Address health cost issues

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The U.S. Supreme Court has heard a landmark case concerning the Affordable Care Act.

This case centers on whether the ACA violates our Constitution by mandating that all Americans have health insurance either through entitlement or individual purchase. Unlike Medicare, funded through approved taxation, ACA funding by individual purchasers was not proposed as a “tax.” However, the proposed fine for failure to purchase health insurance by those deemed ineligible for subsidized health-care coverage has been construed as the equivalent of an unjust tax levy. Since health-care coverage can cross state lines, this challenge has now been raised by 26 states.

The outcome of the Supreme Court’s deliberations could affect the future of U.S. health care as much as did the original ACA legislation. If the justices rule against the ACA, then what happens next? Does the act go down in its entirety, sinking future health-care reform?

I agree that real reform in our health-care coverage and delivery systems is needed. Such reform should maximize the affordability and availability of health care. It should respect the rights of individuals not to purchase health care. It should shield hospitals and health-care providers from undue medico-legal attack. It should promote preventive measures that would foster better health for our current and future citizens.

As a world economic leader, the United States
should lead in health-care delivery to all of its citizens. No other country has such abundant resources for accomplishing this goal. However, the United States has the most expensive health-care delivery system on Earth, an issue rightfully addressed in the ACA’s 2,000-plus pages.

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, addressing the issue of cost should remain a collaboration between providers and consumers of health care – tempered, when necessary, by appropriate legislation.

Lawrence D. Devoe, M.D.

Augusta

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Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/02/12 - 01:15 am
3
2
Medicare for All does just

Medicare for All does just that Doc.

Let's get big for profit business out of healthcare and put doctors back to the work of being doctors, not bill collectors or lackeys of "for profit" insurance companies.

Single payer national health coverage can do this. No one should have to be one diagnosis or accident away from bankruptcy. Small business's shouldn't have to temper their work forces by what they can pay in benefits. People should not have to be held hostage to a career or job because they have no other way to protect themselves and their loved ones.

We can and should do this America. Let's get together and do it.

National single payer healthcare is a path to real freedom. Your health care should not be a for profit industry. Doctors should be allowed to practice under the Hippocratic oath they take when entering practice, not owing their livelihood to a soulless insurance company whose only interest is the bottom line, not your health.

And for those of you who would throw up the straw men of limited care, I would say that there will still be plenty of professionals who would opt to not participate in the system to whom you could mortgage your home and your family's future to. There should always be that choice.

And, that other bogeyman "Guvmint" healthcare. I challenge you to find a better system than that enjoyed by the US Military and the Veterans Administration in regards to both quality of care and availability of care. Hey, they've been using preventive medicine to help me stay healthy and active for over 45 years now. I think all Americans should have a right to Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 04/02/12 - 03:13 am
2
1
Just because everyone will

Just because everyone will need healthcare isn't a good enough reason to nationalize healthcare. Despite all the talk, medical care isn't a basic human right. Its a benefit of a modern and productive society. Caregivers and research scientists are compensated for their efforts and people/citizens strive to obtain it to ensure the health of their loved ones.

Insurance just happens to be the vehicle by which most of us pay for it, and, yes, the cost has increased. MEDICARE is a government run insurance program for the elderly and disabled that fails to pay the market price, forces us all to contribute, and can't cover its costs.

MEDICAID is simply free government healthcare paid for by higher wage earning citizens for low income citizens with virtually no incentives for getting off of it. MEDICAID dictates prices at the low end, and, like MEDICARE, skews the market price for medical care for everyone else. Yet, some how, forced participation in private insurance or government run MEDICARE for everyone is the solution?

I'm sorry, but I disagree. Healthcare payment and provision can be fixed without the direct intervention of our government at the individual level for every single citizen in our country. Doubling down now and taking a nationalized healthcare stance is short-sighted, politically motivated, and economically dangerous to our nation.

Quick notes on military and VA Care.
1. They are just okay, not great when it comes to general healthcare.
2. Military healthcare is supported by the chain of command - do what you're told or risk punishment or discharge.
3. Most military folks just see a PA and medics unless you're a senior commander or NCO with your own surgeon assigned to your unit. If you persist, are truly sick, or have an obvious symptom, then you might get passed to a doctor.
4. The VA isn't as awesome as many think. Care varies across the country - awesome in DC and less so elsewhere. Not good with chronic progressive fatal diseases across the board mainly due to delays in getting specialized care and services approved.
5. Although paperwork intensive, the VA does provide more types of services and durable medical equipment than MEDICARE. To many, like me, this is the best part of the VA. The provision of actual medical care is mediorce.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 04/02/12 - 03:33 am
3
1
Removing the responsibility

Removing the responsibility to provide for the care and health of your family isn't Freedom. Its the removal of one of the incentives that drives hardworking citizens to excellence in their choosen profession or occupation. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.

carcraft
27270
Points
carcraft 04/02/12 - 06:05 am
1
1
Retired Army-Did you forget

Retired Army-Did you forget the colonscope cleaning fiasco at the local VA? Let me remind you. The gubment workers at the VA didn't follow the manufacture's guidline for cleaning colonsopes and wiped them with a cleansing wipe. This failure to follow guidlines was pointed out to the VA by a Nurse who had attended a workshop. The nurse was ignored by the administration. You then had thousnds of letters being sent to patients telling them of the problem and possible exposure to HIV and Hepatitis. There were problmes in the OR where disposible equipment was being restarilized against manufatures warnings. There was improper use of the biologic indicaters of starilization on OR equipement. Many of the problems have been fixed but the colonscope problem was fixed until a patient raised the stink.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 04/02/12 - 07:59 am
0
0
Well said Retired Army. P.S.
Unpublished

Well said Retired Army. P.S. some people would probably be amazed that doctors from FT G routinely do major operations for university and MCG.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 04/02/12 - 08:35 am
0
0
"It should respect the rights

"It should respect the rights of individuals not to purchase health care."

The tradeoff to this is that- when someone does get sick or injured and they cannot pay for it- what do we do as a society?

Little Lamb
47266
Points
Little Lamb 04/02/12 - 08:38 am
1
3
Society has no more

Society has no more responsibility to pay for someone's health care costs than to pay for someone's X-Box games.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 04/02/12 - 09:36 am
1
0
If someone is offered

If someone is offered healthcare through work and turns it down, is society responsible for paying for an unforseen illness or injury? The rational answer is no, but family, friends and/or church could step up. It is not, however, a problem for every citizen in a nation. States could address this through a state tax funded medical emergency loan and repayment system with a lifetime use limit, or a state law requiring health insurance or health savings accounts. It isn't a federal issue as much as a state issue.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/02/12 - 09:40 am
2
0
It is just this simple. We

It is just this simple. We have made a social compact gauranteeing the RIGHT to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happines.

Who can argue that without life which at some point will need-not want-need healthcare the other two parts of the social compact are meaningless? Only the callous or inexperienced.

Carcraft throws up a single bad episode as a blot on the whole VA system here in Augusta. What a strawman that is. Anything to project a political stance eh? Even the health of folks you don't even know. That's really sad. Branding all of the staff at Charlie Norwood VA Hospital by implication for the mistakes of a few.

What makes the VA system and I would hope a national system successful and cost effective, is the heavy emphasis on preventive rather than reactive medicine. I see a doctor, not a PA, twice annualy for health checkups. I am sure that a PA could handle most if not all of what transpires in those sessions and would not be opposed to such a system if it were more efficient and couls show significent cost savings.

Tparty is right about who pays for catastophic health care. We all do when untreated illness shows up in an emergency room. However, the point here is that so much of that could have been adverted through the application of regular medical visits and proper preventative medicine. Anybody with a lick of sense knows that.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 04/02/12 - 10:21 am
2
0
RA, Please read my post -

RA, Please read my post - military not the VA relies on PAs and medics.

As far as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness goes, you choose to include individual healthcare as a national requirement. Its not part of our constitution or laws, and its not callousness or inexperience to object. Its a lifetime of responsibility and taking personal care of my loved ones. I earned my current coverage and care through personal service to our nation, and a service connected disability. My children are covered until they come of age, and have to take the same responsibility.

The preamble to our constitution states "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is from the Declaration of Independence. The Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution state that governments cannot deprive any person of "life, liberty, or property" without due process of law. The pursuit of happiness through recklessness (activities, health choices, or being irresponsible) that results in a cost to others or the government is not covered.

By your simple logic, you could claim automobiles and suicides are depriving many thousands of life each year, and call for a national ban of motor operated vehicles in excess of 25 mph, or paying for 24/7 overwatch of everyone with suicidal tendancies. Both would save life, but are outside the federal government's mandate.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/02/12 - 01:26 pm
1
0
Nope. Have to disagree. In my

Nope. Have to disagree. In my experienced view it is a callous disregard for the suffering of others that you don't even know which is the drive behind the anti health care community. Nothing less. And certainly bad Kharma if not anti-Christian.

Little Lamb
47266
Points
Little Lamb 04/02/12 - 01:35 pm
0
0
Retired Army wrote: You don't

Retired Army wrote:

You don't even know which is the drive behind the anti health care community.

Who would that be, the Christian Scientists?

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 04/02/12 - 02:09 pm
1
0
RA, Good luck with your

RA, Good luck with your efforts to convince anyone that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" equates to one payer nationalized healthcare due to some binding government mandate. It's just incorrect. "Promote the well-being" isn't the same thing as "provide for."

I would hope you could bring a strong aurgument to your case without attacking the character of those you disagree with. Guess it just shows how weak your aurgument is to anyone with a little knowledge of the wording of our constitution.

Of course there is a need for the care of the less fortunate. You believe it resides with the federal government. I believe it rests with the local community, church and individual states. How that could make someone anti-christian is beyond me.

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