I recently had the pleasure of writing an op-ed piece about health care reform for my hometown newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and it ran in the paper today. You can check it out online here. I grew up reading the Star-Telegram, so this was an exciting opportunity.
My article discusses the need for robust health care reform in the form of a strong public option, comparing and contrasting my health care experiences in the US and the UK to build my case. For regular readers of my blog, you will note that this is a theme I have often explored.
I would have preferred that the Star-Telegram ran this with the title I suggested (given above as the title of this blog post), which I think most precisely conveys the meaning of the rest of the article. (My point is not necessarily that health care reform would cut down wait times, but that it would reduce the time individuals waste dealing with health care administration in general.) But, that is only a minor complaint; overall this was a very enjoyable experience, and I had a good back-and-forth discussion with the opinion editor, J.R. Labbe, in the run-up to publication.
So, go check it out!
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I ask if he is negligent in providing the state's poorest people, including thousands of children proper healthcare why isn't he being prosecuted?
You couldn't be more right. Any public option would be better than nothing at this point. The entire debate has become a corporate scheme and it is sick. It is the reason the US continues to slip down the World Health Organization scale, recently awarded as #37.
Holding onto a model of health care that asks for money, but doesn't necessarily guarantee services is unethical. We are country founded on ideals and ethics. Where are they now, as lobbyists rally to silence our politicians one by one into submission.
Good article ... the amount of red tape in the current health care system is unbelievable, and yet there are still many who argue against the public option because they think that government will necessarily be even more inefficient.
As we all know, in the last day or so the government option is being resurrected. I think the compromise of allowing states to opt out is fine, because I think these states that decide to opt out will be carefully watching the results of states that do not opt out, and if those results are good then in time many more will follow in their path.
The URL on the Star-Telegram site seems to have died, so I have uploaded my op-ed onto my blog here and edited the links within the post accordingly.
What is going on in this country concerning healthcare is unconscionable. I have been a health care provider for almost 40 years and what has happened in this country is truly criminal. It is however, like everything else done by politicians, never brought to trial. If a parent does not allow their child to be treated for a terminal illness, they are prosecuted for negligence. Yet if an insurance company does not allow treatment for a terminal illness it is never prosecuted by our country, or even by a state.
Yet Governor Rick Scott of Florida spent $50,000,000 of his own money to get elected. That is $3.33 for every man woman and child in the state. Not to mention what the Tea Party chipped in. Recently, even after his mother went on TV and said in a sweet little old lady voice, "My boy (60 years old) is a good boy. He will get you jobs." He will have eliminated almost 20,000 jobs from the Florida Prison System. Including 1,600 prison healthcare jobs, putting a private healthcare agency into that empty slot. (What is the kick back on that going to be?)
In the past he was CEO for HCA hospital corporation, and he was fired for Medicare Fraud for which HCA was fined over a billion dollars for back in the early 1990's, so do not tell me he is not capable of doing anything like that.
He is working for a only dollar a year. Yet he is only paying $400 a year for him and his wife for the best healthcare insurance in the state which is that for upper echelon Florida State Executives, including legislators. I myself am paying over $600 a MONTH for a modest healthcare policy and Medicare for my wife and I. While he is chopping the state Medicaid system almost in half. So I ask if he is negligent in providing the state's poorest people, including thousands of children proper healthcare why isn't he being prosecuted?
Yes the USA was rated #37th of the worlds 192 countries in healthcare functionality. Costa Rica was #36 and Slovenia was #38 if you never heard of Slovenia then go figure that Cuba was #39. Yet which country paid more "per person" for it healthcare that year? Well it was the United States. Yes it paid twice as much per capita as Japan #10 in healthcare functionality which paid the least. ($7500 vs. $3100).
Finally Medicare pays $97 for every $100 it collect yearly directly on healthcare, and $3 on Administrative costs. Whereas private insurance companies in the US paid $80 out of every $100 they collected yearly directly into the cost of healthcare while $20 was spent on their Administration costs such as $4,000,000 in CEO salaries. Now what was the Tea Party saying about how poorly run Medicare was?