New Ideas in Healthcare

Dichotomy is the death of creativity, and our political system is the ultimate example. Case in point: there have to be hundreds of ways to solve the collective set of healthcare problems we’ve got, and thousands of ways to solve the individual issues, but all our energy has been focused in fighting for or against the plan in place. So let’s brainstorm instead.

I’m aware that many of you feel that the government shouldn’t try to solve all our problems – and I agree. But there are still big problems with healthcare that people obviously haven’t been able to sort out on their own. Like the person who has had a major illness and thus will never be able to buy private insurance. What would you recommend they do? What could private businesses do? Or, if you do think the government needs to fix this, how would you go about it?

Here’s my idea: Instead of creating public health insurance, create public care clinics aimed to take care of basic needs and prevention. People can walk in, make an income-based copay, and have all their minor health issues taken care of and their major issues funneled through a triage. Pilot this program in major cities including Washington D.C. so our presidential family and senators are able to use this as their primary healthcare. They can still buy their own health insurance if they’d like, or even pay their doctors directly if they choose to do so… which is what I’m guessing families like the Obamas would do anyway (after all, they do send their kids to private schools), but this would help preserve choice for the rest of us.

I am not sure how much more this would cost than the existing medicaid system, and I know that increased taxes would be bothersome, but of course you’d still get to complain to your senator and what not if this plan were really put up to vote. And if each clinic’s administration were locally elected, we’d preserve some voter control and greater choice in medical care.

That’s just one idea. What are yours? I’m looking ONLY for ideas and constructive comments about those ideas, not fuel for the existing argument. And since brainstorms are only fun as long as no one gets electrocuted, I’ll moderate comments a little heavier than usual.

— Edit. Not to scare away comments. We just had a similar little talk on Facebook that got ugly the other day and I don’t want that to happen here.

Also I’ll be posting links to other ideas as I run across them. Like this one by John Mackey — who is being boycotted by many for daring to voice his opinion. I don’t necessarily think he’s right, but villifying people for simply stating their ideas? Again. Dichotomy is the death of creativity.

Here’s a simple list of the legitimate concerns of the different healthcare camps, from Jason at PoliGazette. In Jason’s words, “Perhaps if the debate started to focus more on these kinds of potential points of compromise and less on trying to personally disparage and malign everyone on the other side, we might wind up with a health care system that actually works instead of one that just serves as a political weapon.” — Well said.


  1. Linda

    I like the ideas of owning your insurance and not through a company with interstate competition. I also like the idea of doctors donating 10% of time for those who don’t have health care and the idea of insurance vouchers for those who cannot pay for health care. There are a lot of great ideas floating out there and it’s too bad the government is bent on this vague controversial program.


  2. velda

    Goodness! I thought I’d replied to your comment, Linda! Sorry about that.

    Interstate competition would help by itself, I think, because then you’d be able to get more specialized groups. The trick would still be finding a way to get private insurance companies to insure individuals who have health issues. As some have pointed out, they will, for a price. But say someone gets cancer a few times – their premiums with any company are easily going to be more than $1000 per month if they can even get insurance at all.


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