that article is spot on.
it seems to me that the majority of the problems with health care in this country come down to two factors. 1. 3rd party payers and 2. malpractice costs. if you could reform both of those things and allow market forces to bring down costs to all of us, we'd have much of the problem solved.
Yep, the article is right. Of the med students I know of at a nearby medical school only two are considering primary care
Kathy, Oregon actually has a pretty rational state system for health care. It at least attempts to balance Medicaid benefits with the budget. One of the few states that does, I believe.
It's not surprising that you think things are pretty good. Out there they are. Kaiser didn't do so well out east because the state regulations are very different and not so well thought out. It pulled out of VT and Mass years ago after losing a bundle. This is another argument if not for a universal system at least for universal set of standards by which companies like Kaiser could do business.
You're right also about malpractice. We just hired an oncologist from Connecticut. Exact same malpractice carrier. We got his license approved in a month. He's never had a claim, yet the malpractice carrier held up approving his insurance for an additional 3 weeks, keeping him from seeing patients. It was the SAME company he had in connecticut.
I'm not convinced that the market will solve everything though. For the market to bring prices down, you need competition, and for competition, you need volume. For some specialties and in some places, there just isn't enough volume to make that happen. So rural areas will suffer either with high prices or no service. It's sort of the same problem that they faced before the Feds helped out with rural electrification. There weren't enough customers to make it profitable to run lines, so electric companies didn't.
In addition, consider the Mississippi Delta where poverty is high and incomes are low. The freemarket alone will probably not solve their health care needs because the market will naturally go where the money is.
Maybe it's not government's role to fix that problem. But market forces are moved by money, and there isn't any there, which is why no one is flooding that area right now with specialty services. BUT you can find all you need in Manhattan and LA.