National Health Care Decisions Day 2019 is on Tuesday, April 16, 2019: How much does the government care about our health?
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 is National Health Care Decisions Day 2019. Humana® & Health Reform Confused By Healthcare Reform? Get Help Understanding Your Options
At the close of the 2009 legislative session in April, I was released from the hospital after a minor, but important, surgery to open a blockage to some blood vessels in my heart. The surgery was a complete success. I'm feeling better than I've felt in many years. I'm exercising, eating right, and my doctor says I'm healthy and doing very well.
I'm lucky to be living in a nation with the highest quality of health care. After having chest pains, I was immediately checked into the hospital in Olympia and had my procedure the following day. That rapid response means that I have the opportunity to live to a ripe old age, and to enjoy my children and, someday, grandchildren and even great grandkids.
The national debate over whether the federal government should take over health care is very disturbing. Judging from the town hall meetings across the nation, people are extremely concerned about government trying to take charge of their own personal health care decisions.
Many folks cite the Canadian system as an example of a nation providing health care to its citizens. However, I would not bet my health on a system such as Canada's. In the Aug. 10 edition of the Vancouver Sun, it was reported that "Vancouver patients needing neurosurgery, treatment for vascular diseases and other medically necessary procedures can expect to wait longer for care."
The newspaper said the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is considering chopping more than 6,000 scheduled surgeries in an effort to make up for a $200 million budget shortfall.
Can you imagine having to wait to have a life-saving surgery because the government has a budget shortfall?
During the last legislative session, we found ourselves with a $9 billion budget deficit in Washington state. One of the ways the Legislature addressed this shortfall was to cut funding for the state's Basic Health Plan (BHP) and to increase premiums for current enrollees.
Originally created 21 years ago as a pilot program for 4,000 low-income residents, the BHP was expanded to a permanent statewide program that had 106,000 enrollees at the beginning of this year. Throughout this massive expansion of costs and bureaucracy, poor decisions in Olympia forced many health insurance companies out of the state. This left the BHP as the only viable option for many people and, now, it is systematically being taken away from them. It's estimated that 30,000 people will lose their coverage because they cannot afford the premium increases.
This is precisely why Olympia or Washington, D.C., should not take over our health care.
There's no question that our health care system is in need of reform. If you can't afford health care coverage, it is a crisis. However, there's a greater crisis looming under a federal takeover of health care — denial or delay of treatments you need when you need them, and politicians and bureaucrats making your health care decisions and putting themselves between you and your doctor.
True reform should not be synonymous with a government takeover of health care or put the fiscal well being of our nation at risk. I'm very concerned by claims that people would be able to keep their current physicians and health care plans under the Obama proposal.
This is simply not possible, as employers would be forced to cancel health insurance for employees due to billions, if not trillions, of dollars in taxes that would be required to implement health care for all. Millions of Americans could lose their existing health insurance and be forced into government-run health care under these proposals.
What we really need is a balanced, common-sense approach that contains costs, provides assistance to those who truly need it, and keeps health care patient-centered, rather than government-centered, for everyone.
I have joined with my House Republican colleagues in proposing a 10-point plan for Washington state which includes legislation that would reform the BHP, allow purchase of lower-cost health insurance plans from other states, expansion of health savings accounts, choices for small employers, tax credits on health-care plans, cost transparency, core-benefit plans for young adults, and health-care provider innovation.
Reform is needed, but it must be the right kind of reform that provides more access to treatment and doctors, and protects the quality of health care, with less interference from insurance companies and government bureaucrats.
I am a walking example of being able to receive timely medical treatment that saved a life. I am also fortunate to be among the nearly 89 percent of Washingtonians who have good health insurance. We shouldn't push people with good health coverage onto a government system like Canada's that rations health care when budgets face shortfalls. There is an important role for government in health care, but it should be limited only to helping people who truly cannot afford it.
Why dont people want national healthcare?
Government already has taken on too many important institutions of freedom for us in this country. Decisions are being made for us without our consent every day. Now the decisions on how we decide our health care could be in the hands of slow, big, bureaucratic Washington. The implications of this go as far as not having a choice on which surgeon you decide to cut on you. Further down the road, it means surgeons that do good work, leave their practices because all the hacks take the low pay the government will offer, and the government will control their pay. Our quality will suffer. Canadians and other foreigners come here because the quality of their care is much lower than ours. We will lose our drive for quality and innovation. These are just a few implications. Get ready. Mark my words.
Does 20% of Americans with no health care bother you?
Don't confuse health care with health insurance. The figure that you're citing is for those without health INSURANCE. My question is: how many people who are included in this number are ELIGIBLE for health insurance and have turned it down? How many these people have changed jobs and are electing to not pay for their former plans before their new ones start? I think then you'll find the number is smaller.
Will the next issue be: X% of Americans have no retirement plan, so we need to create a new government program so that everyone has a retirement plan.
Look at all the other government programs out there. Do they give you confidence in a national health care system?
Remember: the person make your health care decisions for you won't be there because they're qualified; they'll be there because their aunt is the baby momma for some politician's driver's cousin.
As you may guess, your figure doesn't bother me.