Dr. Dave Knows What’s Wrong With Healthcare. And How to Fix It.

10/27/2009 4:00 AM |

His favored solution to the health insurance quagmire, a National Health Service, doesn’t have to be government, he notes. It could, for example, be administered by the Red Cross or another such non-profit organization. “That’s probably better than government.” Ideally, he’d like to see a National Health Service phased in over, say, 25 years. For example, you could raise the income level that qualifies families for Medicaid, or lower the age requirement for Medicare, gradually, year by year. “It’d be catastrophically disastrous to pass a sudden law,” he says. “To be fair, people work for insurance companies.”

In any case, a so-called public option would destroy the health insurance companies, he tells me with a hint of glee. And that’s why they won’t let it happen.

In the meantime, he continues to sling rocks at the health insurance Goliath with his small practice and his restaurant workers cooperative, in which roughly 25 restaurants are now participating. (He says he sees two or three restaurant workers a day.) He hopes the model will serve as a model for other doctors, as well; about three have already contacted him, from Florida to Long Island. He also hopes to have a website up and running soon, which will include a F.A.Q. on how doctors could set up such a cooperative on their own.

So far, I ask him, has the program been a success? Well, that depends on how you measure success. “If I saw one person in a year,” he said, “it would be successful.”

5 Comment

  • the Red Cross is not a bad idea. If the public option does not pass in this upcoming bill we will definitely need a massive humanitarian effort to save us from these insurance vampires.

  • So, a doctor charges $500 a visit, because he can. The insurance negotiates it to $300. The patient pays $25. Where is the racket?

    And insurance companies don’t make money on “kids with brain cancer”. They make money on the kids who DON’T get brain cancer.

    I admire what he does for community health. But the soap box needs to go away.

  • Community MH Worker– sounds like you’ve never had to contest a claim with medical insurance, or had to watch people be refused life-saving procedures because of insurance.

    It is a racket- it wasn’t always, but it’s turned into one.

  • Rosamund- It’s ILLEGAL to refuse any life-saving medical treatment due to insurance or money. Look up EMTALA (http://www.emtala.com). This is a lie perpetrated by people who want to be inflammatory without knowing the truth.
    It’s the doctors who don’t treat because of fears of not getting paid that are criminal. And pharmaceutical companies charging outrageous amounts of money for patented drugs. And the litigious society that creates ridiculous, frivolous law suits that increase the cost of malpractice insurance for medical providers. And all the other factors that go into the stupidly high cost of medical care in the US.
    Don’t think the insurance company (at least alone) is to blame.