Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The People's Health Care Reform Plan
The People's Health Care Reform Plan
Our politicians are letting third parties take over our health care. LET’S STOP THEM NOW. The People’s Health Care Reform Plan will make PATIENTS MORE POWERFUL, and the Government, corporations, and insurance companies (crony capitalism) less powerful. This plan will reduce costs, increase access, and save the most lives. It’s also simple.
Short Version of the People’s Health Care Reform Plan
1. Tell us what everything costs - no more secrets.
2. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals social networking so they can tell us everything they know.
3. Tort Reform.
4. Distribute "The People’s Health Care Reform Plan" to everyone in America and around the World, including our politicians, via Facebook, E-mail, etc.
Patients Getting Control of Prices
Congress must facilitate that patients be told the price of everything in health care in advance, except in true emergencies, or they do not have to pay.
Patients cannot spend money from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Companies, or their own money, wisely if they do not know what anything costs. It’s these hidden prices that cause monopolies that drive up our prices and result in unsavory backroom political deals. It’s not knowing the price of anything that enables Medicare, Medicaid, and corporate fraud to occur so easily. How can we know if we are overcharged if we never know what anything costs in the first place? How can we revolutionize health care if we don’t know what costs too much? We need to know the prices.
Patients Need More Information from Doctors, Nurses, and All Allied Health Care Professionals
Congress must facilitate an open-to-the-public Doctor's, Nurse’s, and allied health care professional’s, social Networking Website with features like Facebook, Sermo.com, del.icio.us, and Digg, combined with the National Library of Medicine.
Allow all 800,000 doctors in the USA, all 2.9 million nurses, all pharmacists, dentists, and health professionals to rank all the medical articles on Medline (and elsewhere) for patients. Allow all doctors and nurses to rank all the treatment options for all diagnoses as well. We need to have Amazon.com-like product reviews for all treatments. This will drastically improve "The Science of Medicine."
Let doctors, nurses, and health professionals be anonymous, or use their own names if they wish, and be free from lawsuits for anything they write. Give doctors, nurses, and health professionals, Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for this. A government panel of physicians who are public health statisticians can evaluate medical care as well, as long as that panel is not more powerful than practicing physicians and nurses on the front lines.
Also allow doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals to give free medical education over the Internet to patients. Not treatment, but education. Empower patients with knowledge. Doctors and nurses love talking medicine and helping people, and will be willing to do this for free, if in turn they are free from liability. Give them CME credits for this as well. As soon as possible, bring in dentists, pharmacists, and all allied health care professionals. Finally, patients, who sometimes know more than doctors, should be brought into the rating system. Let’s all help each other.
In addition, allow all the doctors and pharmacists to rank off-label uses for medications. This will help patients get medications they need, even when they are not approved for that specific use by the Food and Drug Administration. If a new and effective antibiotic is created, and it is approved for pneumonia, but can save someone’s foot from being amputated according to the medical literature, doctors, and pharmacists, it should be allowed immediately.
The social networking of health care professionals will greatly improve "The Science of Medicine," and will demonstrate what studies need to be done, as we see how one professional group is critical of the science behind another group’s practices. Make sure the results are public and are separated into specialties so the public can see what various types of doctors and health care professionals believe.
This networking will prevent a central government panel, or insurance company panels, from being in charge of health care decisions, as we must give the most credence to practicing health care professionals and patients. This will help put patients, doctors, nurses, and health care professionals back in charge of medical decisions. This is the kind of public information that will prevent unnecessary hysterectomies (remember that scandal?) and other medical scams by informing patients about what is really going on in medicine.
This social networking site should also help direct federal research spending to solve controversies in medical care. All health care professionals should be able to suggest studies that need to be done to improve patient care. Doctors, nurses, and all health professionals should rate the need for studies at the National Institutes of Health and by private industry. Health care providers need help right now, and there is little correlation between the studies that doctors and nurses need and what the NIH spends our research money on.
"No health care reform without tort reform" should be the litmus test for any health care reform bill before congress. It’s been estimated that tort reform could save over 200 billion dollars per year by ridding the system of expensive defensive medicine practices and of frivolous lawsuits. When significant tort reform is not present, you know that third parties are actually driving health care reform, not the people.
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
This health care reform plan is based on the truism that: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," which is attributed to Lord Acton in 1887. If the Government becomes too powerful it will become corrupt and we will have Obama’s "Death Panels" as predicted by Sarah Palin. If the corporations and insurance companies become too powerful, they will become corrupt and we will have denials, hassles, and barriers to care - "Death Panels" again. The answer is to make patients and health care providers more powerful.
Eight hundred thousand doctors, 2.9 million nurses, 217,000 pharmacists, 150,000 dentists, 100,000 respiratory therapists, 90,000 physical therapists, 300,000 laboratory technicians, all the other health care professionals, and 300 million patients can share information using today’s technology and keep the health care power in the people’s hands, instead of in the hands of third parties, which always become corrupt over time when given too much power.
I have tried very hard to come up with a simple health care reform plan that would be bipartisan and would save the most lives at the lowest possible cost. This plan can be adopted right now. This plan puts the power back in the hands of the patients, doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals and TAKES IT AWAY from the Government, corporations, and insurance companies. Health care reform is life and death; it’s not politics. We need to know what everything costs in health care just like we do every other good or service, and we need to know what doctors, nurses, and all health professionals know, or we can never make good decisions. This is the health care reform revolution that will save the most lives.
You Need To Take Action Now
1. Send this plan to everyone who would be willing to receive it.
2. Be creative! Have a "People’s Health Care Reform Plan Distribution Party" on Facebook. Create an event page on your Facebook Profile page to get your friends to send the People’s Health Care Reform Plan to all their receptive friends and politicians within a short period of time. If everyone on Facebook creates this event it will go viral. Click on your Facebook Profile. You will see a bunch of tabs: Wall, Info, Photos, Links, and a ">>" button. If the Events Tab is not there, click on the >> button and drag the Events icon up into your profile tabs. Title the Event as: "People's Health Care Reform Plan - Distribution Party." For location put: On Your Computer RIGHT NOW. Set it to start immediately and run for whatever time frame is best. Set privacy to: Open, so the whole world can see it, if that is okay with you. Upload a photo from your computer if you want, or donate a logo to the cause if you want. Select an event type such as: Causes or Education. Select a subtype such as: Protest. Copy and paste the entire People’s Health Care Reform Plan into the white box. Then, it is time to invite everyone you know to the event using Facebook’s invite function.
3. Also, post the People’s Health Care Reform Plan in your Facebook Notes and share it with the world that way as well. Message a link to it to all your friends who would want it, and do whatever else you can think of to publicize empowering patients.
4. Go to www.Senate.gov and www.House.gov, or other websites, find the contact form, and send this plan to your senators and your representative. “We The People,” will give them the alternative plan they need.
5. E-mail The People’s Health Care Reform Plan to everyone you know who would be interested. Create email chain letters without spamming anyone.
6. Send the Plan to your local newspaper as part of a letter-to-the-editor.
7. Send the plan to any local politicians that you know.
8. Send The People’s Health Care Reform Plan to every advocacy group you know about that wants patients and health care professionals to be more powerful.
9. Send this simple plan to every reporter, blogger, and media contact you have.
10. Please redistribute this essay freely. We want to improve health care for everyone and save the most lives possible.
11. I believe in freedom. This is all about freedom. And although it is a great cause, please be careful about spamming, or violating any terms of service anywhere.
Rational for The People’s Health Care Reform Plan
You want to be in charge of your health care and you don’t want third parties coming between you and your doctor. You want to retain control over your own body. Let them know it’s your life, and you want to save it from third party rationing. This plan empowers patients, it tells the people what everything costs, and it shares with them everything that medical professionals know. The only way we can get control of health care is to get control of the prices and the information. If we show overwhelming support for this plan maybe congress will finally listen.
The People’s Health Care Reform Plan was written (01/18/2010) by:
Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician and economist
© Copyright 2010 by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., all rights reserved. However you may freely redistribute this intact essay or portions of it as long as the original meaning is not changed and attribution is given.
Originally published in the online newspaper: Gold Coast Chronicle, on January 19th, 2010. Available at: