Sunday, August 20, 2006

How About A Triple-A-Type Health Society?

Here's an idea that no one's mentioned yet. How about creating a nonprofit club similar to the Auto Club, only for health matters instead of car matters? (Yes, Virginia, your doctor is a member of an industry, just like your garage mechanic.)

AHA

The Auto Club, with its 50 million members in North America, has got to be one of the most successful nonprofits operating in the profit sector, another example being the credit unions in the banking industry. Their insurance rates can't be beat by any profit company, the proof of that fact being that competitors never mention AAA rates in comparison ads.

Why can't this same formula be applied in the health care insurance arena?

Why can't a concerned group of citizens band together, form a nonprofit corporation, and begin advising consumers about the conditions on the health care road? Place some "sharp curve" and "steep grade" signs, advise us about tactics and prices? Offer inspections for medical care facilities? Consumer-Report-type investigations of new techniques, their prices, their track record, and consumer-oriented critiques exposing opinions from all sides of the spectrum, not just that of the doctor and the for-profit insurance company? Have Member Doctors, just like they have Member Repair Shops?

Organizers can take inspiration from credit union, AAA, and Consumer Report set-up and procedures.

I'll just throw this little tidbit out there in the hopes that someone can take it and run with it -- or give me a reason why it can't be done. We the consumers have got to take our health care responsibities into our own hands and stop gulping down all that Pablum from the medical industries that profit from our naivete.

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