To the editor:
I sympathize with Dr. Rachel Gilman's March 18 letter "Report from front lines of medicine." Our current health care system has all the wrong incentives built into it that frustrate both doctors and patients. Just think of how differently you would shop for groceries if grocery stores were run like our health care system. You would enter the store, pay your $30 co-pay, fill your shopping cart with whatever you desired and send the bill to the insurance company. Under such a system, there would be a food crisis within days.
We are in need of a system built from the bottom up rather from the top down. The only system that fits this need is a system based on free market forces that uses the power of the market to ration limited resources.
A system based on medical savings accounts is such a system. Under a medical savings account plan, the employer would purchase a catastrophic insurance policy with a high deductible and then contribute the difference in price to a medical savings account for the employee. The employee would then pay for ordinary medical procedures and prescriptions out of pocket from the MSA. Any money left in the MSA at year's end would be rolled over into next year's account.
Because the patient would be spending his or her own money, he has an incentive to spend it wisely and to ask the doctor for less expensive options. The major benefit of such a system is that the decision for what treatment to prescribe is left to the doctor and the patient, and not to the third party insurance company. The doctor would no longer have the insurance company looking over her shoulder for every procedure given. The result is that the doctor and patient are drawn closer together.
Unfortunately, Obamacare is anathema to a market-driven system. An MSA system is the only way to minimize the harmful effects of the illegitimi, who are dragging down the good doctor.
Franciscan University of Steubenville