But before you condemn me you should know that I am not alone in my dislike and distrust of the American health care system and doctors. Surveys show that a majority of Americans share my negative sentiments about both. And it makes perfect sense that the medical establishment has lost its halo. In fact, it is about time.
Doctor Worshipping Is Dead
For all the criticism the White House gets for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), people are starting to wonder what were the “healers” doing these many decades to improve medical care access and affordability? Nothing. The media coverage and political fighting about Obamacare, and high deductible health plans put a spotlight on the many shortcomings of the current health care system. More people now see the health care establishment as part of the health care cost problem, not as a neutral third party bullied by government and insurance companies.
The positives of receiving good medical care (as an individual) no longer negate the ills inherent in the entire system. The health care establishment finds itself in a you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem moment. And not surprisingly, the system doesn’t get it. They think they can lobby, whine or bully their way back into the good graces of society. It’s not working.
People Want Doctors To Take Responsibility For National Health Care Issues Continue Reading...
I’m not bragging when I say that I’ve been blessed with good health. I’m extremely grateful that I am healthy, pain- and disease-free for almost 50 years. However, my good health is not all about luck. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, I move around throughout the day and I cook most of my meals. Lately, I’ve upped my health game by cutting out sugar and other food additives. I’m earning my good health because I’m afraid of illness and disease. I don’t want to be at the mercy of the American health care system.
The Darker Side Of Health Care
This week I had an opportunity to witness a part of our health care system most of us rarely think about, but should. Rehabilitation and nursing home care. It was an educational but difficult experience for me.
I was visiting an elderly aunt undergoing rehabilitation following the amputation of her leg. Despite the gravity of her situation her rehabilitation has been successful in that she is strong enough to hop around on one leg. She believes that with a prosthetic leg or braces to assist her in walking, she is capable of living independently once again. But there she sits, with no idea of if or when she will receive this final treatment. And she doesn’t sit alone. This place was full of individuals in various states of rehabilitation; however, most of the patients are there for custodial care.
Throughout my near daylong stay at this facility, I saw dozens of individuals in wheelchairs. Others were confined to their beds most of the day. These are the individuals with serious cognitive disabilities. There were as many staff members as patients—including certified nurse aids (CNA), registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses, medical doctors, social workers, dietitians, physical, occupational and speech therapists, and recreation therapists.
This was American health care in action and it left me feeling hopeless and scared.
Is This Even Health Care? Continue Reading...
Conservative Segregated Health Insurance
Two weeks ago Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, proposed putting people with preexisting medical conditions in state-run high-risk pools. A tried and miserably failed "solution" for people insurance companies don't want to insure adequately, if at all. Ryan wants to segregate those with high cost medical care expenses from those with little to no cost. That means the healthy and mostly younger crowd will pay a lot less for their health insurance and the unhealthy and mostly older people will pay a lot more, or go without coverage.
Progressive Segregated Health Insurance
This week, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, proposed allowing individuals as young as 50 to buy-in to Medicare. A never tried but often discussed plan that would help those who are not quite old enough for Medicare, ineligible for Medicaid, but can't afford private insurance coverage, if not provided by an employer.
Private Insurer Segregated Health Insurance
And it’s not just politicians that want to segregate the health insurance market more than it already is, private companies want a piece of the action too. Zoom+, a medical and dental care provider and, more recently, health insurance company, targets well-off millennials for their services and plans. Zoom claims millennials are an underserved market but the fact that they do not accept Medicare or Medicaid patients in their practice proves the real reason behind their youthful approach to health insurance is money. Millennials, on average, don’t need as much medical costly medical care as Medicare and Medicaid enrollees do. And Zoom+ is just one of several insurers try to carve out the millennial crowd. Continue Reading...
Currently, the health care industry is plagued by failure:
- Medical errors that kill over a quarter million people each year
- Opioid addiction that kill thousands each year
- Superbugs (bacterial infections) that are resistant to common antibiotics
It couldn’t possibly be because doctors prescribe painkillers and antibiotics as a matter of course... Even my vet gave us antibiotics for our dog even though she said she had no idea what was wrong with her. It's just what doctors do despite all of the research and the warnings on overprescribing.
We Need Health Care Regulators and Policymakers To Put Patients First
It's frustrating to witness doctors harming people and blaming it on bullies, be they government or their own patients. But it is even more frustrating to witness the indifferent response by government policymakers and regulators, the health care industry and the general republic. However, the average citizen cannot take on the medical establishment without government intervention (although many of them would side with their doctor over government on this or any issue). Still, you would think that after learning that medical error is the third leading cause of death in this country…
- Congress would hold a hearing to determine a cause and propose policy solutions
- The White House would call for an emergency health care summit and propose policies to address these issues
- The candidates for President of the United States would say, forget affordable health care, we need care that does not indiscriminately kill