The White House and Congress have encountered a delay on the bullet train to passing health care legislation. This is a good thing. Our government has just proven that it cannot even purchase used cars, but it expects us to believe that it has a stranglehold on health care and its costs?
We citizens must understand what our elected are proposing and how it may change our lives. A massive federal intrusion into our private lives must be understood first and then accepted or rejected by the people.
If this unheralded governmental expansion occurs we will have monumental adjusting to do. Despite the claims made by proponents, rationing will, by necessity, occur. Long waits for specialists and treatments denied by our government because they are too expensive will become commonplace. Acceptable care will be decided by a government panel and not by you and your physician.
There will be physician shortages. There will be wider use of “physician extenders” and doctors will become managers of multiple mid-level providers. It is likely you won’t see or have the physician responsible for your care and treatment decisions examine you.
As the government sets price controls on drugs, devices, and treatments, research and development in health care will come to a standstill. Companies that cannot recoup their investments in these areas will not make them. Our government, through political favor, lobbying, and the latest cause celebre, will decide the areas of medicine deemed important to research.
We cannot tax, deny, control, penalize, and regulate our way to greatness in health care. That isn’t freedom. That isn’t American. The United States stands as a shining symbol to the rest of the world because of the different way we do things. Our health care should be no different. Our superiority in treatment is already recognized. We have all heard stories of the world’s wealthiest traveling to our country when they need the best care available. Presidents, premiers, and prime ministers have done the same.
We are Americans. We can continue to lead the world in treatment and demonstrate a uniquely American approach to improving the business end of health care delivery. The approach should reward choice, competition, value, and the freedom for individuals and families to decide what is in their own best interest.
The evolution of health care should follow American ideals. Patients cannot be passive participants. The individual is in the best position to make the intimate decisions regarding their own or their loved ones’ care. Patients with knowledge and counsel provided by physicians of the options available should decide treatments.
The practice of medicine compels us to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. We continually innovate medical treatment. We can and should do the same things with how we pay for it. Our health care should belong to the individual, not an employer and not the government. It should be wholly transportable and personal. Life and auto policies can follow us anywhere. Health policies should be no different.
We should be able to purchase health insurance without borders in our nation. Government should facilitate and encourage the power of consumers to determine cost and benefit. Those who cannot afford to purchase coverage should be given the opportunity of a tax incentive to become a health care purchaser, not someone dependent on an entitlement.
America shocked the world over two centuries ago when it embarked on this noble journey and established the greatest country ever known. How fitting that we find ourselves presented with the opportunity to begin another “experiment” and once again lead the globe with an American solution to improving health care.