Health care in America by Bob Jack

After spending
the night on a gurney in the hallway of a Canadian hospital after suffering a
heart attack, the Canadian prime minister’s brother said to his brother the
prime minister the next day: “We have to do something about health care in this
country!”

Americans have increasingly
acquired both a better quality of life and a longer life span. These benefits
have resulted in part from improved medical technology, facilities and
treatments.  As we now debate major changes in health care, we must factor
in to this debate the impact of these changes on the quality of life
and longevity for all Americans who are now receiving health care
benefits–about 85% of all Americans or 255 million people.

While the new
Obama and Democrat health care reform initiatives should reinforce the trends
toward improved quality of life and longer life spans, such trends in fact
directly conflict with the newly proposed reforms, which will restrict the
treatment options available to individuals i.e. more extensive health care
rationing will result.  Also, when health care is available to the
millions of additional people not now covered there will be a shortage of
medical resources to treat everyone. This significant social cost must be factored
into the health care debate.

With an insured
population of 85%, that means about 255 million Americans are currently covered
by some form of health insurance. That leaves about 45 million people
uncovered. It is estimated that of this number about 50% or 22 million can
afford health care coverage but opt instead to self insure. Of the remaining 23
million an estimated 10 million are illegal immigrants for whom no health care
coverage is required.  That leaves about
13 million people who truly need health care coverage who cannot afford it. It
is these 13 million people to whom society should provide subsidies for medical
coverage.

For these 13
million people it is absolutely unnecessary to spend an estimated $1.5 trillion
over 10 years and to turn the existing health care system upside down when a
recent Rasmussen poll indicated that 68% of Americans are pleased with their
existing health care coverage. But that’s exactly what the Obama administration
and the Democrats are promoting, and that’s why vast numbers of Americans are
pushing back with passion in town hall meetings across the country against the
health care reform proposals offered by the Obama administration and the Congress.
These reform proposals include a government run option or co-ops, a draconian
policy toward private insurers that most believe will ultimately drive them out
of business, and deep cuts in Medicare spending that will deprive millions of
the elderly of their present excellent health care benefits. There is also wide
concern that government bureaucrats will intervene to decide what treatments
will be administered to all Americans, and which doctors people will be able to
see.

There are major
concerns that a shortage of doctors, nurses and medical facilities will lead to
unreasonable delays in receiving medical care from qualified doctors thereby
seriously disrupting the health care of those Americans currently receiving
care. These are valid concerns which the Obama administration and Congress have
not addressed to the satisfaction of the American people.   

This brings us
to the crux of the matter—what kinds of reforms should be enacted to rectify
shortcomings in the existing health care system?  Legislation is required that will do the
following: Eliminate pre existing condition exclusions in private insurance
policies(set up high risk insurance pools); make all insurance policies
portable so that insureds are able to take their plans with them wherever they
go; open up competition for health insurance between states so that health care
insurance can be obtained from carriers in any state; limit increases in health
insurance premiums; eliminate the life time dollar limitations in insurance
policies; enact tort reform to limit damage awards in medical cases: extend
insurance coverage to anyone who is unable to afford health care insurance
through the provision of government subsidies.

The Obama
administration and Congress must go back to the drawing board and devise a
private market version of health care reform as described above.  The passionate and loud outcry from America is not
the voice of an angry “mob”.

Rather,
mainstream America
in the overwhelming majority is demanding restraint by its government, and that
the existing health care system be protected.

 

 

 

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