This week, we’re going to talk about our healthcare system, what is happening with the 2020 Democratic debates that many of us watched, and why I don’t think free healthcare addresses the healthcare problem we have.

Please note that these are just my opinions based on the experience that I have in this arena. 

I’m not wanting to get political, but one of the main focuses of the recent Democratic debates was on healthcare, and there’s a lot of controversy surrounding it.

Healthcare is something that I know a lot about, have a passion for, and have been around my whole life. I grew up in a medical family, and of course I’ve been a practicing physician for over 30 years now.

Even back in the sixties, my dad (who was also a physician) would talk about socialized medicine and why healthcare should be “Fee for Service”.

Should Medicare Be Free For All? 

Much of the recent debates was about “Medicare for all”, which is the program that Bernie Sanders is advocating. This is obviously the stance of the more progressive wing, while the more conservative do not want free healthcare.

Most people are for decent medical care being accessible to everyone. But free medical care is a totally different ball game. Free medical care means that whether or not you pay taxes, or pay insurance premiums (which there wouldn’t be any), there are no co-pays and there are no deductibles.

This type of free medical care is not a good solution. It simply won’t work. You can’t just open up the floodgates like that and have no way to pay for it.

On top of that, not enough people would want to be doctors and nurses. It would turn these doctors, nurses and technicians into government workers. You work a set amount of hours with no real incentive.

This would lead to care that is of much less quality, and it would be very frustrating for everyone involved.

I know there are major issues with pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies. The craziness of that world is one reason I don’t play the insurance game anymore.

Remember that both the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies are businesses. They are going to make a profit!

But personally, I’ve never seen anyone go to the ER and not get treated. You may have to wait a long time, but you’re going to get treated.

There are definitely some things that need to change with our healthcare system. This is not an argument about that at all. I’m just saying that in my opinion free healthcare isn’t going to solve the problem that we have.

Everyone deserves some form of healthcare, but that’s not the problem.

The Real Problem 

We need to get to the root of the problem. The problem we actually have is that we require TOO MUCH healthcare in this country. We have some of the most technologically sophisticated healthcare in the world, and yet we still rank 33 in the world on the mortality list and life spans are getting shorter.

It’s not the technology or the advances in medicine.

The problem is with the people and what they expect. They don’t know how to be healthy.

Here are some facts: We are an obese society in that 2/3 of Americans are obese. Too many people smoke. Too many people are stressed. And this stress is leading to suicide and drugs (We’re overdosing at a rate that’s higher than car accidents).

We live in a stressful and unhealthy environment.

The Answer

I think much of this is because we’re preaching the wrong things. We need to teach people more about how to take care of themselves so that they won’t have to utilize the healthcare system.

In order to not utilize the healthcare system, you must know these things:

  • Insurance is for disaster, not routine care.
  • Drug companies over hype their drugs and price them way too high.
  • Most people expect to take a pill for everything.

Instead of spending our money on more medications and better insurance, we ought to focus more on what we eat, how we exercise, sleep, and manage stress.

Helping people understand this and guide them to better health, in spite of the healthcare system we’re in, is my mission.