First EMBRACE- The need for real healthcare reform

It’s time for a new healthcare system!

No matter how you feel about the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare as it is more commonly known), it is clear even six years after it was passed that our healthcare system is still broken. It is not that our doctors and hospitals don’t practice good medicine- they are considered among the best in the world- but consumers (also know as patients), businesses, hospitals and healthcare professionals have not seen much improvement at all. In fact, the bureaucracy and expenses associated with healthcare services have seemed only to have increased over the past decade.

The problem stems from the fact that our healthcare system is not really a system at all. Instead, it is a tremendously complex amalgam of private, public and military health insurance and hospitals with an archaic infrastructure and no effective oversight. It really should be called the American healthcare chaos.

The closest oversight for our American healthcare chaos, is the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which oversees the majority of the federal government’s healthcare agencies, such as the FDA, Medicare and Medicaid. It is typically headed by a career politician/administrator with little healthcare background. Because of its government roots, HHS is beholden to political pressure and has no direct control over private or military/VA insurance. And because of the American healthcare chaos’s archaic infrastructure, HHS cannot easily introduce science-based healthcare services to the American public. Instead, it must devise complicated schemes that offer financial incentives to healthcare providers (whether they are doctors or hospitals) if they practice good medicine.

But how do you promote good medical practice by financial incentives? This has been the $64 billion question over the past two decades. The answer is that you can’t without imposing inordinate complexity, bureaucracy and inefficiency. The ‘system’ is not designed for it.

The EMBRACE system on the other hand is specifically designed not only to promote science-based medical care, but also to unify the entire US medical system under one non-governmental body; the National Medical Board (the NMB).

Under EMBRACE, the NMB will function for the US’s healthcare system as the Federal Reserve functions for its financial system. It will be led by healthcare professionals and have a mission to “promote the health of the nation for each and every one of its citizens.” It will oversee every aspect of the American healthcare system from research to insurance coverage to electronic medical records to continuing medical education for practitioners.

If you are sick and tired of the same old discussions about our broken healthcare system that is stuck in its 20th century infrastructure, consider the new healthcare system for the twenty-first century: EMBRACE. Tell Congress: “Create a National Medical Board in the same way Congress created the Federal Reserve over 100 years ago”. This will give our Congressmen something to do between attempts to repeal Obamacare.

Gil Lancaster, MD

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One thought on “First EMBRACE- The need for real healthcare reform

  1. It would be even more apt to refer to the American healthcare system as the American sickness maintenance chaos. Or sadly, sometimes even, the American sickness exacerbating chaos, would be the most apt description.

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