When we finally get it all said and done, health care reform is a necessary evil. It is very difficult to examine all the questions, so I will tell you what concerns me as both a taxpayer and a human being, as I try to sort it all out in my mind. I will contact my representative and let them know how I stand and on this and that will not be an easy job.
My cousin Carol and I were trying to remember whether we were vaccinated for some childhood diseases that may or may not have been available when we were children, like whooping cough. We will always wonder why some children were and some were not, for whatever reason, and possibly suggesting a double standard in this country. I'm big on prevention as it saves you money and suffering. Yet, in a free society, can and should inoculations be forced on people. I've heard pro and con stories about "flu" shots and both state and government mandates, and rationings. I feel availability with choice is the way to go. Sometimes in order to eradicate certain diseases "all" must participate in available treatment and that is where choice should not be allowed. Some of the diseases that were unknown for years in this country are now back and concerning.
In a pandemic, with limited beds, staff and pharmaceuticals available, how would a priority for chosing patients be established? At the top of the list, possibly would be the politicians, service workers, teachers, medical staff, and whatever method they have devised to maintain a list of importance. I'm sure that you will agree that it will not be on a "first come first serve" basis. The question will be "status" and what determines how and who and in what order you fall on the list. That does not sound like a new idea to me. Those who have influence will win out here.
I can just see the lines now. Who will get to decide where you will go and how? Residential address? Years ago, a physician came to your house and saw everyone who was in need at the same time. Just think of what a cost saving that was. There were a lot less specialists then. On the other hand, it is so vital to health care to see a specialist who's experience in the field is critical to your health issue. Choosing your own doctor as a provider of your health saves money and time, having become familiar with your particular conditions. This is especially important during an emergency situation where time is not wasted on gathering information to relay to a new doctor unfamiliar with your circumstances.
Now clinics are established at work places, schools, and wherever people gather, to receive shots needed after a disaster like a flood or perhaps information or tests. One word describes this, impersonal.
Some plans are not accepted by Dental or Doctor's offices. Turning patients away, inevitably results in increased hospital visits. Hospitals turn patients away for a toothache referring them to a dental practice, who refers the patient to other dental practices, causing the patient undue inconvenience, pain and suffering. (All because they did not have the right coverage) or, the doctor did not subscribe to their particular policy. Having dental emergencies on one health plan would eliminate that problem.
You've all heard the story of people being transported to other hospitals by ambulance adding to the cost of the patients bill. (A person seeking treatment in a small local hospital, should not be bussed out to a large city hospital), increasing the cost and having the worry about having to find a way home. Taxpayers eventually pick-up the tab of the uninsured. What stops the uninsured to run to the emergency room for situations that could be handled at the doctor's office in the morning? Do doctors still refuse some patients health plans, offering treatment by cash or by a credit card? When was the last time you went to the doctor or dentist and didn't walk out with another appointment? Or, perhaps a scheduled appointment for a test, or pharmacy script?
Who is not looking to sue a doctor these days for malpractice? Just watch the ads on TV. My point is how do lawsuits affect the bottom line of health care? We need to eliminate waste at all levels, including the perks, run away costs and pork barrel spending.
The cost of health is high. People paying premiums for their coverage should be allowed some choices and some of those are cost effective plans for receiving medications as well as generic alternatives. How about having medical offices open to receive working people who are not able to take time off from their jobs only to sit in office waiting rooms for hours at a time.
Instead of looking at treatment only such as for obesity in children, why not give better choices at mealtimes? Maybe more opportunity for lifestyle changes, like walking instead of being bused everywhere? Bring back physical education programs, chores and shorten school days instead of after school programs which often keep children indoors.
Explore avenues for adult fitness centers which are affordable to all including bike and walking paths. Campaigns which effectively teach the benefits of good health, against drugs, alcohol consumption in moderation, and lifestyle changes that promote a healthy society. To be healthy you need to work at it and that requires more than a pill.
We all win when our residents in the USA are fit. When we anticipate disease by prevention, and design programs that will keep us fit as we chose to be healthy and all work toward that goal. We cannot afford to pay for even one person who will suffer due to neglect. Neglecting our brother will result in higher health care costs in which we all share the responsibility for in one way or another. In the end, its our decision.
I will continue with this debate on another day when I will talk about who is competing for your business, as everyone is in it for the money, yours.
2 days ago