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Solution to the Healthcare Crisis
With the latest failed attempt by the GOP Senate to repeal Obamacare, I think it is clear to all rational people that it is time to give up. Stop the show and grand standing. Stop the rhetoric and hyperbole. Stop the name calling and blame game. Just fix it.
- July 2017
The history of ACA is well known. It was pushed through by the Democratic majority under President Obama in 2010 without a single Republican vote. It was a monstrosity of a bill over 2000 incomprehensible pages. No one read it. It had many components that were to phase in over 10 years.
After the failed launch of the health exchange website and the numerous growing pains, it is clear that this bill was a heavy load on our economy and our government resources. Now, we have a system that is heavily subsidized and yet it is no better and arguably worse for most American. The deductibles have gone up while premiums have skyrocked in some states. The choices are few and many exchanges have gone under.
When the individual mandates goes into full operation this year, more people will be forced to buy in or pay a penalty to opt out. This is not a good solution.
The key problem with our healthcare system is that it cannot do both that it was mandated to do. That is be a free market competition insurance and a compassionate system to take care of all pre-existing conditions and all who cannot afford to buy their own insurance. These two ideas are contradictory.
Since the American people more or less have decided they want some form of subsidized health insurance to cover everyone, I think the prudent solution is to adopt a single payer system. As much as I dislike big government intrusion, it is inevitable and we are at a crossroad. It has been forced upon us by the last administration. We have little choice but to deal with it now.
The course of actions since 2010 have lead us here. The ACA was designed to fail in 10 years. We are 7 years into that timeline. If it had been stopped in the first 2 years or so, we may be able to recover. Many of the policies and infrastructure are in place and entrenched into our healthcare delivery system. These changes cannot be unraveled without major disruption and pain. We are stuck with this like it or not.
The Democrats have succeeded in implementing one more entitlement into our lives. It started with the New Deal of FDR with Social Security and later with the war on povety under President Johnson. Now we are looking at universal health care.
My idea of a possible solution is this. If we are to adopt a single payer system for healthcare, lets find the best plan from around the world. Then we should copy it and do the same here. If it worked well in another country, we at least have a chance to make it work here. We are often told about how great the Canadian system or the UK system are. Yet, when we dig into it, we find they have many issues with long waiting times and restricted care based on age and cost...
As it turned out, the best system can be found in Taiwan. They have instituted a single payer system for 30 years. The people are happy. It is low cost. Quality of care is very high. It is universal. What is their secret, and how can we replicate it here?
It is long past debate. The question of which health insurace to adopt is over. The American people cannot wait any longer. The politics is making us sick. We are fighting the wrong problem. We need a Congress that will legislate instead of obstruct. They need to work together and come up with a viable solution. We need to recognize that we are a divided nation. In this one area, we have to agree on a solution for all americans. It may not be perfect but it needs to be sustainable. That means, no more smoke and mirrors and CBO phony numbers and estimates. The economics of this new system has to work out. The total cost has to be paid by all and in a fair manor. One of the failure of ACA was that it was front loaded with taxes and backloaded with expenses that were unsustainable. That was why it was designed to fail. We need something that is economically viable from day one till infinity. Pay as you go is the only way forward.
It must be pointed out who created this mess and who is tasked with fixing it. The Democrats, under Obama's leadership and his advisors, Jonathan Gruber and Ezikiel Emanuel, and the insurance lobbies created this ACA which will be memorialized as Obamacare. It should also be pointed out that they lied to the American people to get it passed. "You can keep your Dr. If you like your Dr." They knew full well that it was unsustainable. They also knew that once an entitlement is given, it cannot be taken back.
Who is to fix this mess? It was left up to the GOP controlled Congress and President Trump. I believe they want to do the right thing. Unfortunately for them, and for the American people, the right thing is not on the table. We are left with a single payer system as the only viable option.
A message to Congress: Don't forget who you work for. Listen to your constituents, listen to the Doctors and health professionals, listen to your conscience.
Some Related Info
- Taiwan's Single Payer System: A Phenomenal Success! | Physicians for a National Health Program
An orgaization of 16,000 American physicians advocating for single-payer national health insurance.
© 2017 Jack Lee