Better Healthcare System?

Been hearing lots of news and of course personal opinions on the new administration’s attempts to improve the healthcare system. Few people can say the current system is great and working fine. I have said before it is broken and needs fixing. This is about where a lot of people step off my bus. I don’t think it needs to be removed or completely replaced but just fix it. That is why I pay my taxes each year, so they can fix these issues and not make matters worse. I know, good luck with THAT pipe dream.

Why is it broken? Money, access, lack of control are all parts of the problem. That is why a simple, get rid of the insurance mandate, will not fix it. Nor will bringing back  pre-existing condition clauses that used be standard additions to all private insurance policies. I know because I looked way back in the day. I was moving from one job to another and thought if I could get a private policy I could simply keep the same plan no matter what job I had. Then the conditions and cost hit me. Not a chance. My only option was to stay working (most work policies have no pre-existing conditions, most of them) and simply suffer through the waiting period between policies.

One of the comments I’ve heard a lot from people who look into the new healthcare plan is that it does not bring back pre-existing conditions unless you go without for I believe is 6 months. Then you end up with a problem. A problem I have with some news reports is the possibility of removing some diseases from insurance coverage such as diabetes, epilepsy, mental illness, and a few others. It is called the Dracowski Amendment (state not congress) after the Michigan state senator who wrote it. I know many people who will be affected by such maneuvers. It sounds an awful lot like instead of bringing back pre-existing condition they will just remove them from having to be covered by insurance.

There was a video bit of a senator saying healthy people made good choices and sick people did not. The healthy should not have to pay for the sick. I agree in general but the rest of the problem is that allowing higher premiums for “sick” people will lead most of us to having to drop coverage if we loose our jobs or work for a small company who can’t afford the high insurance costs. Not to mention that not everything is caused by bad choices such as Type 1 diabetes. It is genetics. My immune system killed off the beta cells that make insulin. I was very active back then and was not overweight.

Another video snip showed a senator saying we should let the free market do its job and bring prices down. Was he talking about the same free market that drove the cost the epi pens up?. If I remember right, it jumped from about $100 in 2009 to $300 currently depending on where you’re shopping. Some are higher. That is a 300% rise in just 8 years. The news sources aren’t lying about it not being the only one. My insulin has gone from only $115 per bottle (weeks supply) to $270 per bottle. That’s a jump of 235% in about the same time frame. Please tell me this is not the “free market” he was referring to.

One the “fixes” that has been brought up and I would like to see is single payer health care. It is not perfect. Nothing ever will be to everybody so just face the facts. Nothing you can do will make everyone happy. Writing this blog I am looking at it from my viewpoint. You may not agree and that is fine Debate will bring new points to bear and maybe even better ones. Would I give up having the same insurance rate as a normal person? If I got something back out of it I certainly would.

I’ve heard the cons for this plan. The one I hear the most is people looking for a free health care plan. How do you get free out of paying extra taxes for it. Tax the disability and welfare checks to even the odds, don’t know why they aren’t already. I’d bet some of them would be more than happy with that to ensure they get good care with no out of pocket pay. I know I would. The extra taxes are offset by the lack out of pocket medical cost.

And those out of control medical costs? Well if you had to get a contract with the government to sell medication or open the clinic doors you might be willing to discount your prices a little more to  stay in business. Face it, if you don’t work within the system you simply won’t get any patients. That $300 epipen might not cost that much anymore.

They say the US health care is the best in the world. I have to laugh when I hear anymore. It is the best as long as you can afford it. Figures come in at more than $8,000 a year here and the next highest is less than $6,000 a year in another country. Better for who? Trigger thumb, Lis Franc fracture, possible lung cancer (very low risk at this point), and other issues are all things that I have opted out of getting taken care of because of the cost. They all cause me issues every day but as long as I can make from day to day without falling apart I will continue saving money.

We need a better health care system, not many will argue about that. The diversity is in how and which direction to go in fixing it. I don’t have the answers only ideas. If you don’t get them out there then the fix my never be found. Our fearless leaders in Washington D.C. seemed to have forgotten how to compromise and make deals. In a compromise you get something by giving something else up. Right now it seems to be all or nothing from the left AND the right, liberal AND conservative. The American people need more affordable care and that means big pharma will have to give up some profits to give it to them. The American people will also have to give up some of their more unhealthy choices as well. Cut back on salt if you have heart issues. Exercise more and loose weight if your higher risk for diabetes. Quit smoking. All things that can improve your life and cut your health care cost which means more money can go to fun things like picnics or a vacation. No one makes your choice for you. You need to make the best one for yourself.

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