Home > August 2009 > A Physician’s Perspective on The Issues of National Healthcare #12

A Physician’s Perspective on The Issues of National Healthcare #12
By Dr. Chuck McGowen

In his syndicated column dated 6-29-09 George Will pointed out some of the reasons for our current predicament regarding healthcare and warned us of the consequences of trying to correct the situation in the way that some of those now in control in Washington seem to prefer. He wisely said “We’ll come to regret the fix for health care.” The alleged fix to which Will refers is those trillions of dollars in expenditures proposed by the Obama administration in the national healthcare bill (H.R. 3200) currently being debated by certain committees in the Congress.

Mr. Will declared the patently obvious when he wrote, “Most Americans want 2009 medicine at 1960 prices.” His statistics tell us that the price tag for healthcare in 1960 was only 5 % of the gross domestic product (GDP) while in 2008 it was an enormous 18% of the GDP. In 1960 the doctor and the patient were in complete control of the dollars spent on the health and well being of Americans, while today it is the Federal Government that has hold of the reins guiding the management of persons on Medicare and Medicaid, while insurance companies manage the care of the rest of our insured citizens. Both the government systems that control Medicare and Medicaid and those of the insurance company’s HMOs are bureaucratic nightmares, but the bureaucracy represented by H.R. 3200 is an HMO on steroids.

George Will rightly observed that automobiles cost more today because of the conveniences of air conditioning, automatic windows, power steering, power controlled seat positions, heated seats, airbags, antilock brakes, FM radios, CD players, GPS devices, etc, etc, etc. Improvements and conveniences cost money and as I have pointed out through the latest articles in this blog spot, the same increased expense also applies to medical care. In 1960 an average family spent 53 percent of its annual income on food, clothing, energy and health care. Today we spend 55 percent of our disposable income on those essentials. However, the piece of the pie consumed by healthcare has risen while the portions utilized by the other three necessary components have fallen.

Will informs us that 76% of Americans are either covered by the government (through VA, Medicare and Medicaid) or their employer while 15 percent, or 47 million are not covered at all; the latter being by choice (one half), illegal aliens or lack of funds. The remaining 9 percent pay for their own health care insurance. He then provides a figure that shocked even me when he noted that “$84 out of every $100 spent on healthcare is spent by someone else (an employer, an insurance company or the government agencies) and only $16 on the recipients of care. That ought to be enough to encourage a return to the free market, consumer driven system where the doctor and the patient exchange all of the dollars spent of the well being of our citizens. Everyone agrees that the current system of healthcare delivery needs to be reformed. The question is how? The logical answer is to return it to the complete control of those who know best; the doctor and the patient. The answer is not found in government bureaucrats who know nothing about the science, the art or the practice of medicine. Over the next several weeks this blog will be devoted to the workable solutions, beginning at the state level


Sunday, August 02, 2009, 06:52 AM

Email to a Friend  |  Printer Friendly Page  |  Permalink

Bookmark and Share

Dr. Charles McGowen's Bio


Past Posts

What is scientifically natural about same sex marriage? Nothing!
How does diabetes relate to pancreatic cancer? Don’t ask your attorney.
It is time for Washington to take off the blinders and take notice of what really works in Stem Cell therapy
The Pathophysiology of Christ’s Death
Soda Pop May Be Doing More Than Just Adding Calories
The Proof is not to be found in the Pudding

June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005

Search this blog: