I packed up and headed off last Thursday for a conference called “Be a Beacon” being put on by the Free Market Medical Association in good old Oklahoma City, and I have come back with a renewed sense of mission for promoting the free market in medical care along with a great arsenal of information to use on my mission.
Thursday was my traveling day, which turned out to be pretty crazy (more about that later). Then the main part of the conference got started bright and early Friday morning. To begin with, there was a session about Direct Primary Care that I sat in on briefly while I ate breakfast. I was very interested in the way doctors who were involved in their own DPC practices were living, breathing testaments to the benefits of that primary care practice model and to the benefits their patients experienced by being members of such practices.
I am not going to give you a play-by-play of the conference because you can actually get that just by going to the FMMA website, but in this and future posts, I will describe some of the ways that the conference presenters impressed me and my takeaways from those insights.
Something said by the presenters for Texas Free Market Surgery, Dr. Patrick Kelley and his brother Sean Kelley, hit me hard, although it should be quite obvious. Wait for it …
- Washington can’t fix health care.
- We have to fix health care.
(Both these statements were on the Power Point in very large letters.)
Considering what happened in the failed effort to repeal (and possibly replace) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (not so fondly know as Obamacare), I am sure that these two statements are no great revelation. After all, look at all the chicanery that took place around the discussions about various degrees of repealing Obamacare. The country witnessed a lot of wrangling back and forth between Democrats who clearly had no interest in really participating, just spreading unfounded panic, and Republicans (only a handful of which really understood the actual problems with the way health care is delivered). The end result last month was a defeated “skinny repeal” that was meant to reverse the worst aspects of the disastrous legislation and regulations attached to it.
I kept thinking during the entire debate about the cluelessness of many involved, as well as the media, because the entire conversation was about “coverage,” and rarely about lowering the cost of care itself, although Senator Rand Paul did speak up for that. So, back to those two very pivotal statements …
It does certainly appear to be a very correct diagnosis of our current health care woes – that Washington can’t fix health care. I agree with that statement 100 percent. The only thing Washington could do that would be right would be release all of its control of health care, and let the free market totally work its magic. The way Washington is right now – fat chance of that!
Then this week I read an online column by Craig M. Wax, DO in Medical Economics entitled “Both Political Parties Are Responsible for Healthcare Disaster.” This was actually written in the midst of the Senate discussion regarding the repeal of Obamacare. Here is a quote that very much demonstrates why Washington cannot fix health care.
” … It is clear that both major parties in power are conflicted and unduly influenced by major political contributors. It is clear that both parties are bought and sold to big industrial corporate interests compromising their philosophy and stated goals. The Democrats want to increase taxes and borrow money to keep the poor dependent on government and voting for them. The Republicans want to maintain big government and give preferential treatment to corporate interests to gain their votes. It is both sides crushing the taxpayers in the middle.”
Wow, that was well said! It certainly hammers home the statement that Washington can’t fix health care.
So that leads us to the next statement they made – “We have to fix health care.”
Who is “we?”
It is everybody who believes that the only real salvation for the delivery and costs of health care comes from principles of the free market – the freedom of doctors, nurses, third party administrators of self-funded insurance plans, and so many other providers in the delivery chain for medical and surgical care to create and implement innovative ways to drive down the cost of that care to make it available to everyone. The people in health-related careers cannot do it all though. They need the support of their patients who believe in what they are doing to spread the word about how free market health care works for them, and how it can benefit many more people if those people give it an honest chance.
I know I am committed to that. How about you?