First, Sen. Hillary Clinton doesn't give a damn about the uninsured any more than Sen. John McCain cared about undocumented workers when he wrote the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. Politicians care about their big fat cat campaign contributors, not us. Big Pharmaceuticals see huge profits in the uninsured & the under insured if government will guarantee their profits on your dime. Hospitals have been losing billions of dollars every year treating the uninsured & the undocumented in hospital emergency rooms across the nation. And that is how legislation gets written in this country, the sad part though is it won't work. Here's why:
The health care crisis seems to be on everyone's mind today. Politicians have unique solutions to sell you with the objective being your vote. Getting your vote is, unfortunately, not what good health care is really about.
The medical care crisis is real and it is multi-faceted. While we mainly focus on cost and the uninsured, the real concern should be about availability. The number of doctors over age 55 is significant. When those doctors retire, the question will not be about cost of medical care but instead it will be about the rationing of medical care. The shortage of practicing nurses is already well known but the shortage of doctors is only now becoming a focus of discussion.
In order to revitalize our health care system and provide the solid foundation necessary for access to health care for all, we must drastically overhaul how health care is thought of today.
The individual is the starting point for good health care. We cannot continue to rely on drugs or surgery to reverse years of poor health habits and poor diets. The true solution to our health care crisis is personal responsibility. This will take years to be effective but it is the only true long term solution.
In the shorter run, our health care system must emphasize wellness and not illness. At present, the emergency room is the physician of choice for many Americans at great cost to all. It is important to allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses greater autonomy in providing medical care. Not all medical issues require a doctor. Additionally, the AMA and research facilities should be encouraged to develop standard medical examinations and treatment for each risk group or age, especially the aged. This improves early diagnosis and allows for treatment at a much lower cost than remediation later.
Medical systems must be streamlined by providing funds that will be used to renovate health facilities and find creative means of providing health care. Let the private enterprise system encourage solutions. Government imposed pricing with Medicare and Medicaid, regulatory approval processes, and litigation risks all work together to deny you the very thing that our political leaders tell you they are working for. Additionally, insurance companies frequently base their reimbursements on Medicare and Medicaid, while at the same time requiring additional paperwork to justify payments. More realistic rate structures and simplified billing administration are needed to encourage the free market system to work as they are intended to work.
Tort Reform is needed as well. We must limit non-economic damages for awards, and give the state licensing board greater latitude to punish negligence. Concurrently, physicians and health care providers have to be willing to police their own ranks.
To alleviate the shortage of health care professionals, we need to encourage careers in health care through a nationwide tuition assistance program, loans, and tax incentives. It is absurd that our tax code fails to reward education. If you want to fight medical care shortages, encourage the career (and all careers for that matter) by providing for the deductibility from income of tuition payments. To provide for care to the poor, non-profit health care facilities will partially fill the gap but I would also recommend that the tax code be modified to allow health care practitioners to deduct the market value of their charity care to the poor as a tax deduction on their tax returns.
Prescription drug approval processes and research are needed to significantly reduce the costs of developing new drugs. Making villains out of drug companies to get votes is counterproductive.
Finally, revision of HIPPA and the Stark Act to reduce unnecessary and cumbersome regulations which increase costs but do not improve health care should be undertaken immediately. Once again, the Congress passed well intentioned bills with no understanding of the impact on the industry.
Great health care emphasizes wellness, personal responsibility, and a society that is willing to lead the effort of encouraging health care careers. Bandages will not fix our health care problems today but redefining how health care is provided will. We need to break health care in order to fix it."-Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (ret.)
But the worst part is:
None of the presidential candidates, Republican or Democrats health care systems will solve America's health care crisis. Because 1. they all rely on private insurance companies. In most businesses the more goods you sell the more profits you make, but not with insurance. Insurance is the exact opposite. 2. America is in a disease epidemic caused in part by this nations Farm bill of the last 50 years that has been signed & passed by both Republican & Democratic administrations. Americas Farm bill promotes/contributes to: obesity, diabetes, some cancers, heart-attacks & strokes. First we should stop giving corporate welfare to farmers whos crops are killing us. Some foods should also be required to carry a warning label & be taxed like tobacco because they kill more people than cigarettes do. Second, if we are going to give such price supports they should go to farmers of healthy or organic foods. Which would make the price of healthy foods affordable like unhealthy foods are today. And lastly, disease is not just treatable it is preventable. And for every dollar spent on prevention eight are saved in the state/federal budget. These simple things would not just save thousands of lives but also billions of dollars. (According to: American Heart Assoc./ American Stroke Assoc./).
I did not know this when I started writing this but type 2 diabetes, heart-attacks, 40% of all cancers & strokes can be prevented! Not only can we prevent this nations deadliest killers but we actually save eight dollars for every dollar spent on prevention. Then our ERs will not be over-crowded, our doctors over-worked & our hospitals under-staffed. And yet not one Presidential candidate addresses Americas real healthcare problem. America ranks 42nd in life expectancy worldwide, America is in a disease epidemic that is not only ignored by the Republican & Democratic politicians but was created by the nations Farm bill of the last 50 years. We currently are giving billions of dollars every year in corporate welfare, subsidies, etc. to multi-national corporations & corporate farmers that produce unhealthy foods.