Editorial/Opinion Page

The HealthCare Mess - Revisited 10/24/2009

By Leo Lawler

    Some time ago I wrote an editorial that began with "In the event that you have been residing under a moss-covered rock, I  am informing you that our healthcare system is a mess." That's about the only thing I haven't changed my opinion about. Hospital and clinic administration are the worst culprits, with their corporate mentalities. They look at numbers and worship the dollar bill. They don't care about patients or employees. They forgot that the good providers and staff got into healthcare because they care about people. More and more of them are just giving up. It really doesn't matter who screwed it up. Let's just fix it, and here's how.

  We start by making Health Insurance available to everyone at no cost to them. The insurance companies won't have any reason to fight it because they can still administer it and make a profit. They can still keep their employees working. The government pays the premiums with a flat 5 percent Healthcare fee on everything.
  Clinics can increase the ratio of preventive care and decrease critical care as a result. Healthcare Professionals can have more balance in their workload, which will reduce errors. The money saved by patients and employers by not having insurance costs will mean a major boost to the economy. People for the most part won't notice a slight increase in the cost of their purchases because they will have more money to begin with. Those who already have a good plan that is paid for by an employer can get a rebate that can be split with the employer to offset the flat tax. All drugs prescribed by a Doctor would be covered, with an allowance for some over the counter drugs and vitamins. If we include both Long Term Care and Home Care there may even be hope for some of our Seniors who may be wondering why they worked so hard, only to have it taken away by a nursing home. Medicare will be replaced so no more debate about how to keep it solvent, and the amounts currently withheld will go into the kitty. There will no longer be a need for Medical assistance, so that is more saved.

What will it cost? It will cost what it costs, much less than it costs now. Will it be perfect and without problems or abuses? No, nothing ever will be. Will it be easy to implement? No, but the problems we face without a change will be a lot harder. Typically, my views are more to the right of center than this, but the time has come to repair the mess we have today. One hard part of implementing this solution, will be to sell it to the arrogant individuals in Congress who should have come up with a solution a long time ago and didn't. Maybe Obama should make an executive order that all Congressional Healthcare plans cease as of June 1st, 2010. It would get Congress off their asses but they would spend all their time and energy getting rid of Obama instead of fixing healthcare.

  The real roadblock is you. You are sitting there looking at your computer and you probably bitch about Congress not fixing healthcare - for you. The driving force that Congress would have to listen to is the two hundred million voices of all of the you's in this country. Get off your ass and call or write your elected officials and tell them to get off of their asses. One of my favorite comedians says "Git Er Done". Well to git er done you have to get off your ass.

   People will make claims that adding five percent to especially big ticket items would make them unaffordable. The car manufacturers could give the five percent back to the consumer and they would have another buy me incentive. The only ones that might fight it are fatheaded members of Congress who fight anything good for no apparent reason or the corporate minded hospital brass that need a mess to justify their stupidity.