The Herald's June 8 Opinion page had letters to the editor both condemning government single-payer and condemning a private insurance solution. The solution should be based on what works best, not what the special interests and lobbyists say is best. Just as important a question is why are we 17th in the world in health care and highest in cost per person for health care.
Here are some thoughts on what will work best. We should change from procedure payment in which the more procedures done the more payment is made, to outcome payments, which pays a fixed amount for solving a health problem. That would encourage using the least number of services, procedures, and more of the lowest priced drugs and tests to acquire a healthy outcome. This encourages finding and using the best and least costly answers and rewarding best performance.
We should agree on a universal health-care record so that every caregiver can immediately know one's health-care services rather than be in the dark about important needed medical information. This can make for a more informed diagnosis and treatment, avoid duplication of procedures already done, and help avoid mistakes based on not knowing vital information.
On our part we should do better at avoiding unhealthy activities, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drugs, overeating unhealthy foods, being overweight, etc., and seek more exercise, healthy foods and learning from our health care providers the warning signs for heart attacks strokes, etc. We should use generic rather than brand-name drugs whenever possible and seek the least costly health services and answers to start with.
Check the Internet or other sources for information to see what you can do first on your own, look for health services in supermarkets, or urgent care or family doctors rather than emergency rooms, which are closing nationwide because of non-emergency, nonpaying care having to be provided.
Let us focus on what will save money and provide better care economically and efficiently and not get caught in fighting over who will do it.
Walt Balfour, Durango