For decades, if not longer, the United States of America, has been discussing, the best, most responsible/ responsive way, to address the delivery of health care, to our citizens! Should quality medical care, be every American’s right, and should it be considered, one of those inalienable rights, we expect, and deserve? A decade ago, President Obama, fought for his so – called, hallmark program, which was enacted, as the Affordable Care Act, and, popularly, referred to as Obamacare. It seemed, for a considerable period of time, his Republican opponents, made overturning it, one of the principal focuses! Several times, during that period, the G.O.P. attempted to overturn it, unsuccessfully, and, nearly, dramatically, did so, in 2017. When Donald Trump ran for President, he promised, repealing this program, and replacing it, with something, far better, would be easy, and he would achieve it, in a short period. However, promises and rhetoric, achieve little, without a clear – cut, viable solution, and he did not articulate a meaningful alternative. Once again, we are witnessing, the political version of football, where the President is offering his complaints and blaming his predecessor, while most of the Democrats, running for the highest office in the land, are chiming – in, with their personal opinions, etc. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some of the options and alternatives, including: Idealistic; Pragmatic Idealism; Status Quo; or something, probably worse.
1. Idealistic: Several candidates have supported, what is referred to, as Medicare – For – All. The claims are, it would be fairer, less expensive (overall), provide superior care, etc. Their positions include: a) Everyone likes Medicare, so, this is the best course; b) It would reduce overall costs; c) It would be better for individuals; d) While there would be taxes, it would cost less, in the longer – run. They point to the programs, in other nations, and their successes. Ignored, in the discussion, is, today’s Medicare is not free, either. We pay into the program, during our entire working lives, and continue, paying, after age, 65. It doesn’t pay all the costs of health care – in fact, only about 80% of Part B/ Medical costs. Most, then purchase a Supplement, and, when one adds all these components, up, it’s obvious, it’s not free! In addition, while physicians, presently, are willing to accept the reduced payments, involved with these reimbursements, for part of their practice, how many, might not, be willing, if it was their sole payments. With the escalating costs of malpractice/ litigation, etc, and the many years (and dollars), it costs, to become a doctor, would this result in far fewer, physicians? In addition, since over 150 million Americans, receive employer – paid, health insurance, would they be willing, and happy, to have to pay this, themselves, now? We are being provided with estimates, but few, are apparently, thoroughly evaluated, to include contingencies, and ramifications! Would this, have the ability to be enacted, in the political process?
2. Pragmatic idealism: Should the goal, be, providing quality care, or, demanding a specific approach, without flexibility, or, perhaps, reality? Pragmatic idealism, would create, a goal, of providing, universal health care, combining a public and private options, and offering several viable alternatives/ options! Instead of, being narrow – minded, and, saying, it has to be, My way or the highway, wouldn’t it make more sense, be less disruptive (think about the hundreds of thousands, who are employed by private insurance companies), and, desirable, to combine the options, and seek a meeting, of the minds? Wouldn’t it, make more sense, to address the weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act, and improve it?
3. Status quo: With the stagnation, and congestion, and partisanship, occurring in our Congress, little to nothing, seems to be occurring!
4. Worse: President Trump’s apparent solution is to offer, less expensive, higher deductible, more limited, health insurance? How is that an improvement? Isn’t that, far worse, both, in the present and future? How about, those with pre – existing conditions, higher health – care costs, etc?
Wake up, America, and, refuse to be, lied to, and manipulated, by politicians, with a personal/ political agenda, etc? Either, you demand, responsible leadership, or, lose something, needed, and necessary?