Monday, September 22, 2008

Meeting the Demand for Universal Health Care

As a child, my grandmother told me to always protect my health because if you lose your health all the money in the world can’t get it back. I never forgot what my Grandmother told me. I, by the grace of God, don’t have the problem that a lot of my neighbors are facing on a daily basis – what will I do if I am diagnosed with a malady that requires hospitalization?

After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that the solution is simple and won’t really cost anyone anymore than what they are currently paying for healthcare; in fact, everyone could see a reduction in the overall cost of their healthcare. In addition, those currently not possessing any healthcare will be able to afford healthcare as well. You are probably thinking that this guy is crazy. There is no way that we can have national healthcare without government involvement in a monetary manner.

Under the plan that I propose individuals and families without healthcare will no longer have to visit the emergency room to receive medical treatment. Hospitals and all other healthcare providers will be reimbursed for services rendered in a timely fashion. The standard rate for procedures provided by care-givers would be upheld. Pharmaceuticals will have to adhere to a standardized pricing of their products; in return, the pharmaceutical industry will be encouraged to subsidize all research for the products that they develop to a regulated Internal Revenue division where there submissions will be scrutinized for fraud and abuse.

Now you ask; how do we do it? Let’s review first the general methods used to compensate healthcare services for patient care given. In most instances, companies deduct small amounts of money from each of its workers to assist in making payments to healthcare insurers like Blue Cross-Blue Shield, CareFirst, or Kaiser Permanente, etc. In turn, healthcare providers, your doctor and the hospital that you may be sent to in case of an emergency, file claims against your healthcare insurance for the care they provided to you.

What if – I am about to tell you how my plan would work – all of the companies that pay money directly into healthcare insurance companies like the afore-mentioned instead paid their money directly into a national fund? What if that national fund brokered directly with healthcare providers to get you the best rates for the best care available? What if all of the people that live in the United States could access this healthcare insurance simply by going to the nearest facility to them for their healthcare needs.

Blue Cross-Blue Shield, CareFirst, and all other healthcare insurance providers will be eliminated from the healthcare equation to reduce the cost of healthcare. The confusion of having to fill out a multitude of forms and the fear of being rejected care vital to your recovering from any illness will be a thing of the pass. Pharmaceutical companies will no longer be able to dictate the cost of your medications – pricing some medications out of reach for you based upon the decision of your healthcare insurance provider.

Hospitals have failed for the same reasons that this plan will remedy. The uninsured are flooding the emergency rooms for care with no reimbursement to the provider. The sick have had to decide whether to buy their medicine over buying food for the table. Terminally ill patients have been denied care that would have made the difference in how they lived their remaining days, in some instances, care that could have saved their lives. This plan can remedy these situations forever.

Congress, are you listening?

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