Glenn Beck keeps talking about his free market solution to rising healthcare costs, and in his book Arguing with Idiots, he outlines his solution. He wants to send the uninsured to Walmart and Walgreens for healthcare. Beck touts the fact that these stores are cheaper than a trip to the emergency room, without acknowledging that they don’t provide serious care.
According to Media Matters on pages 258-259, Beck laid out his private healthcare solution, “Answer this question: What three letters can get you quality medical care for about half the price of a typical doctor’s appointment and provide a 90-day supply of most prescription medications for less than a movie and popcorn, all while giving you the opportunity to pick up Cheetos, Mentos, Oreos, Pepto, and probably even this book-o. The answer is W-A-L. You can get all of these things at your local Walgreens and/or Wal-Mart.”
He continued, “Walgreens is leading the way in the development of retail health clinics, which means that you can basically see a medical professional right in the pharmacy. Wait times are minimal, the cost is low, and you can grab a Whatchamacallit bar on the way out.”
The problem is that these mini-clinics that Beck is touting aren’t actually staffed by doctors. They are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. These clinics aren’t designed to handle major illnesses. One look at the CVS Minute Clinic website reveals that they aren’t much of a solution.
It still costs $62 just to be examined for a minor injury or illness. Other costs range from $20-$112, so it unlikely that an uninsured person would be able to get out of there for less than $100-$200. Beck’s “solution” would create a two tiered system that would allow the people who could afford it to see doctors and those who can’t get to see nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Glenn Beck’s solution isn’t really a solution at all. It is simply a way to justify the status quo.