An Affordable Health Care Solution

    “Facts are stupid things”, Ronald Reagan.  

    They sure are, especially when you are talking about the health care debate. You can find and
    present any facts you want that will support your position.  So, in writing this blog we are going to
    rely on something called “Common Sense”.

    Affordable Health Care!  We all want it and few have it!  What is a common sense approach to
    bringing affordable health care to our nation?

    Step 1…Let’s do away or at least greatly reduce all receiving money that really have nothing to do
    with our health care!

    Insurance Companies certainly take a big hit here.

    I recently took by 94-year old aunt to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  She carried with her
    a huge stack of papers for her Medicare and supplemental insurance.  She said, “I don’t know why it
    can’t be like the old days.  They give you a bill, you pay it and you’re done.  Now we have all this
    insurance and everything else we have to deal with and why?”

    The one thing I seldom hear in the health care debate is a return to the days when we didn’t have
    insurance controlled health care.  Few alive today remember those days.

    I remember the first time I was ever in a group meeting about an employer supported health
    insurance plan.  I was single, healthy and in my early 20s.  I was very naïve and asked; what was a
    shocking question to the facilitator of the discussion.  “Why am I being forced to be on this plan; I am
    healthy. I have no intention to go to the doctor!”

    Part of the answer from the facilitator from the insurance company said I had to be on the plan
    because it gave the rest of the employees a lower rate and even though I didn’t want to be, I had a
    responsibility to my fellow employees with families to help them get a lower rate and even if I didn’t
    go to the doctor it would help those with children.”  

    I asked another stupid question…”Why couldn’t I get the money being paid by the employer in
    additional salary since my premium was costing it less then my married counterparts”

    They were dumbfounded and had no answer.

    Since that time, I have always viewed employer sponsored health insurance as a form of socialism.

    A true conservative would truly want to be back to the days when every individual had total control
    over the decision to purchase health care insurance or not.

    Why can’t elected so called conservative representatives take this stand?  It is very
    simple…Insurance companies own them!

    People in our country are so indoctrinated in the need for our current system or in a government
    system that they can’t even comprehend a system where they truly took care of themselves.

    I recently was listening to a talk show on public radio.  The host had a guest on that was obviously
    for government supported health care & even though the host should have been and tried to
    pretend they were neutral, were obviously for it as well.  That came through with the constant
    reference to how much more intelligent the guest was then the callers that disagreed with the
    “intelligent” guest.

    The host was totally dumbfounded when a caller called in with some hard facts that sounded
    reasonable to me and offered that we needed neither the current way of doing things or a
    government program.  

    I have thought about this for years, but it is so foreign to most people under 80 they cannot even
    comprehend a rebuttal to it.  So, the host got rid of the caller and referred to them as being a total
    idiot for even thinking of something so radical because everybody knows we need someone to take
    care of our health care needs.

    Even the staunchest conservative can’t comprehend.  They are against having a “nanny” if it is
    government but don’t mind if the “nanny” is in the form of employers and/or insurance companies.

    Health care costs began to get out of hand in the 60s and 70s when more and more people were
    under employer based health care insurance programs.  Most people have been led to believe that
    their employer is paying a portion of the plan and that is why they go along with it.

    Here’s some realization for you:  The money paid by your employer for health care insurance is
    money you earned through the fruits of your labor, but they are giving it to an insurance company
    rather than you.  You are being taxed not by the government but by your employer and the
    insurance company.  

    They of course dress it up as a benefit they are giving you.  

    Through the fruits of your labor, you have earned the company the money they need to provide any
    benefit you receive.  If they want to remain profitable they can only keep on employees that help
    them remain profitable.  It is your job to make them money and if you don’t they will need to get rid of
    you; as they should.

    I have heard estimates that about 50% of health care services are unnecessary. Many are done to
    protect the doctors and hospitals from malpractice.  Others are done simply because they know they
    are covered by the insurance company.  Still others are from people going to the doctor when they
    really don’t need to because they are covered.

    It is pretty close to fair to say with all other things equal if we were back in the 60s, we would have
    about a 50% savings right off the top.

    If we also did away with as much insurance involvement we have today, there would be additional
    savings in administration costs and profit to the insurance companies.

    There is nothing wrong with any company making a profit, but a large part of what it costs us to have
    health care coverage goes to people that have nothing to do with our health care.

    I think this would also help doctors return to the day when they were closer to and seemingly cared
    more for their patients.  

    Any true conservative in our country should be all over this.  Let’s put control of health coverage
    back in the hands of the individuals.  No Government …no other form of “nanny”.

    Leave it up to the individuals if they want to purchase health insurance and what kind of coverage
    they want.

    A big problem in our nation is malpractice lawsuits.  Some are warranted.  Some are not.  It is going
    to remain an issue no matter which way we go.  I don’t have a clear solution to this problem.

    I would however offer some ideas.

    A charitable fund could be set up to cover victims of malpractice by doctors.  This fund would be
    funded totally by voluntary donations from those that are better off and were treated and possibly
    saved by the medical profession.  

    We really are a charitable people and those with money really are willing to share it, they just don’t
    want to be forced to do so by the government.  Very understandable!

    We could also have some sort of panel (although I hate that word & this approach to most things)
    with a combination of doctors, citizens, & others to evaluate any malpractice claims against doctors
    and decide if they warrant a suit or monies from the aforementioned special fund.

    My common sense tells me if we used this approach to obtain affordable health care we could see a
    savings as much as 60-75% over what it is costing us today.

    I know many of you will find flaws in this short presentation and tweaking of the ideas and additional
    scrutiny is certainly warranted and needed.

    Give it some thought!  I think many of you will come to the conclusion that this approach is our
    answer to affordable health care in the United States.

    I would like to hear from you!

    Randy Novotny

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