In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer mentions two ideas for reforming healthcare in America. One of them should be familiar to our regular readers, and the other is new and deserves special mention.
If you are new here, read Markets, Not Mandates to get up to speed. There, the idea of eliminating employer provided health insurance is discussed and even more reasons for doing so are covered in the op-ed.
Health insurance premiums will always be haunted by medical malpractice lawsuits and awards unless Congress enacts serious tort reform. Costs are raised because doctors have more bills to cover in the form of higher malpractice insurance premiums and also because of unnecessary tests and procedures which get performed as part of “defensive medicine”. Those higher costs get passed along to you.
Now, the good news: there is a solution.
What to do? Abolish the entire medical-malpractice system. Create a new social pool from which people injured in medical errors or accidents can draw. The adjudication would be done by medical experts, not lay juries giving away lottery prizes at the behest of the liquid-tongued John Edwardses who pocket a third of the proceeds.
The pool would be funded by a relatively small tax on all health-insurance premiums. Socialize the risk; cut out the trial lawyers. Would that immunize doctors from carelessness or negligence? No. The penalty would be losing your medical license. There is no more serious deterrent than forfeiting a decade of intensive medical training and the livelihood that comes with it.
We support this idea.