Here is what I know about healthcare;
- A visit to the Doctor is expensive but so is a visit to my auto mechanic. I wouldn’t want my Doctor working on my car and I wouldn’t want my mechanic giving me a colostomy.
- Medicine is expensive. I understand that creating drugs takes time, and smart, expensive people, but at some point, during the life of a drug you would think the prices would come down.
- Running a hospital is expensive. People, knowledge, regulations, insurance, and equipment all cost money. The problem is if you need to have open heart surgery do you want Wal-Mart service or Tiffany service? When your life is on the line it is difficult to negotiate.
- Health Insurance is expensive. Most health insurance companies can’t manage their risk because the young, healthy people opt out of paying premiums which leaves an aging population shouldering the burden.
- To many Americans simply don’t take care of themselves. We smoke, we drink, we eat too much fatty foods and we don’t exercise. More than one-third of American adults are obese and typically obese parents are raising obese children. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to healthcare.
I am very fortunate, I have excellent health insurance and, knock wood, I haven’t had any serious health issues. According to Donald Trump and the Republicans the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as it is commonly called by our “friends” on the right, Obamacare is a “disaster”, “a train wreck”, “a failure” and “collapsing”. The Republicans are going to fix it, but they can’t agree how on to do it. Half, including Trump, want to offer us what is being called “Obamacare-lite” the other half, the so-called Freedom Caucus want to completely scrap Obamacare and start all over.
Now, I am sure the ACA has issues. Any time the Federal Government tries to “fix” something without “fixing” or controlling the free market part trouble is likely to occur and Republicans hate, HATE to mess with the free market part. But I was convinced then as I am convinced now that President Obama’s heart was in the right place.
We need to remember the when and the why President Obama put the ACA in place, a little context. Think back to what the economy was like. Americans had lost their jobs or had their hours cut back. It was a tough time and, although it may seem like a band-aid now, millions of American’s were happy to have this rope thrown their way and some are still holding on.
What are the answers? In my mind a complete healthcare overhaul which includes you and I taking better care of ourselves. There are no magic pills or quick fixes and despite what Trump and the Republicans are trying to sell us they don’t have all the answers that they think they do. Stay tuned.