Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Even if the government doesn't get into the "running health care" business which obviously they're not like to do any time this millenium, I think opportunity still exists for the federal government to encourage the creation and operation of basic primary care clinics, with a very clear set of services performed and prices attached to those services. What I envision isn't so different from what Walgreens and similar offer, though with more comprehensive care (actual doctors in addition to nurse practioners). People often need pretty basic primary care semi-urgently, requiring immediate but fairly trivial attention from a health care provider. Sure some people are wedded to their doctor, but it isn't so awesome when the next appointment is in 3 days. The feds wouldn't have to run clinics, just have guidelines, standards, some inspection oversight, and a stamp of approval.

...I realize urgent care clinics already exist, what I'm suggesting is standardizing them, creating a standard that they could choose to conform to in exchange for a nice little logo blessing them. The point is to create transparency and simplicity. Pricing in medicine can be a mess, and when your child is sick is not the moment when you want to do a lot of comparison shopping.