Health Care & Saying What We Don’t Want
July 4, 2017 -Steve Hays
Sometimes it’s easier to know what you don’t want, I’ve heard, than to know what you do want. And if that’s the case, start where you are—with what you know doesn’t work. When it comes to health care, I wonder if that isn’t where we are. I wonder too if there aren’t some obvious health care remedies we are forgetting.
While I know the world runs on 24/7 cycles and everything will probably change before too much of July is over, some things will not change overnight and will remain with us for a while. Saying that, of course, undoubtedly means—expect rapid changes!
Obviously there are aspects of health care that don’t work very well that have been with us for a while. We have the most expensive health care in the world, but it’s far from the best health care. Most of us know that, which may help us move toward resolving some imbalances.
A wise friend once told me, however, that if the problem has been there for a while—for years—maybe it’s because there is no easy solution, or more than one solution.
Let’s face it, now that most of us have seen the proposed solutions, the sight of Congress’ plan uncloaked and a king with no clothes is truly painful—shouldn’t somebody be embarrassed?
Can anyone defend it and say that the attention of the administration and Congress is on providing affordable health care to people? Is there any compassion for the 22 million people expected to lose the stability of having at least some protection from the certain challenges we all face at one time or another?
Or is their private debate in the public forum we provide them simply- about how much money one percent of the population gets to keep?
Maybe we should also be looking at the decision-making process.
From what we’re told so far we are returning to the days of trading your home for a hospital stay. You get the care you can afford to pay for and then get to start over in life with a body that’s probably not ready to start life over, or with bills that can never be paid off. If there is a humane quality that comes with that characteristic, I haven’t found it yet.
The current health-care “debate” by those “debating” it has become a clinical, philosophical look at what governments should or should not do. That’s not a bad conversation to have, and something to consider in coming to a solution—but for most of us, doesn’t a solution mean including some health care, too?
For some, the HC debate has nothing to do with making health care available or affordable. They are people who don’t need an affordable health-care act. For them, everything is already affordable.
To the one percent that will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of TrumpCare/welfare, it’s not even a windfall. Isn’t it similar to winning a vacation to a place you already have a vacation home?
Unlike the 22 million people that will feel the changes, it’s doubtful what’s proposed will make a difference in their lives at all. What could they feel? Pride at the money they just earned? Some, though, have expressed feeling a bit embarrassed by it.
For other people, these health care changes really are about health care—and about people who are dying, sick or incapacitated, short or long term. Those people just don’t appear to be well represented in Congress.
In their decision-making process, however, members of Congress may have offered the rest of us a focal point for obvious and equitable reforms that might help move us forward instead of backward.
Don’t we need an impartial body to decide where we are going? Do we want this important decision and “debate” to involve people who have too much at stake in the outcome? Wouldn’t including Congress and the administration among the 22 million that lose health care help remove some of this burden and pressure of governing from them?
Is that harsh? Perhaps it’s the other way around, and Congress is not considering changes to their own health-care plan, paid for by taxpayers, because it could bring questions about their impartiality.
Ways around that would be for them to eliminate double-dipping—getting paid (aka campaign contributions) to represent both lobbyists, such as those representing insurance companies (and others) and “the people” at the same time.
Perhaps those contributors could reduce HC Costs by eliminating the middle man and paying Congress directly—or provide their health care.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to first have Congresspeople chose and declare which source of income they prefer—and then demonstrate their concern for those in need by donating one source of income to the -treasury -department earmarked to reduce the number of people losing health care? In other words, do the opposite of the current plan.
What better way to demonstrate their impartiality in the decision-making process and their commitment to fiscal responsibility than removing health care from their own compensation package? Step back from the public trough and lead by example.
These two steps might be viewed as a starting point with integrity that demonstrates both fiscal responsibility and offers transparency in the governing process—and possibly even a concern for people. Simply eliminate elected and appointed representatives and their families from the health-care system—and turn double income dipping into a benefit that provides more people health care.
They may not admit it, but right now doesn’t it appear that they are telling us “we don’t know how to fix health care so we’re going to eliminate the government from supporting the current system as much as we can—except for what comes to us.” Shouldn’t we lessen their dilemma?
I referred to the one percent of us as being one of the beneficiaries of TrumpCare. The biggest beneficiaries are, of course, insurance companies. They determine the rates people are charged for insurance. It was never our previous President.
While there are some cracks in GOP solidarity, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a straight party-line vote pass TrumpCare.
If someone in the GOP majority objects, they will become a big target for retaliation. Already the Koch brothers have said their piggy bank (that traditionally contributes to congresspeople) will be closed to those willing to remove only 22 million people from government assisted health care.
Life may get tougher, but we also know there is something that can counter and overcome the fear of Koch and party retaliation—a bigger fear. The fear of upset and angry voters—and being voted out of office and losing their health care—that can be devastating.
I’ll be the one with the sign that reads “Elim H.C. 4 Cong 2.”