Our current health care system, with a reliance on third party, or employer provided, insurance is a relic of the 1940's. As time marches on we are finding that individual patients, which should be the primary concern in any health care system, are being relegated to the backseat in the decision making process, leaving it up to their physicians to try to obtain payment from insurance providers, with varying degrees of success.
We must also take steps to ensure a transparent and market-based billing process. If a patient knows what they are paying for and receiving for that payment, then they can not help but be an active and engaged participant throughout the entire process.
There are many other changes that can and should be made to our health care system, in areas as diverse as Health IT, EMTALA, liability reform and, the elephant in the room, Medicare, but our choices on this matter are simple, and the path we must proceed down is clear.
The right choice is to focus all of our efforts on laying a ground work for the free market to establish universal access to affordable, patient-centered health care coverage.