As one who has spent over 40 years in healthcare management, I feel its helpful to keep our friends and neighbors informed on the importance of a healthy citizenry moving forward.
Despite the euphoria of the House of Representative, the proposed bill destined for the Senate, leaves us in worse shape than the current ACA plan. Capitalism may not be the best model for the healthcare sector. Public education, Social Security and the military are examples of government run enterprises where people are well served.
These examples have regulations and safeguards which protect and serve the general populace. Most if not all GOP plans put health insurance plans front and center. These plans’ primary purpose is to make a profit unlike public education or the military.
When the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Cancer Society, and AARP strongly oppose the current provisions of Trumpcare; congress should listen to these and other important stakeholders. Insurance companies have strong lobbyist influences on who gets elected through their campaign contributions. Its no wonder the bill proposed allows for higher premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. It will cut Medicaid by $800 billion, and let each state determine what will be covered. Most likely mental health and maternal care will be drastically reduced.
Representative Robert Pittinger recently stated that if people don’t like what our state offers then they should move to another state. That should surely help our business and tourist recruitment efforts.
Our President has assured us that universal care will be affordable to everyone and that costs will be lower. He has been known to present alternative facts before when he is mistaken. What he means is access to insurance will be assured, not guaranteed. We all have access to the Waldorf Astoria, however not all can afford it. We have yet to see the Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs, nor do we know how many people will be excluded from coverage. The bill sets aside 8 billion dollars for high risk pools to be run by the states.
The real cost is closer to $240 billion for all 50 states. President Trump recently praised the Prime Minister of Australia for having a better health system than ours. Ironically they have a government run universal entitlement plan. They pay less and outcomes are better than ours. Almost all developed nations of the world provide universal coverage at lower costs than ours. Also most have higher success rates in terms of health measurements, disease specific survival rates, infant mortalities, etc.
Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans need to come together with a better plan. They need to put country ahead of ideology. By having government covering those in need vs. tax breaks for the wealthy; a solution could be hammered out. The top 2% does not need a $204,000 tax break per person to help themselves vs. a needed subsidy for the uninsured and Medicaid populations. I know some will say that’s socialism. That’s what they said about Medicare and Social Security. Now they are happy to have both of these.
To appease the right wing of the GOP, we should have malpractice reform in order to reduce healthcare costs. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering could be reduced to a half million per claim.
The trial attorneys would not be pleased , but we must compromise on some areas to modify the inflationary curve. Doctors would welcome it.
Power in the hands of one political party puts us in a precarious position. Recent Executive orders by the President are proving to be unconstitutional, such as melding religion with political positions. Our founding fathers created separation of church and state for a good reason. Our hope is that the media will pursue the truth with sound facts and evidence vs. emotional campaign promises which prove to be
unworthy of our trust. Thinking Americans need to speak out for the well being of the middle class and for those most in need. Future elections will be more important than ever. Change is needed!
LeRoy Deabler is a former hospital CEO, healthcare consultant, and economics instructor.