In a non-POM society, basic medical
care will be available to everyone
and they won't have to pay for it.
After all, medical care is a necessity
for most people. In fact, medical care
in the form of public health keeps
most of us from being killed by plagues.
But medicine in today's economy is
very expensive. How can a non-POM society
just give it away for free?
There are a lot of things to consider
here and we will take up a few of
the more important. First, basic
medical care such as checkups does
not require those specialists who
today demand and receive high fees
for their services. It is true that
there will probably always be medical
services which are so expensive in
resources that they literally cannot
be made available to everyone. There
will also come times when the number
of people who need treatment will
exceed the capacity of the available
medical resources, as when flu season
comes and there is not enough vaccine
for everyone. But basic medical care
is all that most people need most of the time.
Second, a lot of the expense of
modern medicine in the U.S. comes
from regulations, insurance, and
lawsuits. Since there is a lot of
money involved in medicine, insurance
companies go to great lengths to
be sure that they pay a minimum of
claims and pay as little as possible
in each case. But these expenses
simply don't exist in a non-POM economy.
Doctors will not be regulated since
it will not be necessary. There is
no insurance and there are no lawsuits
in a non-POM economy. The receptionist
who greets you at the doctor's office
will only need to know who you are
and what your complaint is. Medical
records will be readily available.
Therefore, a very large component
of the cost of medical treatment
will be avoided.
Third, since treatment doesn't depend
on how much money the patient has,
there is no need for the poor to
use the emergency room for primary
care, there is no need to wait until
a condition is severe before seeking
treatment, and preventive medicine
can be practiced.
Fourth, many maladies of today are
made worse by poor diet, lack of
exercise, and dangerous work and
home environments. The food industry
provides many foods that are bad
for our health (like corn syrup).
In a non-POM economy, the nutrition
one gets from food is what gets the
pay, not the flavor. Therefore, the
food provided would have little of
the junk calories now found there.
Offering people entertaining ways
of getting good exercise would earn
people money. Creating a workplace or a
home which contributes to accidents
would greatly reduce a builder's
income. Thus, there should be far
fewer industrial accidents and other
injuries in proportion to the products
As for the role of the medical personnel,
they are neither restricted nor regulated.
They are not required to provide
treatment to anyone and they can
withhold treatment if they so choose.
But they don't get paid for doing
nothing. Also, it is the consequences
of their actions that determine the
level of their pay, if any. Therefore,
if they want more money they will
have to treat more people or treat
them better. Mistakes cost them all
money; from the suppliers of drugs
and equipment to the janitors who
keep the halls in the clinic clean...
so everyone has a motive to minimize
errors, whether their own or others.
Those who provide medical supplies
like drugs and equipment are also
paid for the consequences of their
actions. Drugs' adverse side effects
reduce the pay of those who provide
and prescribe them.
Therefore, drugs would only be prescribed
when the doctor really thought
they would actually help the patient
would be very careful about such
things as drug interactions since
those could cost the whole establishment
lots of money. No longer would those
who market drugs attempt to get them
prescribed as much as possible since
that would actually reduce their
No longer would hospitals buy expensive
equipment they didn't need for status.
This would also reduce costs.
But when there is a shortage of
medical resources (such as after a disaster or other catastrophic event), those who provide
the services will decide whom they
will choose to treat and whom to
Naturally, those who can provide
the most benefit to society would
be treated first while those whose
contributions are minimal or are
all in the past would be treated
last. But usually, there would
be treatment for any who needed it.
There are some medical procedures
which are not at all necessary.
Cosmetic surgery, for example, is
sometimes a necessity to give one
an acceptable appearance. But in
other cases, it is purely for vanity
and is a luxury in every meaningful
sense of the word. In those cases
the treatment would have to be paid
for in full by the patient at the
time the services were rendered.
So to summarize, there is no payment
required for most medical care. There
medical insurance and there are no
malpractice lawsuits. There is no
of, nor restrictions upon those who
provide medical services.
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