I have listened carefully to the Health Care debate currently raging all across this country. There are two things that I have realized, after listening to the only people who really count – the American citizens – 1. Most Americans want more affordable health care, with a wide range of choices and options; 2. The politicians in Washington continue to ignore the wishes of the people.
Congress and the President continue to focus on a mandated plan, one that will require every American to have health care and will penalize those who don’t, with some politicians advocating fines of up to $1,000 per person, for those who don’t have coverage. In typical Washington “speak” no one really wants to discuss the cost of such a system, or the reduced care that will surely result. I don’t believe for a minute that the American people will accept a system like the Canadian system or the system in Great Britain. A wait of six months for urgently needed tests and surgery is simply unacceptable. In Canada, many Canadians wait even longer, and end up opting to go to the States for the surgeries they need.
I believe strongly in the genius of the American people. They know what kind of care they want and how they expect to pay for it. They know that they do not want a single payer government operated system. Why in the world would we trust politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to manage our health care system? They haven’t been able to handle any of the major problems facing our country.
The American people know that one of the most basic things we need to do as a nation is to teach preventative health care measures in schools and to parents and families. The key to improving health in America is to create an atmosphere of healthy behavior. Teaching young children how to take care of their bodies and teaching young parents and families the importance of healthy diet and exercise is a starting point. We need to get our kids out of the habits of eating unhealthy foods and sitting for hours in front of the television or computer. Changing the collective attitude of the American people is vital. We need to give people information that changes the way they think about an issue.
Your health is like a dashboard. If the only thing you ever look at is your speedometer, and you don’t bother to look at the oil gauge and the water gauge, you can get into serious trouble. You may think, “hey, I’m going the speed limit” but that’s not the point. That’s how fast your car is going, not how well it’s running. Health is the same way – you can’t just focus on weight – you need to look at your cholesterol levels, hemoglobin AIC, blood sugar and blood pressure as well.
No, preventative health care measures won’t reduce the cost of health care, at least for a generation, but it is a necessary step. We must also take steps to reduce the costs of employer provided health care. Our businesses can’t compete in a global market when they face demands from employees for more and more coverage without any regard for the costs. That is simply human nature – when a person isn’t paying for something, they want the very best they can get. I believe that we must transition from an employer based system to a consumer based system.
Right now, health care in America is reactive and is geared towards intervening in catastrophic situations. We should be focusing on preventing those situations from occurring. The whole system is upside down. It’s like our government is focused on putting Humpty Dumpty back together again instead of keeping him from falling off the wall. Our healthcare system is based on a broken egg concept.
Tax credits, reform of medical liability, adopting electronic record keeping, expanding health savings accounts, making health insurance tax deductible, and making health insurance more portable from one job to another, and from state to state all will help lower costs and make health insurance more affordable. We don’t need all the government controls that would inevitably come with universal health care. We do need more individual control of health care options.
Also posted at Huck PAC.
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