By Dr. Brian Dixon|Jan 2, 2019
A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law started playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for my 19-month-old niece. But to my surprise, my niece began singing the ABC song!
I looked at my sister-in-law incredulously. She smiled, “Yes, those melodies are the exact same.”
As a 38-year-old Psychiatrist and men’s chorus devotee, my mind was blown.
It’s good to have our notions rocked from time to time. I get the same deer-in-the-headlights look when I tell people to buy their healthcare direct instead of using health insurance.
Americans have a lot of confusion and fear regarding our healthcare system. We’re sold a lot of mixed messages. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans now say that healthcare coverage should be the responsibility of the U.S. government.
Though I am a strong advocate of U.S. healthcare reform, I think damage has been done by the ACA. Why? Because the ACA was built on middlemen: insurance companies. Like it or not, Obamacare has been a huge economic stimulus to the insurance business.
The insurance industry isn’t interested in decreasing costs. They are the reason costs are high to begin with. We need a new health finance paradigm; one that considers healthcare options that doctors, patients, and presidents alike have ignored.
Am I telling you to go drop your insurance premium today? No; not necessarily. What I am saying is that healthcare reform shouldn’t be anchored on health insurance companies. Many people have been sold that insurance companies will solve the problems inherent to U.S. healthcare—I say they compound them.
The truth is, neither Republicans nor Democrats can fix healthcare because it’s not a government problem to fix. Healthcare is a patient-physician relationship. Instead of worrying about expensive middlemen, we should focus on building state-based fiscal policy to ensure direct access.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve seen study after study about health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Think tanks and “investigative” health reporters have scoured the nation reporting numbers that will blow your mind: sky-high health care bills, physician debt, looming premium increases. It’s clear we have a big problem. Yet we do nothing.
I can think of one method that might save a lot of people a lot of money: Screw health insurance.
Any form of insurance is just a bet you place against yourself. The problem is, insurance companies are writing the rules of the wager. They’re sure as heck going to manipulate the odds of winning—passing Go and collecting your $200—in their favor.
Insurance companies have a vested interest in not paying back the money you send them. Say you pay $350/month for insurance. That $4,200/year disappears. It fails to compound or pay you dividends. It doesn’t make you any healthier and it certainly doesn’t make you any wealthier.
The insurance company rightfully bets you will stay mostly healthy, most of the time. What if each of us placed our bets according to the same logic as insurance companies? Most of us would probably stop buying health insurance.
So what would you do without health insurance? I’m no financial expert, but tucking that $350 per month into a nice investment or savings account—knowing you’ll eventually need to pay for an emergency or visit to the doctor—is a worthy start.
When disaster strikes or you catch the next plague, you’ll have a nice chunk of change to pull from to afford the care and medicine you need.
That’s a big part of the reason I don’t accept health insurance in my private practice.
Insurance companies drive up the costs of healthcare providers within their network. But if you’re not limited by their selection, a whole new spectrum of pricing, services, and care options are at your disposal. You can find solutions within your price range and preference.
Let’s review. Without insurance Americans could:
Hope you found this helpful! If you want to learn more about how U.S. healthcare can be flipped on its head, check out this video I made. New possibilities await!
With accolades spanning my career as a child psychiatrist, entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker, I advocate for a more sensible U.S. healthcare solution that appeals across all party lines. I am a Texan, born and raised. My psychiatry practice, Progressive Psychiatry, is based in Fort Worth.Read Full Bio