I know, I know. If someone could look into their crystal ball and see what the future held for healthcare especially American healthcare, that same person would also be able to win the lottery by knowing the numbers.
But this is my take based on what I have seen from other places and what history has told me and even a little from the “future”. To even think about creating a true healthcare system where everyone would get the same upper level of care, the world would have to become like Star Trek. Sorry if you are not a Trekkie. I will quickly explain. In the Star Trek Utopia, hunger and poverty were done away with. Everyone lives happily, eagerly and joyfully going to work everyday. Do they earn money – no. They do it for the greater good of humanity and to fulfill themselves. Everyone has their dream job. Everyone is treated “fairly”. Based on this, everyone gets everything they need and want just because…. Now lets step back into reality for a second. Will this forever satisfied existence ever happen?? I really do not think so. I love what I do as a profession. But would I jump up out of bed everyday, commute 1 hour to my job, work my tail off for 12 hours, joyfully missing out on what my family is doing that day? NO!! and I doubt you would also. With that said, the world will not become like Star Trek. We need to work with what we have.
There are pretty decent socialized medicine systems out there that provide good care to the patients. The first that comes to mind is Austria (just my experience). What happens when you take a capitalism society (USA) and try to create a socialized type medical system. You get the VA system or the Indian Health Service. Both of these are run by the government. I am not saying they provide horrible care. But not many people would argue with the statement that they are not the pinnacle of medical care. I do not think of a government facility when I think about where to go for top-notch care. I instead think about Mayo, Hopkins, Duke, etc…. Many people see the government getting involved in healthcare as the way to bring everyone up to the top of healthcare. When in all actuality the exact opposite happens. Just take a walk inside a government medical facility. On the whole, it does not compare with the private sector. Where do most of your government employees get care if they can get treated at a private or government facility. They go to a private hospital. Why?? Because healthcare under the government actually gets brought down to the lowest common denominator for their patients. Nevertheless, the government still is getting more involved everyday with healthcare. They are doing this mainly by trying to control to reimbursement to hospitals, facilities, and the people who work there.
Will this get rid of the private healthcare facilities? To be continued………