A chance for meaningful health-care reform
Health care has been front and center these past weeks. The time is ripe to reform this destructive system. Daily, Americans are dying from treatable disease, simply because we have a system that is about profit, not care.
Like many primary care physicians, I retired early from practice as this system was not allowing me to care for my patients. My patients were literally dying from profit driven insurance companies’ and pharmaceutical companies’ greed.
Now is our chance for meaningful reform. The conservatives talk about “choice”, but the insurance industry denies choice with increasingly narrow provider panels and ever-higher premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. And their profit margins are sky high and increasing.
Conservatives talk about other countries with universal health care “rationing” care, but the U.S. has the most rationed care in the world. I know this from my personal experience and the experience of family members in Australia, Canada, England and Israel.
People are denied benefits, either through narrow, high deductible policies, or through the false assurances that the companies will pay for their needs just so they can sell their policies. Too many people find out that when they get sick and injured, the goal of the insurance company is not to pay, and they are led into a labyrinth from which there is no escape.
There is a solution. Fifty-six free market countries of the world have found it, and implemented it, at a fraction of the cost with better outcomes. It is Universal Health Care. People can see any provider they wish. There are no deductibles and co-insurance. How is this done? By getting rid of the waste incurred by insurance companies to avoid paying providers for your care. It is about providing care, not making profit for individuals who have no role in taking care of you.
You can help bring this about. Get involved. There is an active group here in Fremont County, Health Care for All. You can find us at http://www.couniversalhealth.org/get-active/ Join us.
Madeleine Jacobs, MD,