State of US’s Health Care

I received a survey from the Republican Presidential Task Force who is chartered with finding out what Republican’s want regarding health care. The survey is very black and white and really not practical. The survey is more styled as “us against them”. Our problem is not Health Care but rather cost and responsibility.Health Care in the United States is wonderful; it is the best in the world, bar none. The issue is tort law, “cover your ass” medicine because of tort law, controlled and noncompetitive insurance industry, abuse by the consumer of the entire medical system which falls on the insurance, and finally unhealthy choices and lifestyle of the consumer.1. We must reform the tort law, and limit this piece of the cost equation. Most doctors and hospitals do the right thing most of the time. Medicine and doctoring is not a zero sum game, it is not an exact science, things happen. I think it is ridiculous that the consumer has no responsibility in this part of the equation. Doctors are not gods, hospitals are not Utopia. The consumer has got to bear some of the responsibility on this side of the equation, meaning they cannot act like a limp piece of meat waiting for the gods to make them better without doing their part. If something is so negligent that someone should get millions of dollars, maybe the negligence is criminal versus civil. The point is there is negligence and then there is life. We have to create a spirit where doctors do the best that they can with what they have. This part of the cost equation needs to be carefully studied and thought out. I assure you this is the biggest issue with health care in the United States.2. The insurance industry needs to force “Wellness” onto the consumer by offering choices. The consumer who actively participates and performs proper wellness should be rewarded for this by lower premiums and lower cost. This is critical not to be cruel, but simply pain and pleasure philosophy. The consumer moves towards the least painful most pleasurable solution, “Wellness”. This is becoming and industry and if our system rewarded “Wellness” it would spur growth in this part of our economy. By “Wellness”, I do not mean taxing things that are bad for you. I assure you if you charge the Insurance Industry with this mandate and promote competition amongst the industry; they will come up with a solution. Consumers who practice wellness pay less, plain and simple. Companies who promote wellness pay less, plain and simple. I assure you this is the second biggest issue in the United States with Health Care.3. The consumer has to bear some of the responsibility of his or her health care. I think that by promoting “Wellness”, by not allowing runaway judgments in law suits, by having the consumer consciously making decisions and these decisions affecting his or her cost and or wellness will undoubtedly put the responsibility in the consumer’s hands. This too has consequences for example we may need to cover all children under the age of say 18, because we do not want some penny pinching parent not taking the kid to the doctor; however, again, promoting wellness. The point here is there are people in our country who are addicted to doctors and hospitals for what ever reason. We all have them in our family. We may have an elderly person who every time we visit them they are talking about going to the doctor and this is wrong or that is wrong. There has to be pain for this behavior. You cannot simply run the doctor every time you sneeze, and have no consequence.4. Competition is going to make things work. Look at a system that works not only in the US, but the world. Cosmetic Surgery is as evasive as anything on the planet, and it is not covered by insurance, and it is competitive. There are cheap boob jobs and expensive boob jobs; you can choose to have your recovery in your living room or in a resort. It is up to the consumer to choose the price and the service. The only problem with cosmetic surgery again is the tort issue. There is still the risk of runaway law suits. The consumer who has cosmetic surgery knows the risk when they go under the knife, and in most cases bears the burden; however, because of our crazy tort laws the doctor is still not protected, and the insurance companies still are not protected from accidents.5. Catastrophic/ Preexisting conditions are a problem that we all need to help solve. There are people who are deceases that they are born with usually because of something we put in the environment or something their parent took (a drug) or whatever. The point is some people are sick and need help and health care. We need the country to set up a pool to support these people. This pool or insurance needs to be funded by all Americans, by all businesses, by all insurance companies, by all doctors, and by all hospitals This group of people is not that large and rules need to be carefully thought out and discussed. I do not know how big this group is, but the point is if you have someone who can have a surgery and wake up better they need to have it if it is decease caused issue which has nothing to do with wellness and bad choices by that individual.6. This last item comes from my conservative nature, but I truly believe it and I believe that if we really want to attack the issues that run up the cost of health care we have got to realize our moral consciousness as a country and our lifestyles affect our health. It is proven time and time again diet and exercise is good, but the number one factor in good health is happiness. The number one factor in happiness is relationships and family. They family unit in the United States is not the same as in other countries. We do not have 3 generations living under one roof, at least in most cases. We do not go to church as a family on Sunday. We do not sit down for dinner as a family and say grace before we eat. I hate to tell the law makers cannot ban “God” from our schools and then work on health care. You cannot promote “Wellness” and forbid the “Ten Commandments”. I can go on, but I think I have made my point. You cannot promote health, but pay for abortions. These things do not flow and go together.In summary, I agree we must control the cost of health care, but we must not look at health care in a vacuum. I am not a health care expert and do not pretend to be. I have not read the health care bill, yet, but I will. I did just get through reading the book “Outliers: The Story of Success” which is a great book and actually does touch on the “happiness” issue. In the first chapter, it talks about the Italian immigrants who settled in Bangor, Pennsylvania who are the healthiest people in the world and honestly, do not particularly do much different in terms of diet and exercise than the rest of the world, but they are happy because of family and friends.

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