Now, certainly I am not a medical professional and this is an outline of my own thoughts and considerations laid out for your review and comment.
One could argue, (and I myself do) that one such cause is the monstrous nature of the two most prominent healthcare institutions that are themselves run by the government; namely Medicare and Medicaid. These two beasts have become a burden upon the nation’s people by sucking the resources of the nation on two sets of bureaucracies with their own sets of rules and regulations and guidelines and enforcement & auditing agencies and so forth and so-on.
I argue that these precious resources are squandered in some very half-hazard ways by chasing the endless string of rules and regulations that are largely political in nature because this system was designed and regulated by politicians, not doctors or healthcare professionals. These rules are designed by people looking at polls and popular studies and are intended to create a positive public reaction to those who designed the system and it’s myriad of rules, regulations and guidelines in order to get re-elected. Sure some of them engage Healthcare professionals to guide and inform them at times, but the overriding motivational force behind them has nothing whatsoever to do with effective medical care.
Now my personal experience having worked for several years within the inner workings of the Medicaid system here in Idaho has been that drastic changes in the execution of the Medicaid system are largely motivated by political power brokering. Personal vendetta’s and blind adherence to policies that don’t make sense merely to spite one person, organization or other often get in the way of making sound decisions based upon the needs of the patients being cared for. I’ve seen this in action myself within our own system here in Idaho, I’ve seen the entire core of the system uprooted for very little reason other than personal pettiness resulting in a massive waste of money that would have otherwise gone to caring for actual patients.
Now, there is also a net negative effect on the private sector as well, because Medicaid for one, has put into place a policy that force pharmaceutical companies to pay our state kickbacks, or what they call “drug rebates” on every medicine that Medicaid pays for patient care. Unless these companies pay these “rebates,” their medicines are banned from the Medicaid system regardless of their effectiveness. Now it struck me, when I found out that the State of Idaho received rebate checks from the pharmaceutical companies ranging in the Millions of dollars each year solely for the privilege of allowing Medicaid to cover the payment (which it reduces just like any insurance company, thereby doubling their reductions) of these medicines within the Medicaid system. What effect does this kind of near larceny (my own opinion) have on the cost of drugs for everyone else not participating in this government-run healthcare system? Why it raises the cost of course. If one customer rakes your bottom line clean, any thinking person would then have to recoup those costs elsewhere and where else can those costs be recouped except on our shoulders?
Now my own experience has been limited to Medicaid, but any system run by the government is by its very nature vastly inferior to the very same efforts undertaken by the private sector and thus it would make far greater sense to reduce the amount of waste and cost for these two massively wasteful and ineffective systems is to combine them and to find a way to allow execution of it to be privatized much in the same way as we privatize the coverage of high risk drivers for insurance coverage. The government sets the guidelines and boundaries, but the private sector runs the system, so instead of the state Medicaid system, you would have say, the Blue Cross Blue Shield (or insert insurer or plan manager here) Medicaid coverage plan which you would apply and qualify for in the same way as before and would be funded by the government, but run by the private sector; giving people a choice of where to go for quality and effectiveness of coverage. You have mandated minimums, the states could add their own requirements and finally get out of the healthcare business which they suck at so very badly anyway.
Just my view from the cheep seats…