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A doctor’s 7​-point plan for affordable health care in America

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It’s no secret that the Affordable Care Act is crumbling. Hardly a day goes by without another headline – or five – making that fact clear. The question for legislators – and the next president – is: What should we do now?

Re-thinking and remodeling the Affordable Care Act will require a lot of work from courageous lawmakers. As it is a physician’s job is to find the best solutions that work with the least risk to the patient, it should be the Legislators job to revamp the law in such a way that does not put an undue strain on the United States federal budget and our world class Healthcare system.

{mosads}With this in mind, I propose “A Doctor’s 7 Point Plan for Affordable Health Care in America.”

1. Remodel, not repeal​

Catastrophic Insurance Plans are the biggest linchpin that are needed to remodel healthcare in America and make it affordable for every single American.

Catastrophic Insurance Plans could be made affordable by acting as a safety net for those what if scenarios that are beyond your control. These plans could be modeled after general liability insurance plans that protect against what if scenarios in business and life. They would cover emergency room visits or emergency surgeries such as an appendectomy while protecting your assets. Finally, these plans would have a tax benefit in which 90% of annual insurance cost is refunded back to the individual when they pay their taxes.

2. Group Insurance for Affinity Groups

Allow affinity groups such as Churches, Synagogues and Mosques to purchase group health insurance for their members and can include immediate family members up to the age of 26. Similarly, small Business owners would be able to purchase group health insurance through associations or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

By allowing individuals to purchase health insurance through groups, it would greatly strengthen the purchase power of such groups while creating value and adding benefits for their members. 

3. Allow Insurance Companies to Sell Coverage over State Lines

By allowing insurance companies to sell health insurance policies across state lines, this plan would create greater competition which would lead to lower health insurance lower rates for millions of Americans. This would require that onerous state mandates be removed.

4. True Tort Reform

According to a variety of sources, somewhere between 9 and 25 percent of all health care spending is meant to ward off potential lawsuits – a sign of how litigiousness is driving up health care costs. This also has secondary effects. Out of the 62 million CT scans performed in 2007, one-third of those CT scans were partly to protect against a potential lawsuit. The New England Journal of Medicine is predicting that 1.5 to 2.0% of all new cancers in the coming decades will be attributed to radiation from such scans.

To remediate this issue, The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 passed by the California Legislature should be taken up in Congress as a model of how to limit potential exposure to frivolous malpractice lawsuits. This has successfully kept health care costs lower as non-economic damages are limited to $250,000.

To resolve disputes relating to medical malpractice, there should be consideration for setting up a Medical court system similar to Family Court.

5. Pass It, Use It

​If Congress passes a remodeled affordable health care solution, Congress shall not be exempt from the coverage.

​6​. Drug Companies

Companies which get government subsidies for research and development need to “pay” the government back. In other words, we the people are investors, and should​ ​get a return of investment in cost savings.​

​7​. ​Community Clinics

We should support and encourage more community health clinics to provide health care for those who are currently underserved. After all, we must look out for the least fortunate

The 7 Point Plan for Affordable Health Care in America is just the starting point for an open vibrant discussion about the current state of health care in America. The United States has the world’s brightest innovators and smartest physicians, it’s time we all came together to re-think and remodel health care in a way the benefits every single American. 

Dr. Weiss is an ob/gyn in Beverly Hills, Calif. He served as a national health care advisor for John McCain in 2008 and is an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

The views expressed by authors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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