Sunday, October 4, 2009

What should be done with health care reform? Does there need to be a public option?

Yes, there needs to be a national health plan that every man, woman, and child can receive, regardless of previous condition, that pays for 100% of their care as long as the care complies with best industry practice. Now, put turn down the Glenn Beck show and hear me out people. Our country is suffering because we do not have an adequate health care system. I took developing country economics in grad school. The experts agreed that in order to have a productive society, the workforce must be healthy and educated and there must be an infrastructure to support the means of production and export. THAT IS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES! We are going backward.

You know that massive credit crisis we face? Could that at all be related to the fact that 41% of Americans under the age of 65 have medical debt? Imagine if that all just went away. Imagine if small businesses could retain employees. Imagine if people didn’t have to stay at jobs they hated because their kid has diabetes. Imagine if people could get adequate preventative care and therefore eliminate costly medical interventions down the road and be healthy. I don’t want to imagine that. I want to live it. I want to have a backup plan. A place where I can go – no matter what – and get health care and not have to mortgaged my house to pay for it.

Let me break down that first sentence so people know exactly what I am talking about:
There needs to be:

A national health plan – Note I said health plan – not government administered hospitals and clinics. My Congressman can’t figure out that cutting Veterans’ benefits and voting for the war are contradictory. We can’t leave it up to him. We need a smart person that knows something about medicine, and people and curing people with medicine and running hospitals and clinics and nursing homes. That’s what we need.

that every man, woman, and child can receive, regardless of previous condition – Now I am talking crazy. I can just hear your thoughts now: “We should give health care to people who we know are sick. WHAT???? That’s insane. We could actually make them better, then there would be more people in line at the Wal-mart. That would be bad. Patients with previous conditions should be forced to move to Montana and die alone.” However, I like people with previous conditions and I think they need medicine and I hate Wal-mart so the line can be filled with people with previous conditions 24/7.

that pays for 100% of their care as long as the care complies with best practice –What the heck does best practice have to do with this? Well, there are people out there – bad people. They like to give patients, especially elderly patients, lots and lots of tests and procedures they really don’t need because it makes more money for them. They appear to all live in Florida – South Florida to be exact. Using best practice will be a good check on the medical delivery system that ensures patients are getting what is best for them while the taxpayers are getting a good value on their tax dollars.

Aren’t I concerned about “government” making health care decisions for me? Well, they kinda already do. What Medicare decides to reimburse and not reimburse basically sets what the care plan is going to be for a particular disease or treatment – even for private insurers. And this is because we have a health care system where doctors and other health care professionals have to adapt their care plan to what will be covered – not what is best for the patient.

Am I concerned about socialism? Not really. A public option can be funded through tax money and still be run by the private sector. I would prefer it be run as a non-profit because I don’t think health care is the place to be skimming profits. Plus I kinda like some aspects of socialism like roads, the post office, public education, parks, sewers, police, fire protection, and all those other pesky things that taxes pay for that EVERYONE gets to access.

What I am concerned about is that this generation will likely have a worse future than their parents. What I am concerned about is that our 2004 infant mortality rate places us 29th in the world. There are 28 other countries where babies have a better chance to live. What I am concerned about is that we pay more money for health care than any other country and still 41% carry medical debt. What I am concerned about is the conversations I have with nurses and doctors about the state of our country’s hospitals.

We need health care reform and we need it now. I am disappointed and disgusted by the cowardice of the Democrats in the House and Senate and White House that refuse to step up and use the Super Majority to save this country. I am disheartened by the Medicare beneficiaries that are out raising their voices against “government health care” – even though their very lives depend on it - because talk show host told them to yell louder. I ache for the small business owners who every day have to close the doors on their dreams because they just can’t afford not to have health insurance anymore. What will it take to get what we need?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we need to do to fix this health care crisis.

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