AN INTELLIGENT LOOK AT HEALTHCARE
Much to the shagrin of politicians on both sides of the aisle, America has had some type of socialized healthcare since the introduction of the Insurance industry to this country. The positive of that is, it isn’t currently socialized by the Government. It is socialized by the industry itself. think about that. When an employer puts health insurance options on the table, they are all similar in nature. Yearly deductibles, fees for doctor’s office visits, emergency room fees, and prescription plans. all are balanced to the same basic scale; meaning, features are basically the same. None differ in coverage or cost to the point where one is better or worse than the other. That right there is a large part of the problem. The kicker is, not one company has the edge over the other. What that does for the industry is give the impression of a free-market system, when in reality, it is an industry wide monopoly manipulated by corporate executives to look competitive. The reality is, the entire industry serves the same master: Greed. Where have we seen that before? If you guessed the Oil Industry, you guessed right. There is no competition. If company A’s raises its rates, so does company B. The same is true if A’s rates go down. If A changes its coverage, B does the same. There is no benefit to the consumer. Now, capitalists are going to argue that its all about profit. I don’t disagree with that, nor am I against it. The reality however, is, historically, insurance companies are non-profit organizations, the problem is, corporate executives are not. They are all about profit; their own. The fact of the matter is, insurance companies take in much more in premiums than the pay out in claims, Yet, companies like AIG had to get bailed out by the Government with taxpayer money. Then, turned around and used some of that money to pay bonuses of corporate executives and pay for corporate jaunts. Bottom line is, we be gettin hosed all over the place.
Now we have a President that wants to ” reform ” the system. I’m sure his plan, like all plans, has good points and bad point. I won’t be pointing any of them out. Quite frankly, that has been done to death. The one thing I will say about it, throwing nearly a trillion dollars at it is not the way to reform it.
Cutting government intrusion into it is a step in the right direction. Incentives for insurance companies to provide better, more comprehensive coverage at lower rates will also help. However, that can not be subsidized by the government with taxpayer money. Creating a consumer based review board to form new ideas and practices would be a positive step. An Industry standard for costs of medical procedures would be good. Another positive step would be cutting costs of prescription drugs. We do that by requiring drug companies that receive federal grants to research, develop, and manufacture drugs to, 1) do the job in a timely fashion 2) work within the boundaries of the grant 3) provide progress reports at regular intervals to whichever government agency the grant comes from 4) require drug companies to keep their facilities in America. ( this will also create jobs for Americans ).
There are so many things we can do to fix the healthcare situation in this country. The problem is our so-called public servants are to busy serving themselves to even consider serving the greater good. We need a better class of people in Washington.