Would This Work As A Partial Solution For Our Healthcare Mess?
I'm going to describe a Healthcare program which has worked well in Queensland, Australia, and I wonder if multiples of this program (to accommodate the much larger population here) would work.
First, we'd need to start with one test area of manageable size, which would then establish a lottery with tax free prizes. After the prizes and expenses were paid out, all the money would be earmarked to establish a dedicated center, equipped with state of the art equipment to treat a specific disease, e.g. a cancer center. This center would run EFFICIENTLY from 7.0am - 10p.m.if necessary, with shifts of technologists, engineers, physicists and oncologists, nurses, and orderlies, housekeeping etc. Ideally, the treatment would be 100% free - but, in reality there might need to be some payment - certainly not nearly as much as now. Philanthropists often contribute to causes such as this, too - especially if given special tax treatment.
Getting back to the lottery - instead of the obscenely large prize we have now, there would be many tax free prizes. Suggested first prize might be $1,000,000 ; 2nd prize - $500,000; 3rd prize - $250,000; 4th prize - $100,000; 5th prize - $50,000 and many smaller prizes. Of course, all this would need to be calculated. In any case, your chances of winning something would be much better than now, and because everyone knows that this is for a very good cause which will benefit their family and friends, they almost begin to look on this as their civic duty to buy tickets for themselves - and as gifts. Who knows - you might get lucky - in any case you feel good about helping support your local center (and it would be the perfect gift for that hard - to-buy-for elderly relative).
Eventually, if this worked, there would be many more areas of the country doing the same thing. As it stands now, in some areas hospitals and Drs compete for patients and in the rush to keep up with the competition, there is sometimes duplication of expensive equipment. This can sit idle in some small departments, either for lack of referrals, or because the equipment has broken down, and with no on-site engineers or repair support staff to service it, valuable time - and money is lost.
I've worked in medicine in different countries - this is one of the best plans I've seen. I would be concerned that it could bog down in bureaucracy here -I'd be very interested in your opinions.