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Six simple steps to fix our healthcare

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We have a few weeks before the Congress will pass a healthcare bill. This is the time to take a fresh look at the healthcare industry, and discuss possible solutions to the problems it has.

Washington politicians are telling us that the status-quo is not an option, that it's time for a change, and we should speak if we have a proposal to improve the healthcare. So here it is. This proposal is not as radical as the bill proposed in the Congress, but it's the only proposal I am aware of that when implemented, will really reduce the price, will really increase the choice and the competition, will really be deficit neutral, will really provide free or almost free cover for all uninsured and all people with preexisting conditions, and will really not raise a penny in taxes on anybody.

The US healthcare is the envy of the world. Most advances in medical technology are made in the US. Most people with the serious illness, if they have a choice and the means, would come to this country for cure. Most Americans are satisfied with the system we have.

Yet, our healthcare has some undeniable problems.

The price of the health insurance is too high and rising too fast.

Tens of millions of people are uninsured. For some people it's a choice, but many are not able to afford the cost of insurance.


Fear of losing insurance. Many millions of people are fearful of losing their insurance because of the job loss.

Preexisting conditions. It's hard to get insurance for people with preexisting conditions for a reasonable cost.

Deterioration of services. It's undeniable that over the years the medical service deteriorated despite the enormous advance of medical technology and computers. Where are the house calls? Where are the family doctors?

Here is a comprehensive plan on how to fix all of these problems.

1. Dump the FDA.

Because of the FDA the cost of bringing a new drug is about half-a-billion dollars and the time to bring it to the patient is about 8 years. If, as often proclaimed, hundreds of thousands of people save their lives every year with a new miracle drug, it stands to reason that hundreds of thousands people die each year while the FDA keep the drug off the market. And it's just for one drug, for one year. So it's not an exaggeration to say that millions of people die because of the FDA.

This cost and this waiting period have the chilling effect on the development of new drugs. We are probably hundreds years behind in development of new drugs only because of this.

The argument that people would not know which drug to use without the FDA is ridiculous. To get the drug recommended by the doctors, the manufactures would pay a small part of the half-a billion for the drug to be reviewed by the reputable experts.

2. End the war on drugs.

Alcohol prohibition resulted in the same violence as the war on drugs. Any drug should be available at the drug store. It's absurd to wait for an appointment, pay for a visit to a doctor a few hundred dollars, to get antibiotics at the pharmacy (and to sign that "yes, I know what to do with these pills" form) before you get them. Making any drug available to anybody will bring the cost of the drugs and the entire medical care down.

It also happens to be a moral and practical decision as well. It's immoral to prevent people from buying any chemical substance that want for their own consumption. After all, we do own our bodies, don't we? It's also impractical. Do we want to restrict access to perfume, gasoline, and other substances that could cause harm if swallowed? Do we want doctors to write prescriptions for anything but organic vegetable? There are cases when people die after drinking a lot of water. Should we regulate the amount of water bought by an individual as well?

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Editor's Note: Here at OEN, we like to present a w... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 3:03:36 AM
I am not against people asking medical practitione... by Zak Maymin on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 10:22:01 AM
With all due respect to you, Zak, and as much resp... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 1:13:14 PM
I don't want absence of all regulations. I want th... by Zak Maymin on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 1:55:00 PM
Rob, your argument holds no water. You say that wi... by Man B. Free on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 2:01:11 PM
Is what comes to mind after reading this article. ... by Simple Truth on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 2:45:08 PM
Tort reform is a controversial topic which is not ... by Zak Maymin on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 at 3:29:55 PM
So long as it's for profit who knows what companie... by Rebecca Anon on Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009 at 6:00:37 PM
Krystal J. Combs writes: "Publicoption: Steady, sa... by Man B. Free on Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009 at 8:12:33 PM
The whole point of a single payer option is that I... by Rebecca Anon on Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009 at 11:18:23 PM
Krystal, I was confused by your terminology it see... by Man B. Free on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 at 9:57:10 AM
MBF - where you and I disagree is that I have expe... by Rebecca Anon on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:23:10 AM
I don't mind if the government pays for some basic... by Zak Maymin on Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009 at 8:26:47 PM
Zac Maymin writes: "I don't think I can convince y... by Rebecca Anon on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:43:08 AM