Read Dr. Block’s opinion to “Medicare for All” published in Medicare Quick, where she explains the real risks of this flawed plan and gives another option that can protect you and your health.
Dr. Mary Ann Block believes that HSAs should be used instead to provide full coverage. Her reasoning is as follows:
12 Reasons You Do Not Want Medicare for All (Single Payer)
- If you give the government control of all the medical care dollars, they can take the money from health care and use it to give another tax break to the wealthy.
- The government continuously lowers payments to doctors who take Medicare so fewer doctors will be available.
- Doctors who take Medicare have to see many more patients per day to make the same income.
- The 7 minutes a doctor spends with a patient will be shortened even further.
- Pharmaceutical companies will make even more decisions about your medical care.
- More prescriptions will be the solution to every problem because they are easy, fast and cheap (for the doctors and insurance companies).
- Psychiatric prescriptions will be prescribed even more as there is no need to spend money on lab tests if you have a psychiatric problem. Doctors are already being encouraged to make psychiatric diagnoses for this reason.
- There would be even less competition to actually help people.
- There will be no medical innovations or cures.
- Even with Medicare, you must have another insurance policy to receive decent care.
- Those who cannot afford a supplemental insurance policy to go with their Medicare will not receive the same quality of medical care as those who can afford it.
- The government is already limiting medical care for the elderly. They do not get approved for many procedures because of age and because they are on Medicare.
Universal Health Care can still be an option but health care dollars should be controlled by the people who use them . . . Us!
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are the answer. HSAs are not completely unlike Medicare in that people pay into an account to be used when they need it. The difference is that everyone also pays for a catastrophic policy that covers them in cases of a serious illness like cancer or hospitalization. The Health Savings Account allows you to decide what you spend the money on. The government doesn’t decide what you spend it on. Perhaps you would rather spend your health dollars on nutritional supplements than an antibiotic when you have a virus since antibiotics don’t work for viruses. Maybe you want to choose your own doctor, not one from a list that your insurance company wants you to choose because they are cheaper for the insurance company.
For those who cannot afford to put money into the HSAs themselves, the government helps with the dollars needed to give everyone an equal opportunity to have the best medical care they choose. Money that is now being spent on Medicaid and Medicare can be used for that purpose.
Imagine having such control over your medical dollars that if a doctor doesn’t help you, you can go to someone else and give them your medical dollars. This would start a good competition in medicine. Doctors would have to get you well and keep you well if they want to continue to be paid.
This would even the playing field for everyone. There would be no difference between the care received by someone who has money and someone who does not. Everyone would have the same card to see whichever doctor they wish. Doctors would be paid for the service they render. If the patient is not happy with the care, they can go elsewhere. This will ensure that doctors do a better job than they do today. With Medicare for all, unfortunately, there is no incentive for a doctor to do better, to fix a problem rather than just prescribe a drug.
At the end of your life, if there are any dollars left in your account, it can be passed to your family to help them with medical expenses. It is your money and should not go to the government if you don’t use it.
Does anyone think it is odd that the insurance company pays your doctor by not how well they do their job, but by how well they “code” your diagnosis and treatment? Shouldn’t they be paid by how well they do their job? Should they be paid if they don’t help you or make you worse?
The reality is that you may think you are getting good medicine from your doctor when you go in, tell the doctor your symptoms and walk out with a prescription but you may not be. Does it ever occur to you that you may not need that prescription? Does it ever occur to you that the prescription may have so many side effects that you could be worse off taking it than you were from the symptoms that led you to the doctor, to begin with?
We have all been taught that doctors know everything and we can trust them to get us well and keep us well. The unfortunate facts are that the paradigm of most doctors is “Name It and Drug It.” Give you a diagnosis and a prescription. Medical research today has nothing to do with finding the real underlying cause of a problem. Medical research is used to test another drug for the same condition for which we already have 5 drugs, so the pharmaceutical companies can have a new patent and charge a lot more for their drug than they could for a generic one.
Drug reps (employed by the drug companies to market drugs to doctors) only give samples of the patented, expensive drugs so if your doctor gives you a sample and you continue to use it, it will cost a lot more than a similar drug that can be purchased generic. Drug reps don’t tell doctors about the side effects of the drugs they are pushing. One drug rep told me doctors don’t even ask about the side effects. Even the drug rep was concerned about that. Drug reps have told me they don’t trust doctors because they know they are the ones telling the doctors about the drugs and they are marketing, not teaching.
The FDA has stated that less than 1% of doctors know the side effects of the drugs they prescribe. Now, that should scare everyone. I have found this to be true. For example, a 9-year old girl has prescribed two drugs that were not even indicated for children. She developed complete, total amnesia. When her mother asked the doctor if the drug could have caused the amnesia, the doctor told her, “No, the drugs did not cause it. Increase the dose.” If the doctor had known the side effects of the drug prescribed or at least looked it up when the mother asked, he would have seen that “Amnesia” was listed as a side effect to both drugs. This situation is not rare.
With Medicare for All, this will occur even more as doctors will feel they don’t have time to lookup drug side effects. By the way, it takes about 2 minutes to look up side effects of drugs so there is no excuse to not do it.
Single-payer or Medicare for all is not the answer. When the government controls all the medical dollars, they will decide who gets what care. If you are over 75 years old, perhaps they will decide that you don’t deserve any more dollars. Maybe they will decide that for 65-year-olds. If you have a child with serious medical problems, perhaps they will decide that the child will use up too many medical dollars in its lifetime.
I don’t want the government deciding how I spend my medical dollars or whether I deserve to live or die. Members of the government have too many biases. We all saw that a group of male legislators was making all the decisions on women’s health. There was not a single woman on the panel.
There is an unfortunate attitude that some take, in which they use the medical system even if they don’t really need it, like people going to the emergency room for a small cut on the hand or going to the doctor for a cold. For some, if the service is free, they will use it even if they don’t need it. This just wastes dollars that could be used elsewhere.
I have seen older individuals taking 12 medications. Do they need all those drugs? Not likely. Type II Diabetes is one of the most diagnosed health problems in the elderly. There are many drugs people can take for it but it is 100% curable with diet and exercise. Doctors seem to not give that advice or they don’t spend enough time with the patient to help them with a diet and exercise plan.
Cholesterol is the precursor to all of our hormones. If our hormones go down, cholesterol will go up to make more. A study performed at Yale University found that we actually live longer if our cholesterol is higher. If that’s the case, think of all the money that could be saved if most cholesterol drugs were no longer needed.
There are many instances such as these in which a prescription is not really needed. Some doctors will prescribe an antibiotic for a cold. Antibiotics don’t work for colds because colds are viruses. Doctors have been taught that a patient will leave and find another doctor if they don’t prescribe something. Wonder who taught them that? Could it have been the pharmaceutical companies?
People who want to see Medicare for All, often compare us to other countries, saying we are the only industrial country that doesn’t have Universal Health Care. “It works in those countries so we should have it here.” The United States is not like these other countries. The other countries do not have a legislature that is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies. Other countries encourage the use of so-called “alternative” treatments. The Queen of England uses Homeopathy. In the US, drug companies are trying to ban Homeopathy. As long as drug companies have lobbyists who spend billions of dollars to influence the FDA, the CDC, and the politicians, the U.S. will not have a healthy population.
The U.S. medical system is broken. The insurance companies and the drug companies control the dollars. The only way it will improve is to give control of the dollars to the people. Ultimately it will cost less and we will have a healthier society.