Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yet Even More Thoughts on Health Care Reform

Here are some of my very basic thoughts on what we can do to reform the health care system in the United States.

First, we need to expand the employer-based health care system.

I think we should require the large companies to offer their employees health care coverage and/or offer generous tax incentives to the companies that do offer coverage.

Also, we should subsidize and/or give tax incentives to smaller companies to give them the opportunity to offer decent health coverage to its employees.

Next, we should expand the Medicare/Medicaid system.

The eligibility requirements for these programs need to be reformed so that those who really need health care can get it.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about giving people tax credits so they can afford to purchase their own health insurance. While the motivation behind the idea is noble, the idea itself is kind of stupid. It is a great idea for those that can afford to purchase their own coverage but for whatever reason do not. Giving these people a tax credit might actually give them an incentive to buy coverage. But for joe somebody that can barely afford to pay the bills they already have, this does not help them one little bit.

Next, we have to reform the system so that the pharmaceutical companies are out of the pockets of our Congressmen. Prescription drugs are one of the worst factors in the increasing costs of health care in this country. The result of which ends up being that people can't afford the drugs to keep them from getting really sick so they don't take them and then....they get really sick and end up in the emergency room where they are unable to pay for the doctor's and hospital's services. This continues the cycle of increasing health costs because the providers have to charge others with coverage more money to offset the services they had to provide essentially free of charge.

Also, the general public desperately needs to be educated about the health care crisis. Many people are necessarily aware of the problem nor are they fully aware that THEIR lifestyles are contributing to the rising costs.

If more people were educated about health care in general and about their own health we could decrease the number of people with heart disease, or diabetes, or we could decrease the percentages of childhood obesity and early onset high blood pressure. People just simply don't take care of themselves anymore. This is another major factor in the increasing costs of health care. The fact that more and more people need the care of a physician.

Maybe these people really do need to pay extra for their coverage. I dunno. I'm torn on that one.

That is all for now. I'll probably have more later.

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