Political Reform

Health Care Reform

Page 3

          3 purchases by the hospitals, hospital waste, and bribes from suppliers for large contracts.
I've talked to people that worked in hospitals, and they told me that hospitals are very wasteful, spending many times more for simple items like screwdrivers than you or I would.  Since hospitals purchase in bulk, they should be paying less for simple things, not more.  This waste is caused because the industry is heavily regulated.  Once a supplier has a contract they can make huge profits by overcharging.  To break up this monopolistic behavior we would make it part of law, that if a hospital can find a supplier of a similar product to one they currently buy at a cost of less than 80% of current cost, then the current supplier can either match the price or cancel the contract.  This lets hospitals get out of outrageously overpriced contracts and hunt for more efficient suppliers.  Since hospitals will be under pressure to cut prices, they will likely take advantage of this.  The second step is to make gifts from medical suppliers to hospital staff or administrators illegal.  Hospital administrators should make decisions based on the health of their patients and the price and quality of the product.  Bribes have no place in health care.

          4 prescription drugs and patent reform.
In a recent news article a drug for the treatment of certain rare conditions relating to pregnancy was selling for $20 dollars a pill.  The week after the FDA made a decision about denying other manufacturers the ability to make the drug the pharmaceutical company raised the price to $2000 per pill.  Keep in mind they were almost certainly making a profit already at a mere $20 per pill.  Due to public outrage they dropped it back down to $700 per pill.  This is monopolistic behavior.  Patents were intended to allow the inventor to profit from his new invention WHILE SHARING IT WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD, FOR THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND!  Currently patents are used to gain a monopoly so you can make huge profits by gouging your customers.  This is not the intent of the patent system.  In order to repair this, and re introduce free market competition into the pharmaceuticals market we need patent reform.  Proper patent reform will protect the inventor so that he WILL make a profit, while still ensuring the knowledge is shared in a way that free market principles will keep prices reasonable low.  My proposal is that a patent be required to contain in the filing an accounting of costs associated with development.  We would then require that the patent holder sell licenses to the patent.  Once the total license fees collected on the patent exceed ten times the development cost, the patent will be considered paid off, and will move to the public domain where it will be free to use for all people.  Since the patent holder made ten times his original investment, even if it took 10 years to collect that much he should still be making a nice profit.  This system also allows governments to address situations for the public good.  One example of this is AIDS medication in Africa.  Governments would have the ability to simply pay off a patent, and then manufacture AIDS medication and give it away in order to fight the spread of epidemics such as AIDS.

          5 Moving to a system  where all people have the choice to set up a health savings account tied to a high deductible catastrophic insurance health plan will also solve one of the problems we see today in politics.  That problem is what happens in families that are non standard?  Examples of this are Gay couples, unmarried couples, divorced couples and children living with relatives who are not their parents.  Under my system people do not need their employer to put their dependents on their health care, they can simply do it themselves.