Time to Revive the Inner City Medical Clinics to Lower Health Care Costs

The current trajectory of healthcare costs in the United States is simply unsustainable. We are averaging between 5 to 8% year-over-year cost increases. The American people cannot afford increased insurance rates based on these costs, nor can the federal government continue to pay. If we don’t bring this under control we will lose the whole ship and as for Obama care; it’s finished. Okay so, what should we do about all this you ask?

Well, I’m glad you asked, because I noted something rather unfortunate. I noticed that there are no longer all the inner-city health clinics there used to be, those places that often offered services for free, or at extremely low prices based on your ability to pay, and were mostly ran with volunteers. One of the reasons is the HIPPA requirements, which in order to comply require a huge investment in IT infrastructure, most of these inner-city clinics simply couldn’t afford it. Burdened by these regulations, they had no chance but to shut down or merge with a bigger hospital, or sellout.

Now people with minor health issues, things that they need to take care of have no choice but to go to the regular hospital. Since they don’t have a primary doctors or anywhere to go now, they often wait until things are beyond their control, and show up at an emergency room. They don’t have healthcare insurance, the hospital must treat them for free, try to squeeze water out of a turnip, which simply will never happen, and those costs are added to the hospital’s already increasing costs; that on top of the lawsuits if they make a mistake, and they are not allowed to refuse treatment by law.

Indeed, I’d say it’s time to revive these inner-city medical clinics to help lower health care costs. No, that’s not all I’d do, I would also reduce the regulations involved with nonprofit inner-city medical clinics. Get rid of the HIPPA requirement, but make sure that everyone working there understood the need for privacy in medical records. I would allow the data anonymized for use in future medical research without the names. I would reduce the amount that a lawyer is allowed to sue for medical malpractice at these nonprofit clinics – actually at all hospitals.

If we did that, there would be fewer people seeking government run free healthcare which is going to add even more costs to the system in the future. This is one thing we can do to help people, real people in real cities, who really need healthcare attention, without overburdening our society with costs run by a giant and massive bureaucracy which has hijacked 20% of our GDP because that’s how big the healthcare industry is in the United States. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.