Privatize It….

The GOP solution to almost everything that is wrong with America is to privatize it. They simply don’t think that government has much of a place in today’s American society. Democrats on the other hand believe that in many cases government is the most effective solution.  One of those disputed areas is healthcare. Which one is right? Maybe the answer lies in trying both out and see which gives the best results?

2016-05-25_08-48-26.pngFor more than two years, the Veterans Affairs department has struggled to deal with a long-buried crisis in its service to veterans, a systemic and widespread fraud that concealed long wait times at its hospitals and clinics….

Five years later, however, whistleblowers produced evidence that dozens of veterans had died while being denied access to care at the Phoenix VA. Evidence emerged that the wait-list fraud was not localized to one VA center but was standard operating procedure in much of the country. VA executives earned bonuses while veterans languished in medical limbo — and some of them perished in it, too. Obama sacked Shinseki, the only Cabinet official to resign under pressure from the president, and appointed Robert McDonald to clean up the VA.

SOURCE:  Obama’s VA scandal is much bigger than a callous Disney analogy

The VA just seems to have been plagued with troubles for most of my life. They just can’t seem to figure out what needs to be done to fix it. On the other hand Medicare is for the most part praised for its effectiveness.  As usual the solution to the VA problems is split along party lines. Each is convinced that their solution would work the best.

So, let’s see which is better.  Right now Medicare provides 55 million people with healthcare coverage. The VA provides coverage for 23 million. Why don’t we privatize the VA?  Give them a voucher for going out and getting coverage on their own and then wait and see what the results are.   The Republicans want to privatize Medicare and put us seniors on our own so lets test it with our veteran population first.  If it works out there then there would be evidence that Medicare would also benefit from privatization. If not then maybe we can finally put the privatization mantra to rest.

But, I don’t think that will happen. My GOP friends are for the most part big backers of our military establishment. They seem to not be able to see a military expense that they can turn down. I really think they can see that government provided healthcare that if properly run is the true future foundation for our nation’s healthcare system as it is for the rest of the world but they just don’t want to admit.  Why else would they keep trying to fix the VA  to make is as effective as Medicare instead of just privatizing it.

As a test of who has the best solution let’s let the Republicans privatize the trouble prone VA and see what happens…..

 

A Look At Six Years of the Affordable Care Act

I celebrate that the GOP has failed to take away healthcare for 20 million of our citizens. Even though it was  only a small portion of what is needed in U.S. healthcare, Obamacare will eventually go down in history as one of President Obama’s major achievement. Eventually, maybe sooner if the GOP opposition suddenly fades due to lack of membership, we will get to a far less expensive single-payer system much like our neighbors in Canada and many other around the world already have.

2016-03-24_07-53-51.pngA Look At Six Years of the Affordable Care Act…
Summary:
On the 6th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, take a look back at the photos and videos that capture what this landmark legislation has meant for America.
ACA
President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

20 million.

That’s how many people now have the health coverage they need thanks to the President’s health care law. In fact, for the first time ever, more than 90% of Americans have health coverage, putting the U.S. rate of uninsured Americans at 8.8%.

In that same time, our businesses have added 14.3 million jobs — the longest streak of private-sector job growth in history.

6 years. 20 million people. 14.3 million jobs.

That’s what the Affordable Care Act has meant for America.

SOURCE:  A Look At Six Years of the Affordable Care Act | whitehouse.gov.

When the last GOP president left the Oval Office the economy was going down for the third time. The stock market had never advanced during his eight years in office and actually ended down several thousand dollars below what it was eight years before.

I celebrate what the Affordable Care Act has meant for America.

Hurry, Hurry Repeal It….

2015-03-12_08-22-19

Those GOP yahoos have tried 50+ times to repeal it. I kinda of think it is just too late for that.  They will have to put it along side Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid as one of the”socialist” things to eliminate in the future. That is if they ever have a friend in the White House again.

 

Cutting Out the Middle Man….

2015-01-02_08-41-50Concierge care was originally conceived before Obamacare, and it revved up in response to the Great Recession as an escape hatch for doctors fleeing the status quo. The existing fee-for-service system pays caregivers a certain amount for each test, diagnosis and procedure–which, according to critics, encourages overtreatment instead of preventive wellness care. Qliance, along with a growing number of similar operations, aims to be more than an escape. It seeks to be the answer to the quest of health care reformers: healthier patients at a lower cost. Fix the way primary-care doctors are paid, the Blisses argue, and we can cut unneeded tests, premature procedures and excessive ER visits. The driving insight here is that primary care and specialized care have two very different missions. Americans need more of the first so they’ll need less of the second. And each requires a different business model. Primary care should be paid for directly, because that’s the easiest and most efficient way to purchase a service that everyone should be buying and using.

SOURCE: Medicine Is About to Get Personal | TIME.

I don’t think I am the only person who believes that insurance companies stand between me and my doctor and tell us both how we will do business together. Of course that business is keeping me healthy, or at least as healthy as I can be given my circumstances. The above article is several thousand words long so it was difficult to pick just a few of the words to illustrate the change but I tried to compress it here.

Doctors are leaving primary-care practices in droves. They don’t like being told that they can only spend 11 minutes with a patient and that a major part of their practice is geared toward a massive amount of paperwork to the insurance company to justify what they are doing.  The solution to this problem is to cut out the middleman. That is to remove the insurance company from this interaction. That seems to be just what Dr. Bliss has successfully done with over 35,000 patients in the State of Washington. Instead of paying an insurance premium you pay a monthly fee directly to your doctor and he can then significantly cut his costs and spend whatever time is necessary with each patient.  As a result his patients only need to buy a much less expensive hospital and speciality doctor insurance policy.   It is a win-win situation for both the doctor and the patient.

We definitely need something to change in our current U.S. healthcare industry and this might be that accomplishable change. It would be great if we could finally get into a single payer system much like the rest of the world does and how we in Medicare are currently getting our healthcare needs. But until that time comes cutting out the middleman seems to make a lot of sense.  If you are interested in this sort of thing I would advise you to click on the source above to get more details.