clinical intervention is also one of the factors of skyrocketing medical bills. In today’s world, every symptom has a medication or pill/drug that is immediately prescribed to the patient. Physicians are getting paid on the basis of the amount of medication prescribed to the patient, not the medical outcomes of the patient. Drugs and pills increase a patient’s dependency on medication, which means that more money is funneled into overheads, but less money into decreasing a patient’s dependency on medicine. The U.S should motivate healthcare providers to invest in social programs such as wellness (yoga, exercise, etc.), diet, behavior (smoking cessation), and non-clinical interventions that will be more medically cost-effective but also increase positive outcomes for the patient in the long run.

Lastly, I believe that the majority of the money invested by the U.S government in healthcare should be distributed within preventative medical care. The reason that healthcare is so expensive is because of all the overhead costs, as well as dividends that taxes and patient payment goes to. By lessening our expenditure on insurance companies, we can reduce the disparities between socioeconomic classes in regard to healthcare, and also restore a large amount of the incomes in middle class families. Investing in preventative medical care will result in lower healthcare prices and healthier patients in the long run. A reduced dependency on hospitals/invasive treatment, equates to less taxation to fund unnecessary drugs/opioids, which could put a stop to the perpetuation of the opioid epidemic. By minimizing the circulation of drugs and the dependency that patients have on them, other problems such as antibiotic resistant bacteria will start to become less and less prevalent. Preventative care comes full circle.

In conclusion, the incomes of middle class Americans as well as lower class Americans can be restored by investing in measures that lead to positive medical outcomes, social programs to promote wellness and non-clinical intervention, and preventative medical care. The world is rapidly innovating, with aims to place the future of medicine on every doorstep. However, by taking a step back, analyzing the options, and picking the choice that is the most beneficial to the patient, the medical industry will be catalyst in the salvation of family incomes, infrastructure, and also create a more efficient patient outcome service for America.