I have moved beyond single payer – because of the recent health care debate.
I believe we do not have a health insurance issue in this country. I believe we have a health care funding / affordability problem.And that is best fixed by providing national health care – not insurance.
The root cause of the USA being higher cost than other countries is, I believe, the element of profit in the delivery of care.
There are aspects of delivering care where competition might produce lower cost – but dang few.
The motive for choosing which treatment option is best should be the overall effectiveness of the treatment for the patient. And, perhaps, for their family. And sometimes for the public greater good – yes there is a public health dimension where the good of the many out weighs the good of the few.
But profit gives you forever drugs, $600 epipens and pharmacy advertising to consumers.
Health care comes in three ecosystems – staying healthy and curing illness / injury and compensating for the consequences of diminished capacity.
This country and its focus on profit contributes to its own overall poor health status by deferring to the sugar industry and the corporate farming mechanisms.
We added sugar to everything to compensate for the flavor impacts of reducing fats. We replaced good fats with bad fats. We allowed chemicals and hormones to be added to our food supply. And we allow our food supply to be genetically modified to increase production and profit – not nutrition or flavor. We let fast food into our schools while removing physical education and the arts.
If the focus were on staying healthy, different choices would have been made.
Where we try to provide cures, we allow pharmaceuticals to advertise o consumers, we have multiple hospitals in the same urban area invest in the same specialty treatment centers to compete while leaving rural care lagging.
And our insurance model only works for those with enough knowledge and disposable income to make choices for the long-term ROI rather than focus on cheapest insurance costs in the moment looking only at premiums and deferring care as long as possible until the symptoms force action.
And we don’t even try to deal with the consequences of diminished capacity in any real way. Does anyone touched by Alzheimer’s believe this is not a disability? Yet is it not classified as such because no one wants to pay for the care help required by the disease.
So we have applied our for-profit, corporations good – government bad, belief system to the three ecosystems of health care – and we are not ‘winning’ in any of them.
So I am now in favor of national health care where the motives are providing the highest quality of care and investing in real advancements that help people. By allowing those who choose to go into the health care profession a chance to make a good living applying their knowledge and talents on providing care or improving care or in developing new treatments or in increasing our understanding of how are body woks and how our environment contributes to our well–being.
And if I focus on providing health care at a national level – for all – I am creating a ‘single payer’ – but not through insurance [which does not deal with two of the three ecosystems of health care].
Time to shift our focus to health care.
Because our current model has our elected officials who are supposed to be representing all the people hiding from the people they represent while getting ready to pass legislation that will result in people suffering and dying all for political purposes.
Let’s start talking about health care and how to provide that for all….
THAT is the ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ test – it shouldn’t matter how much money you have on whether or not you get the best care available.