Tag Archives: health care policies

Health Care Reform!

healthLast week I spent an afternoon going through printouts of my hospital bills from the last few years. After wearing out a few of the keys on my trusty TI-84 calculator, I confirmed what I had only suspected previously: that since May 1, 2005 Medicare, along with a potpourri of state medical assistance programs, has spent just over 1.1 million dollars keeping me alive.
Whether or not this 1.1 million dollar raid on the Social Security Trust Fund, as well as the State of New Mexico’s oil and gas royalties, represents a bargain is a matter of personal opinion. I mention it only to call attention to the promises regarding health care “reform” made by then-candidate Obama during the recently concluded campaign season.

The only problem I foresee regarding health care “reform” is that, in political terminology, “reform” is Orwellian Newspeak for “government meddling.”

Depending on who you talk to, the Obama Administration or some other equally partisan group, “reform” will probably add around 40 million people to an already over-extended health care system. If you think that having to wait 12 hours just to get into an Emergency Room or Urgent Care Clinic is bad, try to think about what adding another 50 people to the line ahead of you will do for your attitude.

I realize that there will be some who believe that more government involvement in health care will lead to cost control through “greater efficiency.” If you believe that line, just talk to any veteran that uses their local Veterans Administration Hospital and see what kind of testimonial to government efficiency that you get. Better yet, visit my old stomping grounds at the Indian Health Service Hospital in Gallup, New Mexico to see what kind of a bureaucratic mess that government supervision of health care can make.

Under Obama’s proposed Economic Recovery Plan, or whatever it’s being called this week, the government proposes to spend $87 billion for the state-run Medicaid programs, $20 billion to improve health information technology, and about $4 billion for improvements in preventative medicine. While this may look good on paper I must ask what the cost will be next year, or in its third year. I can assure you that the 50 states will run through that $87 billion of Medicaid funding in a matter of months! Does Obama’s proposed spending include funding these programs 5 years down the road? And the part about “preventive care” may look like a good idea, but it’s an even bigger joke.

Health Care Debt At An Advanced Age!

HealthHow can anyone afford that kind of health care debt at an advanced age? He was able to, and because he was able to, he had to pay. Others in the same facility receiving similar or even more advanced care may not have had to pay as much simply because they did not have it. How is this just?

By doing away with health insurance companies, we can hopefully reduce the skyrocketing costs for basic health care needs.

So, with health insurance eliminated, how do we pay for health care? A tax, percentage based equally to all. For example, a 5% health care tax taken from every individual. Dollar-wise, those making more will pay more, but percentage-wise, everyone is paying the same percentage of what they earn towards their health care.
Trips for health care needs no longer would require Co-pays or other funds up front. If you are or have been legally employed in the United States, you are covered. If a doctor deems a medical procedure is necessary for your care, you get it. No board of directors trying to pad their bottom line to deny coverage and jeopardize your health for their profit.
Illegal immigrants? No coverage. They must pay for health care issues out of their pocket. No free rides to anyone who is not a legal U.S. Citizen.

This plan is in operation in some form around the world, only the United States requires their citizens to be lottery winners to receive quality health care.

The savings to employers would be immediate, the elimination of work place health plans. This should help them to be able to rehire some workers laid off in order to afford the health insurance for the rest.

Now this plan is for “health care” not elective items.
Botox, plastic surgery for looks (not for restructuring after a maiming accident), would NOT be covered. This health care plan is solely to provide the needed health care individuals and families need to remain healthy.

All hospitals work on all patients (exceptions made for hospitals that are specialized such as cancer, cardiac, and burn hospitals).

The tax collected is distributed to the various health care institutes to cover their costs. To further aid in reducing health care costs, health care facilities would be exempt from fees, taxes, and other monetary add-ons designed to make money.
All hospitals would become non-profit, in that they are not facing boards to explain why they are not making money. Caps on doctors’ salaries to prevent the majority of the taxes collected to be spent paying payroll.

Clinics would handle the non-emergency cases. Colds, flu, simple fractures, etc would be removed from emergency rooms. This frees E.R. doctors for actual emergency cases which will hopefully decrease wait times and save more lives.