Everyone’s healthcare needs are different. However, one of the challenges that we face as a nation is that a one-size-fits-all plan simply doesn’t work all that well for anyone. So what can we do about it?
Ease Licensing Restrictions
To become a physician, you have to go to school for at least eight years and spend at least three years in residency. To become a specialist, you may need two more years as in a fellowship program. During that time, it is unlikely that you will be able to hold down a job to help pay your bills, so you will likely be living on student loans and may graduate under a large load of debt. Once you’re practicing, you will need to stay on top of your training to maintain your licensure and you will need to carry a great deal of insurance.
Degrees like medical assisting and nursing are comparatively easy to obtain, and we don’t see a substantial decrease in the competency of those professionals. In addition, these positions can opt to have their malpractice insurance covered by their employer.
Increase Consumer Choice
One of the big worries that many people face about their health care is the fear that a serious illness will leave them with an uncontrollable amount of debt. However, you can banish this worry with an HSA and HDHP (Health Savings Account and High Deductible Health Plan). Rather than worrying about co-pays and then covering a percentage of your expenses until you meet your full deductible, you can put pre-tax money into an HSA equal to the size of your high deductible. When you go to the doctor, the HSA funds pay for the expense.
If you have a large medical bill, once your HSA funds are spent, your insurance covers the rest. HSA funds can be rolled over, so once you fund the account, you only have to replace what you take out every year. Even better, once you’re 65 and using Medicare, you can use this money as needed. Be aware that these funds will be taxed as gross income in this instance, and that there’s a 20% penalty to use the funds for a non-health emergency if you’re under 65.
Cut the Red Tape
America serves as the R&D lab for the whole world, but Americans have to pay more for these medications than any other citizens. Drug makers and those who make prostheses and other assistive medical devices spend years getting products tested and marketed. The process of getting those products approved costs innovators massive sums of money and Americans can’t benefit from them due to the large amounts of red tape. Additionally, life-saving drugs spend years under review and testing while those who need them and would happily serve as test subjects can’t get the medications that would improve or save their life.
Lower Cost of a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the best ways to maintain your health is simply to walk. By moving your body through space, you reduce pressure on your joints, strengthen your spine and core, and can even improve your mood. Building more sidewalks and open space can help people to take responsibility for their own well-being.
Some say that there is too little government involvement in American healthcare. However, taxes and burdensome requirements make medical services more expensive for everyone. The market is the best option to help Americans get the care they need.
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