From Ronald Hoffman, MD
It’s time to fundamentally transform our healthcare system. The fact is, we spend way more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, and our health outcomes rank behind those of many poorer countries; virtually everyone agrees that the status quo can’t remain without the prospect of an unsustainable disease burden and fiscal disaster.
What is needed is a very fundamental re-ordering of our healthcare priorities and elimination of the perverse incentives which lead to more people undergoing costly sick-care. Only then can our healthcare system be saved from implosion, and the costly toll of degenerative diseases on our society and our economy be alleviated.
Here are some of the reforms I propose:
- Eliminate inequity by offering health coverage for all Americans based on means-tested eligibility. No one should die from lack of rudimentary medical care; nor should they suffer medical bankruptcy.
- Create competition and diversity in health insurance. Plans should be available ranging from bare-bones/high deductible to “platinum” coverage. Innovative companies should be allowed to compete for health-conscious applicants by offering a wide range of integrative medicine benefits.
- Foster a return to direct-pay of doctors which eliminates pricey insurance and government bureaucrats as arbiters of “correct” medical care.
- HSAs (tax-incentivized health savings accounts) should be encouraged, and expanded to cover supplements, gym memberships, yoga, and treatment by alternative practitioners.
- Medical education needs to be completely reformed. While pharmacology and surgery now dominate curricula, reflecting the priorities of BigPharma and device makers, young doctors need to be mobilized to become the vanguard for prevention via diet and lifestyle.
- Expand post-graduate education opportunities for doctors in integrative medicine and nutrition. Most doctors pursuing these careers must do so outside of traditional residency programs, at great cost to them.
- Put an end to state medical boards’ prosecution of doctors merely for providing integrative services.