For nearly a decade, politicians have seemingly, buried their heads, in the sand, and considered this nation’s approach to treating the health, and well – being of our citizens, and responded with bipartisan, politics – as – usual! Wouldn’t we be better served, if the response of some, was not, merely, articulating a message, about so – called, socialism, etc? It seems, many Republican opponents, to the Affordable Care Act, spent a disproportionate amount of time, merely opposing that law, rather than fixing its flaws, etc. While that law, certainly needs, tweaking, it attempted to address the fact, the richest country in the world (the United States of America), did not come, even close, to the best statistics, regarding morbidity, mortality, infant survival, and other, health – related items, as well as having the most expensive costs, for prescription drugs, in the world. Why are we, the only place, where citizens go bankrupt, trying to pay their medical bills? Why do we pay, so much more, for prescription drugs, than others pay for the exact medications? With that in mind, this article will attempt to consider, review, examine, and discuss, some of the alternatives, we might adopt, to improve upon, what we currently have.
1. The pre – ACA, status quo: Why was the Affordable Care Act, passed, during the early part of the Obama administration? What was its intent? Why was it needed? Prior to enactment, health care, in this nation, was often about, the haves, and have – nots! More and more, health insurance companies, appeared to be, wagging the dog, instead of health professionals! Individuals with pre – existing conditions were often, denied coverage, rates often accelerated, as we aged, and every year, quality medical/ health insurance, became more, and more expensive! Many millions had no, or very limited insurance coverage, and we often witnessed, people being forced to choose between quality care, and eating! Those supporting the act, seemed to believe, our citizens needed, and deserved, better care, and, quality treatment/ care. For many, they felt, medical/ health care, should be, a right and guarantee, rather than a possibility, only for the richest!
2. ACA passage: When the act, was passed, it was largely among party lines, and at the time, Democrats were the majority party. While the basic intent of the legislation, was well – intended, because of the nature of our political system, it was somewhat flawed, and many ramifications and contingencies, were not fully considered, etc. The costs did not decrease, as promoted, and while, they probably increased at a slower pace, it still hurt many of us! Instead of improving the details, and fixing it, properly, the Republicans devoted their time, and energy, to constantly, trying to repeal it, but, without offering any viable alternatives, and/ or solutions, to solve the challenges.
3. The Trump alternative/ strategy: When Donald Trump, ran for President, he articulated a message, declaring, he would fix the health care system, and it would be better, and less expensive. He promised, it would be easy, and created a slogan, Repeal and replace, as if, he had the secret formula! Rather than admitting the plan, his supporters proposed, was different, but worse, and was defeated, he reverted to his customary, blaming and complaining, and settled for subtle ways, to destroy it. One of these steps, was having the mandatory coverage, eliminated, which, made everyone’s insurance, more expensive, Another was reducing/ eliminating, subsidies, for the neediest, and creating an Affordable Care, alternative system. The ramifications of these steps, was hurting, rather than helping! Now, Trump’s Justice Department, is supporting, legal actions, to declare the entire act, unconstitutional, without seeming to realistically, consider, the potential negative ramifications, if they get, what they seek. It seems, a lot like, someone, who kills both his parents, and pleads for mercy, because he was an orphan!
4. Proposed Medicare – for – All: While, to some, this seems wonderful, the overall analysis, appears to be, over – simplified! Medicare, itself, is a flawed system, which taxpayers, contribute to, throughout their working lives, and, still requires over $1,600 additional contribution, per year, after we turn 65. In addition, it only covers about 80% of the Part B, part, and the supplemental insurance, which completely covers, most of these expenses, now costs over $3,600 per year. Even after these expenses, one needs, either additional policy, for a prescription plan, or, risks extreme, out – of – pocket costs. One further consideration is, believing doctors, will accept these reduced Medicare rates, for their entire patient base. Doesn’t it make sense, to tweak, and improve, rather than trying to re – invent, the wheel?
Is quality care, a right or a privilege? If, like most Americans (based on many polls), you feel it’s a right, demand your elected officials proceed, accordingly, rather than, in a politics – as – usual, manner!