Today, I turned on the television to discover a live “town hall” meeting in Pennsylvania on health care. It was conducted by Sen. Arlen Spector. The crowd was rocking him pretty good, but in decent order. Spector looked puzzled by the abrasiveness of some of the comments and questions. He looked like he might be out of touch or something. Of course, he has been up there a long time. Some, go to Washington out of touch and get more out of touch once there.
Some of the comments have been “leave us alone”. These are people who have an innate and very healthy distrust of the federal government.
Of course, we know health care cannot be left alone. When premiums double in 10 years it can’t be left alone. But, it is time to consider approaching the problem in a different direction. Rather than a comprehensive policy change, maybe we need a sheriff. If hospitals and doctors are lying and stealing maybe they should be dealth with in a punitive fashion. If insurance companies are dealing in bribery and fraud, maybe we should consider punitive measures. If doctors and hospitals are using malpractice claims as a pretext to order more tests and make more money; then that needs to be dealth with first.
What influence would a good sheriff have on health cost? Well, a lot, no doubt. Maybe, many of these people that cannot now afford medical needs would find health care more realistic. Maybe, some of these big statistics would start changing some. Changing for the better.
Of course, medical care is very complex and policy changes will always be necessary, but a good sheriff might work until we are more clear-headed.