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Where I Stand on Health Care

On 5/4, the House of Representatives passed an atrocious and illogical proposed replacement for the ACA; aka Obamacare.

Subsequent to this, I posted a little excerpt from the new plan on FB which prompted lots of discussion AND I got into a huge argument with my son via text from Afghanistan.

As I attempted to point out in my FB post, every person on FB has their own experience with the ACA - as they have their own individual health needs, and their own budgets and beliefs. Trying to come up with a plan that would work for all is a truly daunting task.

The argument I had with my son was in asking him what his opinion is on the UHC (Universal Health Care) or the single payer plan. I won't go into his stance, but will state it vastly differs from mine - mainly because I believe that despite vast differences in levels of education, income, genetics, lifestyle, age, sex, etc., ALL people, no matter where they fit into that spectrum, not only deserve but are even GUARANTEED BY OUR FOUNDERS to have access to the SAME healthcare options. I consider it part of our unalienable rights mentioned in our Declaration of Independence; right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I also believe that the words in the Preamble to the Constitution, "...Promote the general welfare..." are fitting for this situation. The health of EVERY human being is determined by their ability to source Life, Happiness, and General Welfare. For many, this boils down to money, or lack thereof. Thus we have an unfair system that does not meet our founding principles.

I have never been one for minutia - more of a big picture person myself. So, when my son picked out a single element of the healthcare system and offered a potential solution it was easy enough to see how very complicated it could become in a short period of time, left to lots of variances in interpretation, with the hypothetical person in question being financially gouged for care OR electing not to get care due to fear of potential gougement.

It's always easier for me to use restaurants as a means of explaining myself. Restaurants have two houses; front and back. Back-of-the- House are the chefs, cooks, and dishwashers. Front-of-the-House are your servers, bartenders, and buspeople, etc. They have to work together and efficiently for a restaurant to be successful. In this situation Front-of-the-House would be an individual's ability to pay - and Back-of-the- House would be what the provider is going to do and what they are going to charge. BOTH of these areas need to be addressed.

We've all heard the stories of being charged $10 for the disbursement of a Tylenol during a hospital stay. With that $10 charge, the charging facility must take into account paying for the person who wrote the order for the Tylenol, the paper the order was written on, the wages of the person dispensing the Tylenol, the little paper cup it gets placed in for disbursement, the cabinet where it is kept, and the wall the cabinet hangs on, and so forth. There is a lot of cost involved with handing out that little Tylenol.

Have you ever been to a restaurant that 'gives' away free bread/butter, or chips and salsa. I guarantee you the food cost of those 'free' items are taken into consideration when pricing out ALL of the other menu items. NOTHING IS FREE. In case you're having difficulty following me, the cost of the bread/butter/chips/salsa is accounted for in the price of your menu items. In addition, the price of your food is also influenced by payment of employees, rent, utilities, etc ., or overhead. Everything the restaurant sells has to pay for ingredients and to keep doors open with staff on hand. These are your operating costs.

Correction #1 needs to be for-profit health care providers reassessing their operating costs and correctly adjusting their fees accordingly. This needs to be government regulated, or else people will be traveling to varying complying states for more affordable care. It's really simple as to WHY this needs to be this way. With more fair and appropriate charges, the cost to insure would be more tolerable.

Correction #2 needs to be sliding scale 'tax' on healthcare for ALL people, based on income. Movie stars are idols. Doctors are respected. Garbage truck drivers, farmers, grocery store clerks, etc., are NEEDED. We are ALL vital to the cause. If you don't think so, see what happens in our society when all the garbage truck drivers go on strike. Just because they earn less money to perform their respective service doesn't mean they should be allotted a lower level of care. That's just not right in a society that needs to play well in order to get along.

Correction #3 needs to be our mindset on Health Care as patients AND providers with more emphasis being put on prevention and education and less on procedures and drugs. If people knew more about healthier eating and lifestyle choices we would be healthier as a society, and less of a drain on those who pay more. The analogy of giving a man fish to eat vs. teaching him how to fish is applicable here. It might take more effort at first to do the teaching, but in the long run, everyone wins. I firmly believe this would be a progressively improving situation from the outset.

Will there be people who 'abuse' this system? Sure. Just like I abuse getting my income tax refund every year. I spend the entire year living off of a limited very restricted budget, and when that income tax refund comes I go crazy. I restock all of my supplies and pantry, and buy all of the things that only have a year lifespan. It's better than Christmas! IF I had regular access to larger sums of money, this would not be the 'big deal' that it is for me. It would soon be 'the norm' - and I also believe that after the newness wears off, 'abuse' will greatly diminish.

So, it's stupid to discuss affordable health care, unless you also address healthcare reform as well. It needs to be simple and easy, and I believe it CAN be.

Here is another analogy I'll leave you with; my son is Autistic as many of you know. Over the years, his therapists have come up with a wide range of positive behavior 'plans' where he could be awarded screen time for behaving. These things have been so damned complicated no one could possibly keep track and the goal with putting them in place was to make my job as Mom easier without having to oversee everything he does 24/7, and tallying little increments of rewarded time. I finally, on my own, came up with a simple self-monitoring ALL-OR-NOTHING plan. I don't have to 'judge' his behavior to determine what it is worth, or pro-rate his screen time based on this 'judgment'. It is simple, straight forward, able to be understood by ALL, and we are successful and at peace with one another.

Hopefully, my big picture 'plan' will at least help my son understand where I stand. The problem is with the WHOLE, not the parts! If this makes me a socialist - then so be it. God....I hate labels! ♥

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