Tuesday, January 12, 2010



By : Dr. T. Everett Branwell, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.G., D.V.M., M.B.A., C.P.A., President and Charter Member, Paying Customers United for Quality Health Care; Chairman and CEO, Gastro-Tech Intestinal Scanning Instruments LLC (a Delaware Limited Liability Company); Married; Hospital Cost-Control Consultant; Amateur Dog Breeder.

America hungers for a miraculous solution to the health care mess. For more than a year now, we have watched President Obama struggle to balance the myriad forces bearing upon this issue. For more than a year now, we have seen little improvement: Millions remain uninsured; malpractice lawyers game the system with frivolous suits; surgery still costs an arm and leg (in more ways than one); and health care costs are still driving this country to financial ruin. Although Congress wisely avoided committing America to a wasteful European-style "public option" in its recent health care legislation, the bill leaves many questions unanswered. In a word, it is no solution.

We will not rescue healthcare without solutions that reinforce American virtues. Handouts and subsidies will not get the job done. Neither will government programs that interfere with private decisionmaking. Rather, we must attack the problem directly while cultivating self-reliance and respect for private enterprise. Government can do no job that a private person cannot do better. I trust the American people. And I know that an ambitious American can achieve anything he sets out to accomplish.

We must start from square one. Health care fails in America primarily because there are not enough doctors. Costs rose to astronomical levels because doctors are in limited supply, yet demand for their services is higher than ever. As any economics student can tell you, that's a recipe for runaway prices. The bottom line is this: You need doctors to provide healthcare; and there aren't enough doctors to provide it to everyone who needs it. Add the facts that Americans live longer, weigh more and exercise less and you soon discover how grave this crisis really is.

In a typical scenario, an American gets sick. He spends days waiting for the right doctor to see him. He cannot work during that time. He worries whether he will recover. In essence, he must be passive; he must wait for the doctor to help him. This is not good for the economy or the Nation. We need more doctors so that sick people can recover faster. If there were a doctor right around the corner, this poor man would receive immediate attention and get back to work sooner.

So how do we create more doctors? Simple: By education. Doctors do not grow on trees; they must be trained. But this is not a drawback; it is an opportunity. Education is good for America. Because doctors depend on education, we can address the health care problem through education. I care about America. I care about education. I care about health care. That is why I have devised a foolproof solution that will harmonize all these things.

We can rescue healthcare in America by requiring all Americans to become doctors. If everyone were a doctor, no one would have to go to the hospital or take time off work. Instead, sick people would be able to care for themselves. If a man breaks his leg, he could set the bone himself, administer anesthesia to himself, keep a detailed treatment log for himself, administer physical therapy to himself, write his own prescriptions and be back on his feet in no time. And he could do all this without depending on others: No wait times, no insurance forms, no missed work. If he encountered a problem in treatment, he could always call on his wife, children or parents, all of whom, too, would have the medical expertise needed to heal him. Put simply, mandatory medical education would render virtually every health care dilemma moot.

We understand that it takes a long time to become a doctor. Many people shy away from careers in medicine because they do not want to stay in school until they are 40 and stay awake for 24 hours several nights a week. But we have seen what happens when our society does not have enough doctors. Our health care system fails because doctors cannot handle all the sick people in an expeditious manner. If everyone becomes a doctor, however, these problems will instantly disappear. Yes, it is a significant investment. But in the end, it will solve the health care mess.

Still, we can only achieve this happy result through a complete educational overhaul. We must finance every American's medical education, and that will cost a lot of money. Yet we must never underestimate the strength of American private enterprise. As long as we provide sufficient incentives to private enterprise in America, we can expect miracles. By the same token, if we leave substantial questions in government hands, we can expect disasters. In that light, we must put our faith in the free market to deliver quality medical education to every American. Just as mandatory medical education will breed self-reliance in the population, so too will private educational financing teach fiscal responsibility to every American.

To realize the dream of universal American medical education, we must require every American to take out private educational loans. At the same time, we must abolish government-backed educational loans in order to maximize private competition in lending. We will not achieve our educational goals by stifling healthy free market activity; banks cannot do their work if they are not free to charge as much interest as they wish on student loans. In that light, we also must insist that every American pay only interest on their student loans in perpetuity. This will allow banks to constantly increase their outstanding balances, thereby increasing their income and maximizing their shareholder revenues. When banks prosper, so does America. Thus, mandatory private financing for mandatory medical education will kill two birds with one stone: It will solve the health care crisis by making everyone a doctor; and it will also reward healthy private banking.

The solution is obvious.

Critics will inevitably counter that America requires employment diversity to survive in the 21st Century. Specifically, they say that doctors are not the only profession that Americans need. According to these critics, Americans need mechanics, lawyers, steelworkers, coffee shop baristas, taxi drivers, cashiers, plumbers, nude dancers, ditch diggers, soldiers, politicians, toilet cleaners, peddlers and stockbrokers, too.

We do not disagree. Our critics do not understand what we mean when we say "universal medical education." We do not mean that everyone must stop their educational pursuits as soon as they become doctors. We simply mean that everyone must at least be a doctor before undertaking another profession. This is the only way that Americans can truly achieve medical self-sufficiency. In other words, once a man becomes a doctor, he is free to learn donutmaking or some other craft. We understand that Americans need donutmakers as much as they need doctors. But under our plan, a medically-educated donutmaker will have the knowledge to care for his own medical problems, rather than depend on someone else if his health fails. We agree that America needs other professions. We simply insist that everyone must at least be a doctor.

We actually encourage Americans to pursue educational goals beyond medicine. After all, when everyone is a doctor, salaries for doctors will inevitably decrease. That will require enterprising Americans to find novel new ways to make money. Once again, private enterprise will light the way: Banks stand ready to provide private loans to any doctor who wishes to learn another trade.

Mandatory medical education is right for America in many ways. It will not only solve the intractable financial problems associated with health care. It will also teach virtue. This country rose to preeminence because Americans are self-sufficient. The health care mess developed because too many Americans were not self-sufficient. But those days will end as soon as every American becomes a doctor. On that day, Americans will treat their own diseases; they will not need anyone else to help them. In our view, this will reinforce the gritty determination that made America great in the first place.

Sickness and injury will no longer signal desperation and worry. To the contrary, a medically-educated American will confront them with defiance. "I have HIV? Pah, I can treat myself for it," he will say. And he won't owe anyone else a dime for things he can handle himself.

We must implement mandatory medical education at once. It is the only way to extricate ourselves from the health care money pit in which we now find ourselves. It is the best possible way to overcome this crisis. It offers nothing but benefits. It fosters respect for education; that's good for America. It teaches self-reliance; that's good for America. It teaches fiscal responsibility; that's good for America. It supports private enterprise; that's good for America. And it does all these things without government interference; and that's definitely good for America.

Americans are individuals. They can do anything as long as they know what they are doing. It's time to harness that spirit to solve health care. It's time to make everyone a doctor.

True, every new doctor will emerge into the world saddled with debt. But that will just be an incentive to work harder and better. Debt is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a very good thing for banks. And when banks prosper, so does America.

Tell your Congressman that you can handle your own medical problems. You can be your own surgeon. You don't need Congress or President Obama to bail you out.

Mandatory medical education. It's the only way. The American way.®

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