Money driven medicine

... how’s that working for you?

“Taxes are the price we pay for civilized society.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Columnist Erick Erickson calls the Republican plan to replace Obamacare “Swampcare.” He says, “If Swampcare continues, the government takeover of healthcare will escalate and costs will soar.” It is a disgrace that newspapers actually pay him to write such rubbish. And it is a travesty that millions whose political conditioning exceeds that of Pavlov’s dog believe such trash.

The real truth is our current healthcare system is the most expensive system ever conceived with runaway, whatever the market will bear costs, accountable to no one, that hampers business with burdens that throttle employment, and encourages age discrimination for employment against those most experienced and qualified that could still be contributing to the tax coffers if they weren’t treated like poison.

So what would it take to have a healthcare system that is accessible and affordable, offering full choice to all with accountability to its consumers while allowing businesses to create millions of new, higher wage jobs? That would take answering several more questions.

What is the single greatest cost component of our current healthcare system? Is life a marketable commodity? Would you gamble with your life? Is the healthcare system accountable to you? Are you your brother’s keeper; or are those empty words spoken only when convenient?

The single greatest cost in our healthcare system is greed. Greed is a lust for money. But it’s more than that. Greed is about ego. Greed is about power. Greed is about control and accountability to no one.

Columnist Linda Chavez writes, “Americans have gotten used to the idea that health insurance should operate differently than all other forms of pooled insurance.” Well why wouldn’t they? The civil war, our bloodiest war ever, was fought over the American ideal that life is not a marketable commodity. One would think that those who consistently vote Republican out of their moral concern for life in the womb would get that and be just as concerned for life outside the womb.

Why should we rely on insurance companies to cover our health care costs at all, period? Insurance is a form of gambling. It takes in all the bets it can garner and works hard to minimize the pay outs. And just like in Vegas the game is rigged so that the house never loses. The fact is that only 10 percent of the people own 82 percent of the stocks of healthcare insurance companies.

Does that sound fair, just, or Christian-like to have 10 percent of the wealthiest Americans gambling on your health? Getting rid of insurance company executive salaries and bonuses, overinflated administrative costs and dividends paid to “shareholders” would eliminate a huge portion of current costs.

But let’s not stop there. Recently President Trump complimented the Australian Prime Minister for having “better health care than we do.” That’s because the Australians along with every other progressive civilized society on Earth has a universal single payer government managed health care system.

It would take great faith and wisdom to reject the political conditioning akin to Pavlov’s dog. Do ignore the howls of the so-called conservative anti-government freaks who never liked social security or Medicare until they were on it. Our government built the Interstate Highway System, put a man on the moon and provides the most technologically advanced military ever created. It can certainly manage our health care.

A universal health care system would be accountable to all. If the system underperforms, we vote for those who will fix it. Prescription drugs purchased in bulk and sold at a discount; fixed payment schedules that fairly compensate doctors and nurses for their hard earned skills and procedures; the burden removed from employers to allow millions of new jobs and end age discrimination to expand the tax base; all that can be had. And that would be called “winning.”

Or if you like it you can keep the current system of money driven medicine. How’s that working for you?

Jeffrey Woollard lives in Rainbow.