Commentary: Politicians' Stab at Healthcare Reform is Unreasonable and Unworkable
Issues with specialist and procedural referrals are solved by affiliation with a university medical center where faculty and residents would provide specialist and surgical care. This may be in urban areas near a medical campus or through telemedical technology which is poised and ready for prime time.
There would be a defined means-based cost sharing for individuals and families who qualify for these programs and initially they would be designed for those who do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, but would evolve as capacity allowed. These clinics would not be available to individuals with commercial insurance or outside of an income threshold.
This would allow for the commercial healthcare marketplace to improve on cost as the unreimbursed care moves into the community health clinic paradigm. It would also minimize the cost of education and training so physicians could pursue a career based upon interest more than profit and promote competitive improvements in care and service for the public. I know many might consider this idea a bit far reaching, but I would like to see the private sector supported, not stifled.
We are at a monumental moment in the self-focused eyes of our politicians. We need to move carefully, without partisan pressure, but with common sense. Healthcare is one-sixth of our economy and is an important employment base and focus of innovation for our national productivity. We do not need ultimatums demanding comprehensive health reform that must be done before Christmas. We need to find solutions that do not break our spirit—or our pocketbook.
Russell Libby, MD, is founder of the Virginia Pediatric Group in Fairfax and Herndon, VA. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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