Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Contribution to New Healthcare Ideas

You can go to Change.gov and click on a healthcare link and put your two cents worth in about what kind of changes are needed to effectively reform healthcare in this country. YOU SHOULD go to Change.gov and put in your two cents worth. I did, and this is what I wrote:

I am 45, my husband is 44. We have an 11 year old son. We are all in good health. My son has some birth anomolies that are monitored regularly, but no health problems.

We are lower-middle class wage earners struggling to provide a decent life for ourselves and our son. My husband works in residential construction and is lucky to have a job, though we don't know how long that will last. We live in a small house in a decent neighborhood, but have been trying to get ahead financially for eight years now in order to move our son into a better school district.

I am lucky to receive health insurance benefits through my employer who partially pays for my benefits. Deductions from my paycheck to cover family insurance (health, dental and minimal life coverage for my son) each month equal over $800. This does not include any money that I set aside in a cafeteria plan for things that are not covered by insurance.

We can't go without insurance. The last time I tried that we ended up with $6000 in medical bills on our credit report because I had kidney stones and went to the emergency room for a few hours. We have only recently been able to get that collection removed from our credit reports. (which is another issue that needs to be addressed)

But just imagine how much different our lives would be if we didn't have to pay what amounts to a house payment to ensure that we aren't struggling for the next five years to try to remove medical collections from our credit reports. I have two grown daughters from a previous marriage and one of them has two children. Her husband is out of work again and they are living with a relative. We can't even help them because we don't have room for them. If I had $800 more a month, we could afford a house big enough for them to come and live with us. We could move to a better school district and my son and grandchildren could benefit.

It's not just that we need to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums, but we have to reign in the cost of healthcare. I know that it is a booming business, but the business must be removed or we will all sink. The banking and finance business was so consumed with profit that they sunk us all. Healthcare has a similar problem. If the profit motive is not removed, we will be facing the same sort of crisis again very soon.

We need to regulate the profit motive out of healthcare. We need non-profit hospitals, non-profit clinics and regulations that reasonably fix the price of drugs, supplies and devices.

I hear people say that we need to move toward this change slowly. But they are wrong. We need to move toward this change boldly, with the courage of our convictions and with the knowledge of the benefits that this change will bring. We cannot allow fear to rule this issue as it has for the past twenty five years.

We need REAL healthcare reform and it has to come from the bottom up. The foundation of our new healthcare system must be built on a vision that looks far into the future and addresses the issue from primarily a HEALTH perspective instead of a business perspective. Remove the profit motive. Then those that go into the healthcare field will be there for the right reasons and we will have a higher quality of providers. Then we will not have doctors and hospitals overbooking patients and we will have a higher quality of care. Government regulation would make doctors more accountable and remove the burden of over-priced malpractice insurance from the doctors that are doing a good job. REMOVE THE PROFIT MOTIVE and reintroduce the HUMAN motive in healthcare.

Don't be afraid no matter how some will wail and moan because THEY are afraid of change. Don't give in to the instinct to appease them, even a little bit. They are consumed with their own fear, but it will pass when you change the system and they begin to see the possibilities and the positive differences that result. Don't be afraid to be wrong about some things, because you will be wrong sometimes, but you will recognize your mistakes and you will see how to fix them. At this time in our nations' history, there is a unique opportunity to remake the way things work and put the focus back on THE PEOPLE where it belongs. The only thing that stands in the way is FEAR; your fear, our fear, their fear. Don't give in.

I am willing to support government healthcare with community service hours in whatever skill that I possess which is helpful. I think that could also help to reduce costs. I have people skills and computer skills that I would gladly donate in order to make healthcare available and affordable for all and free up some of my funds to making a better future for my children and grandchildren.

Thanks for listening.

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3 comments:

Tango daddy said...

I am touched by your post and state that as a Canadian I cannot comprehend the $800.00/mth cost of health insurance, or $6000 for a few hrs emergency treatment.You have put some thought into remedies to the system and when health care becomes a reality rather than health insurance progress will be made. An unworthy criticism of single payer health care is that it is socialism bull roar it is common sense. If the government ran the program and you were to pay half of what it now costs that would leave 5 grand a year that if half were taxed for other purposes like education. Your family would be ahead by $200.00 /mth. Best for last no worries about going broke from illness. A new day is dawning, love you blog,

Madashellliberal said...

Thanks for your comment, Tango Daddy. I often wonder if I would not feel more at home and if my son's future would not be more bright if we moved north to the more reasonable country of Canada. You give me hope that someday the citizens of the US will see the light and be ready for change.

marain said...

I hope your really good ideas will be taken to heart and put into action by the new administration.