Good communication starts with full and honest disclosure. I am a supporter of Dr. Ben Carson. In fact, I am (or was) a fan as well as a fellow pediatric specialist physician. So I have to ask, “Has my colleague defected to the political class?”
Dr. Ben is leading in the polls precisely because he is Doctor Carson rather than Politician Carson. His mass emails repeatedly proclaim, “I’m not a politician.” He has the support of millions of Americans precisely because he is a physician and good doctors like Carson always do whatever it takes to cure a patient. They do not defer to party politics or electability requirements.
Obamacare co-ops are falling like dominoes; insurance costs are up…again; national spending on healthcare is up…even more; and when you need a doctor, you can’t find one. We knew better than to expect Washington politicians to solve it, as their political solutions have gotten us into this fix in the first place.
Who better to cure healthcare than an accomplished physician who was willing to take the president to task at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 15, 2013?
Sadly, it appears as though Carson has defected, not from the Republican Party to the Democrats nor from the conservative ranks to the liberals. Dr. Carson traded his medical degree for the initials PE – Political Expedience. He deserted us, We The People, and joined them, the political class. Carson seems to have chosen acceptability to the Republican National Committee over actually fixing our “broken” healthcare system.
The Great Divide
Pundits say that the U.S. populace has not been this polarized since the Civil War. While there is a large gap between right and left, there is a wider and seemingly un-bridgeable gulf between We The People (us) and the political class (them.) They would vehemently deny that they are a ruling class. However, their attitudes and actions are strikingly similar to the British aristocracy of the 18th century. We all know how that turned out.
Why do you think that the front-runners for the Republican nomination – Ben Carson and Donald Trump – are “outside” the political class? Because we hoped they would work for us, rather than for their party, an ideology, or crony capitalist golfing buddies. We expected them to reduce the burden of government, not preserve much less extend it.
American Ruling Classes–Then and Now (Dr. Deane Waldman, MD MBA)
Carson’s Plan For Healthcare
Carson’s just-released solution for our failing healthcare system appears to be simply more-of-the-same: government stays in control, the country goes broke, and we can’t get care. His Plan for healthcare is an incomprehensible (even to him) hodge-podge that preserves Medicare (soon to be insolvent); Medicaid (where medical outcomes for patients are worse than having no insurance at all); Emergency Medical Transport and Active Labor Act (that created the unfunded mandate); Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (that prevents doctors from communicating); leaving Obamacare intact, and adding a wider usage of Health Savings Accounts. Financing of his plan is opaque; illegals remain in limbo status; and access to care will reach a new low because of all the money the bureaucracy diverts from providers to itself.
We had expected and hoped for a solution from Dr. Carson that is simple to use and actually works. What we got was politically palatable pablum.
You can instantly tell the difference between a political solution and one We The People want. Theirs is complex beyond the understanding of us mere mortals. Complexity is one of the most powerful weapons of the political class. The more complex a law, rule or regulation, the more we need them, and the more they are forced to spend on hiring bureaucrats and consultants; on new forms that no one can understand; on sophisticated information technology (healthcare.gov: $2.1 billion for a website?!); and of course, on paying lawyers to defend their laws from our court challenges.
An Elegant Solution For Healthcare
Not unreasonably, we had expected Dr. Carson, the consummate doctor/problem solver, to state clearly what is wrong with the patient (Healthcare) and then suggest an evidence-based treatment option that the patient can understand and will accept.
We expected him to say, as he inferred in 2013 National Prayer Breakfast speech, that the diagnosis–what is causing patient Healthcare to be sick–is too much government control of healthcare and not enough patient control of health care. His supporters like me then expected him to offer simple, easily understandable plan; one that can be written down on a single page; that returns control to the individual; and that is financially sustainable.
We expected a plan like Direct-Pay USA: give their healthcare money back to the people (it IS our money) and let them spend it how they choose. No Washington bureaucrat telling your doctor what she or he can’t do for you. When you do the math, $5,000/year per person into 320 million Health Savings Accounts, the cost is half what the U.S. is spending now.
People paying their own money out of their own HSAs for medical care will have a strong incentive to economize. Competition between sellers of goods and services will drive prices down and quality up. That is the beauty of the free market. Stop-Loss or catastrophic insurance will pay the infrequent, high-priced medical items, like transplants.
We hoped Doctor Carson would propose radical surgery, the removal of Washington and its cancers called Medicare, Medicaid, EMTALA, HIPAA, UMRA (Unfunded Mandate Reform Act), Department of Veterans Affairs (single payer) Healthcare System, Sustained Growth Ratio with its “DocFix,” and of course, Obamacare. That is what we expected. That is not what we got.
Is it possible that the Doctor who had the courage to separate conjoined twins (connected at the head) has turned into a feckless Politician who is afraid to even suggest the radical treatment that patient Healthcare needs?
Dr. Deane Waldman MD MBA is author of “The Cancer in the American Healthcare System” (Thanksgiving 2015); Host of www.wecanfixhealthcare.info; Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Pathology and Decision Science; and Adjunct Scholar (Healthcare) for the Rio Grande Foundation, a public policy think tank. Dr. Deane sits on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange as Consumer Advocate. Opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.