Healthcare costs mean tough choices

QUICK READ: Our healthcare costs are out of control. It’s time to stop blaming drug prices and admit that both our healthcare system is broken and that Americans are to blame for our own ills. Tough times mean tough choices.

The United States has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world. In 2017, the U.S. spent about $3.5 trillion on healthcare, which averages to about $11,000 per person.

Relative to the size of the economy, healthcare costs have increased dramatically over the past few decades, from five percent of GDP in 1960 to 18 percent in 2017. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that such costs will climb to $6 trillion, or about $17,000 per person, and will represent about 19 percent of GDP by 2027.

Our healthcare costs are unsustainable

Tough time means tough choices. The answer is not Medicare for all as people want choices. Here are some tough solutions we need to consider:

1ne: Insurers should require that obese customers wear activity devices. Those who don’t exercise should pay more for health insurance if their obesity is caused by a lack of exercise and a poor diet.

2wo: All health insurance companies and PBM’s should be non-profit. It worked prior to the 80″s and it can help lower costs.

3hree: Stop unnecessary medical tests like MRIs and X-rays.

4our: Healthcare tort reform. It’s the practice of medicine.

5ive: Negioate prescription drug prices for Medicare. It has to happen and is long overdue.

6ix: Set guidelines for hospital costs. Prices can vary by thousands of dollars between hospitals.

7even: Mandate wellness exams for all patients including visits with registered dieticians.

8ight: The FDA should approve drugs based both on efficacy and other drugs on the market to eliminate “me too” drugs.

9ine: Compensation of drug company CEO’s should be limited. Capitalism is broken when people can’t afford insulin while a drug company CEO takes home over $20 million.

10en: Tax sugary drinks and foods and require new warning labels on high sugar and high-fat foods.

11leven: Stop expensive care for elderly patients. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cancer treatments and surgery for someone in their late stages of life makes no sense.

Blaming pharma is not the answer when millennials are on track to be the most generation in history. Obesity is out of control and American’s have become a nation of pill poppers to treat preventable health conditions.