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Demand (The Two Camps)...

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Message Rick Lanahan

It was a typical Sunday morning when Sally and Tom gathered their kids for their weekly grocery adventure. The kids looked forward to riding on the cart and going on scavenger hunts searching for items that they saw on TV or on the internet. Sally and Tom did the same, but their primary focus was on nutrition. They loved the variety of each product on the shelves. When they picked an item and put it in their cart, they are showing their demand for that product. Similarly, when many people show their demand for the same product...the demand increases.

Sally works as a police officer and Tom works as a fireman during the week and some weekends. They have a crazy life juggling work and family, but they communicate well, which makes it work. Like the grocery trip where Sally and Tom demand certain products and services, people in the community demand certain products and services (like safety, fire protection, snow removal, community maintenance, administrative support, etc). These products and services are paid by our taxes when we purchase items at the store or online.

One day, Tom's fire station received a call to put out a fire. When he arrived, he helped a couple exit their home. They needed medical attention. His team was able to provide basic assistance. They recommended that they go to the hospital, but the couple declined because they couldn't afford the medical bill and they didn't want to go through the embarrassment of answering the hospitals questions. This often made Tom feel bad, but there wasn't anything he could do. This is just the way it was since the manufacturing plant closed.

In the past 10 years or so, there has been a movement to provide affordable care for all and moving to a single-payer model, which is intended to reduce healthcare administrative costs. There are two major camps. Progressive movement wants to move towards healthcare for all that are living or visiting in the US. Conservatives want to keep the traditional healthcare model prior to the Affordable Care Act. Both groups want the market to dictate demand. The difference is that progressives want healthcare to be a service like police and fire protection. They want the healthcare needs of the community to dictate demand and want to force companies to compete to provide the lowest cost at the highest quality (similar to what Walmart does with their suppliers). Conservatives want to provide different levels of healthcare based on what a person can afford. If a person cannot afford healthcare, then they don't get healthcare.

There is a third group that is affected... businesses. For most of them, they want to get out of the healthcare business for employees. Actually, businesses want to eliminate expenses that do not add value to their products or services. This just makes sense. If you been around business for a long time, you have seen the movement from businesses providing healthcare coverage to employee purchasing their own coverage. Each year, employees are asked to be responsible for more and more of the healthcare costs. Good or bad... it's just the reality.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for all practical purposes is a transformational mechanism to get people to purchase healthcare if they do not have healthcare coverage through a business. The goal is to help offset the rise in healthcare costs. There is still the gap for those that are unemployed or cannot afford healthcare. This gap is what is causing both camps to take opposing sides.


Like Tom and Sally who provide a service to their community and are paid by taxes... is it time we demand that healthcare become a community service for all and force healthcare suppliers to compete for products and services that are needed by the community?

If healthcare becomes a community service, will this put an emphasis on the government to ensure everyone is employed and educated, so they are part of the tax base supporting healthcare? Or will it cause people to NOT strive to their potential? Will it reduce the bias in some healthcare sectors?

What are you demanding for the future of healthcare?


Regardless of your political views, EDUCATE YOURSELF.

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A former conservative turned independent. I tend to lean with Progressives. My more recent articles are written to give readers an insight, but not to take a particular position necessarily. The goal is to get readers to use critical thinking (more...)

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