Reform healthcare now
There has been much discussion about the cost of health insurance, who gets it for free, who pays and who has nothing at all. While blame is being cast indiscriminately, the United States health care system itself is outrageously expensive, while at the same time, blatantly inadequate.
Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized world, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. still has 46 million people completely uninsured, with millions more with inadequate coverage. This is so because we spend more and get less because we operate with a network of for profit payers who waste money on items that have little nor nothing to do with healthcare; overhead, billing, marketing, in addition to an obligation to make profits, as well as exorbitant executive salaries.
At the same time, doctors and hospitals are forced to maintain expensive administrative staffs just to deal with this bureaucracy. Consequently, about 31 percent of health premiums fall prey to needless administrative costs. A single-payer, Medicare expanded plan can capture this wasted money. The potential savings on this administrative waste is estimated to cost $350 billion annually, enough to provide coverage to everyone without adding to what we already pay, according to the American College of Physicians.
Under this plan, Americans would be covered for everything that the best plans currently offer, while patients can regain free choice of doctors and hospitals. Meanwhile doctors, once again, would have autonomy over patient care. This could be accomplished by eliminating private insurers and taking back the administrative waste, while new fees could be imposed, replacing current, outrageously high premiums paid by individuals and employers.
The time has come to stop talking about health care reform and doing something about it. Bi-partisan efforts putting politics aside are the catalyst for change. The current system, left to continue, is doomed.
For all the joys of summer we must not forget that there are hungry bears with keen noses living among us. If we leaving savory smelling garbage outside, or leftover food in our cars or on our porches, we tempt bears to stop foraging in the wild and remain near people, which can cause harm both to them and to us.
Local artist and sculptor Willy Neumann, best known for his “Love Knots,” just had major heart surgery. It will take several months of rehab before he is back to high energy once again. If you can help him get through this period of no income, a check made out to his name will be much appreciated. You can mail it to me at P.O. Box 185, Bearsville NY, 12409.