License to Heal or License to Steal?

It’s time to take some of the profit out of the for-profit healthcare system currently victimizing the people of the United States. This is a small step and one which can be implemented on levels which do not necessitate the consent of an entire nation.

If you’re not intelligent enough to already have realized that the present for-profit healthcare system in the United States constitutes a human rights violation, you might as well go back to watching black and white 1950s sitcoms on your smart phone, and stop reading altogether.

“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone.”

That’s one translation of the Hippocratic Oath. “First do no harm” is one way of saying it.

Let’s face it, the for-profit healthcare extortion system in the United States is doing a lot of harm to a lot of people.

When a doctor asks a high price for their services, they are saying one thing. They are saying that if you don’t meet their price, they will withhold their services. That’s how a market is supposed to work. Unfortunately, when doctors withhold their services in order to get more money, people have been known to die. It’s pay or die when it comes to the present healthcare extortion system in the United States.

Individual states license doctors to practice their discipline within that state’s borders. States currently allow licensed medical professionals free reign to charge excessive amounts for their services. The argument that the medical profession exists within a free market and doctors are worth whatever they can get remains entirely bogus. In reality, the for-profit medical profession is an extortion racket where, unless a patient meets the system’s financial demands, something very bad might very well happen to them. Has anyone, anyone ever, compared prices when they needed brain surgery? The states through their licensing powers become willing partners in this extortion racket. Doctors in the present system are asking their patients that most delightful of questions, “Your money or your life?”

If a licensed hunter is limited in the number of deer he can bag in one season, certainly a state has the authority to limit the profit margin on licensed professionals within its jurisdiction. If states and local governments can regulate the prices charged by cab drivers, those same licensing authorities most certainly have the capability to cap the incomes of medical professionals whose entire careers depend upon the state issuing them a license to practice.

A modest proposal. Allow doctors to make as much as they want through earnings and investments within the current healthcare system. However, if their income is more in a year than the governor of the state which issues their license, they will be charged a fee of 75% of those overage monies, which will be paid to the licensing authority. On the plus side the licensing authority will take those monies and initiate a program which reimburses doctors 5% of their outstanding student loans if they perform two weeks of non-profit medical community service each year. Of course there will be other trivial details which can be worked out rather easily once this concept is accepted by those of good faith.

It’s time for individual states to stop participating in the healthcare extortion racket. If any doctor says they will leave the state if they can’t make as much money as they can extort from their captive audience, well, here’s your scrub hat, what’s your hurry?

Peter Breschard is the author of Circus Rider and My Love Affair with Barack Obama as well as other lesser works of fact and fiction. Read other articles by Peter.