6. We must remove the Vegas-style gambling on medical law suits. You’ve seen the commercials: “Have you ever had a headache? You may be entitled to compensation.” I’ve proposed several solutions over the past few years, but have come to the conclusion that the simplicity of the English system — the “loser pays” system — would be best for America. No one is prevented from suing, but there would be no free roll of the dice. There must be money on the table to force accountability. There is always risk in life: if you sue and lose, you pay the cost.
7. Allow re-importation of drugs. It is simple and it is safe. Did I mention simple?
8. This one is a stretch, but I love it. Make medical school free, and shorten the four years of college, four years of medical school to six total years. Make all state schools free or nearly so. In return, the young doctor will give back to his state two to three years of service: two years if served after basic training (general practice), or three years after specialty training. This will encourage generalists. Private schools will still run the same, but will be at the cost of the student.
When confronted with a complex medical condition, we as physicians are trained to find as simple a solution as possible by breaking down the components and solving the critical problems first, and then worrying about the minor ailments. While these eight steps may not “cure” what ails all of health care, they will allow the freedom of choice that Americans are entitled to. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.