Dear Community, the last time we spoke I was asked to review “What’s happening in Healthcare “.
As you recall this Administration wanted to repeal the ACA. Instead, by eliminating the individual mandate, the Insurance programs have become more costly! Why? One reason, when young healthy people are insured, it dilutes “the sick insured population “, making the plans more cost effective. Below are several facts to remember about Healthcare in America.
1. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Expanded Medicaid is cost effective and costs most states nothing. The program is funded by the Federal Government. It makes no sense to maintain a population without affordable quality healthcare and that’s happening now. Millions are still uninsured. I am grateful, however, that the “work” program proposed for Medicaid never passed. How can the states decide who is qualified for healthcare when it should be every citizen’s right?
2. Even after states pay a 10% portion of the Medicaid Expansion costs by 2020, studies show that with Expansion, there was a reduction in uninsured visits and uncompensated care costs for hospitals, clinics and providers. A healthier population is a more productive population!
3. Some Insurance Companies are denying service to patients for unnecessary ER visits. Dreadfully, it forces people to self diagnose. Anthem Insurance was initially denying patient claims for using the ER without a “good” medical reason. They have since backed off from their position and reduced their number of unpaid claims.
4. We still need legislation giving Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices.
5. Since the Federal Government has not paid the Insurance companies on a timely basis, most plans are increasing their premiums.
6. Vertical integration of the Insurance companies with Walgreen’s or another pharmacy, should give those mergers clout in drug pricing negotiations. This hasn’t benefited the consumer yet. “We the People” are paying higher co pays while the drug companies continue to charge more for Brand Names and have barred many “well known” generics from being used.
7. According to the Economist, the Middle Class continues to see a rise in drug costs, because a complicated system of rebates on published drug prices are not passed on to the consumer.
8. My 2 cents: “We the People” could see an enormous cost savings if the Pharmaceutical Industry was denied marketing to the public directly through TV commercials. This is a recent phenomenon of the 21st Century. Growing up, pharmaceutical companies could not advertise. Again, we are not physicians and should not be responsible for selecting newer more costly drugs.
9. When profit drives healthcare, “We the People” lose. We need healthcare for everyone, cost efficient and quality driven. Switzerland uses both Insurance and a Medicare-type alternative. With 70% of the population making less than a living wage, health savings accounts are not appropriate. Don’t dispar, in spite of sabotage, The ACA is thriving.
- Here’s a story from The New York Times that I thought you’d find interesting:
The numbers suggest a surprising resilience of the health law.
You asked and I answered with updates on the ACA and expanded Medicaid. The current GOP Congress does not wish to represent the needs of “We the People”. For example, there are no easy answers to opioid addiction and they’re not being addressed. There are no answers to contractual agreements for medical devices and supplies that expire and cause waste in the Billions. Please note, these contractual agreements don’t occur only in Healthcare. They also occur in Defense. Waste has a cost and no one is addressing these costs. If “We the People” could audit various Institutions, we could have cost oversight, not cost overruns! No one is monitoring the monitors. Perhaps we need “citizen ombudsmen” to review how our money is spent.
Over the years , I’ve thrown out many ideas. It’s up to “We the People” to demand change we can live with. As long as we have money in politics, we won’t have Congressional Representatives interested in the health and welfare of Americans. Winner take all Politics has destroyed the fabric of our daily lives. I can, indeed, count the ways.
- Lateral movement to other jobs is prohibited by Corporate Employment Agreements. The denial of Class Action suits and the discouragement of collective bargaining has weakened Labor’s economic gains.
- It’s not foreign powers holding back American economic growth, it’s windfalls to the top 1% , the Corporations and their benefactors in Congress.
Be involved. Run for office and vote. Perhaps it’s also time to bring back the Unions. #RockTheVote is one answer; locally and federally!
See you later and we’ll chat.
“the heart and pulse of the Middle Class”