Health care for all Americans: My thoughts on the matter

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

Times have changed!  

I remember the day when the very thought of providing all Americans with health care — compliments of the tax payer — was repulsive to the majority of our American society and the American Medical Association.  

What’s interesting about that is those who were repulsed by the idea were also the ones who had insurance coverage.  (I know I was one of the repulsed.)

Fast forward 15 years to today and see how times have changed. We have fewer people employed, hence fewer people with health care coverage. We also have family doctors being reimbursed less compared to years past, and many family doctors needing to meet a quota of a number of patient visits per day to keep their business viable.

What do those two changes create?

A society that is receptive to having a system of health care for all Americans.  (Hmm, funny how a different vantage point tends to alter one’s perspective and conclusions.)

Here’s my concern if there is a system of health care for all Americans. Although early in the game, it appears to be one that will be complex. The current proposal is to keep the insurance companies in the system. This means we would not have a single payer source. A single payer is how traditional Medicare insurance operates. Every senior citizen on traditional Medicare insurance gets the same Medicare Card, and one entity pays the bills. Instead of that, a variety of insurance companies would offer the insurance coverage, and a variety of insurance companies would pay on the health care bills.

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Insurance) is the same animal – and it is complicated.

Medicare has contractual agreements with many, many insurance companies to sell prescription drug coverage to senior citizens. For a senior citizen to make a decision on what insurance will serve them best, the senior citizen has to be computer savvy. This is necessary so he/she can compare and contrast the 42 different drug plans available — compliments of Medicare. The customer has to figure out for him/herself the best coverage for their existing health conditions and the size of their wallet.

It shouldn’t have to be this hard, but it is.