Letter to Politicians

I mailed this to ta few of the folks on my ballot and thought that I would share it to share my ideas publicly:

Dear Candidates,

Some food for thought,

I’m voting soon and I’ve not decided whom I’m voting for yet.

I was reading some of your positions and thought I would share some thoughts.

I just wanted to share my most recent epiphany regarding the healthcare industry with you. Perhaps if you are elected you will remember this email.

My brother moved to Germany a few years ago for grad school. He has been studying there for a while. When he first went he was super pumped about the healthcare systems in Europe.

He told me about the care etc… I asked him how he thought that it was possible that they provided equivolent care for cheaper?

He did not have a good answer to this very simple question.

At the time my thinking was that surely they had longer lines, less qualified doctors and various other defiencies compared to our American system.

Why? Because we have the best system money can buy, even if it has some waste built into the system…..

Well a few years passed and I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while at this point. I’ve recently come to an new and very interesting hypothesis.

Look around Chattanooga and what do you see? Unum, Cigna and Blue Cross…they have gigantic expensive buildings. Look them up as companies for their asset values. How many employees they have. Many of these jobs are high paying jobs like actuary or biostatician or nursing consultant. Sure they have phone clerks and security guards as well but on average their jobs are more highly qualified.

In addition there are people who come to open enrollment at workplaces, run workplace benefits programs, interface with doctors offices run server rooms and a whole host of other “work” related to healthcare insurance administration.

Let me present an alternative proposal. Suppose we eliminate the health insurance companies entirely and instead of spending this vast amount of capital on pushing paper around we spend it on health and wellness then we might just save a heck of a lot of money.

It would be worth examining what might be the most cost effective way to utilize this money. For instance maybe it is simply most effective to hire more nurses and doctors. Then again maybe building free public gyms in urban locations to improve population fitness and prevent disease might be more beneficial. Maybe improved nutrition for school lunches would reduce childhood sickness and thus provide the best bang for the buck.

We have a ton of very intelligent people who currently work in the health insurance industry. Let’s shut down this scam industry and start saving lives.

Let’s give those actuaries a new job calculating cost benefit analysis on how to get the best ROI on improving our countries health now that we arnt spending money tracking useless paperwork. Let’s give those IT guys a new job rolling out public information portals to get the public informed and involved.

It doesn’t require getting rid of jobs, it requires repurpopsing people into newer and better jobs.

A funny thing happened… after I came to this conclusion I began talking to others about my ideas. It turns out that in 2015 Boeing (the airplane manyfacturer) started to offer its employees an insuranceless option. This is an option where Boeing directly negotiated with the hospitals to eliminate the middleman in an effort to save money.

It looks like private industry may take us there anyways…..however I would rather see us provide universal coverage to everyone. Let’s start small. Let’s just start with universal preventative care and prescriptions. This way people can go see their doctor for routine well visits, annual lab work and for prescriptions.

Let’s put drug research back into the public sector. Grandfather the current patents until they expire. Publicly fund research for new drugs and release the recipe internationally to help people. Let pharmaceutical companies become manufacturers and focus on competing on price. This keeps the cost low for the consumer.

Finally, the environment is the most critical problem we face today. Please treat it as a first class problem instead of a second class problem. Stop road expansions, stop urban sprawl, secure out future food and water supplies. Shift us off of fossil fuels  (yesterday, not tomorrow).