• dennisformt

Hard lessons for health policy

I would like to comment on some longer term issues that I think have been highlighted with the current crisis. In 1977 as a medical student, I went to a forum on health care reform in Washington DC when political momentum to change the system was high. A congressional staffer met with us and said that the existing system of private physician practices and non profit hospitals run by churches, local government, etc would not exist in the future. We(the future doctors) would either be working for big corporations or the government. As it has turned out, physicians work for both big corporations (the insurance companies, large hospital systems) and the government (Medicare and Medicaid). This hodgepodge has led to a very inefficient wasteful financing system and facilitated a small group of people skimming large sums of money from patients and taxpayers.

We have been on this path for 40 years and it is clear it is not working for the patients, healthcare workers, or country. I believe changing this path requires a change in the underlying concepts of this system. It is frequently referred to as the “healthcare industry” or the “healthcare market”. This promotes the idea that business people need to be running the system.

The current epidemic underlines the fundamental flaws of this thinking. Healthcare has a essential role in our society as do the police department, fire department, and schools. It should be structured with these functions in mind not on the profit margins of the companies or the business model of “just in time” delivery of critical supplies. How many healthcare workers will pay with their health or lives because of these failed concepts? How many patients?

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Freedom has been used as a reason from people to support Trump’s mismanagement of the COVID epidemic. This is an increasingly prominent theme to justify actions that are certain to harm others. A rece

1. What are the most important challenges facing our state and how do you propose to address them? The Covid-19 pandemic will re-order priorities for the state government. Maintaining policies that re

Below are my responses to the Chamber's legislative questionnaire 2020 CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE STATE LEGISLATURE The Billings Chamber of Commerce invites you to answer the following questions about yo