Robin Hood and the health insurance crisis

Surgical Rounds®, March 2008, Volume 0, Issue 0

Robin Hood and the health insurance crisis

When it comes to health insurance, I firmly believe the health care system in the United States is broken and should be replaced with one that provides affordable, universal access to all. Anything less is a Band-aid on a hemorrhaging wound.

I am overall a conservative capitalist and believe that government regulations requiring insurance companies to pay for this and that are no solution (and not how a free market economy works). Insurance companies make money by denying health care to subscribers while collecting higher premiums. This is a conflict of interest, and they should not be the ones paying for health care services.

The nation would have come up with a solution long ago were it not for the powerful lobby of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and lawyers who stand to lose a tremendous amount of money from reforms. They are well-organized and have money to spend, whereas we physicians and the ACS are small fish in comparison and are largely ignored.

None of the presidential candidates' plans seem to solve the underlying issue, and all guarantee that physicians will see their incomes cut. For ethical reasons, physicians have been doing all they can to keep the system from imploding, but this may be the very thing Americans need to realize that the current situation is not workable for physicians. It seems to me that society can no longer afford the price tag for fixing chronic, preventable illnesses, and the answer lies in disease prevention.

—Kira Schofield, MD

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