To The Daily Sun,
The health care industry is in crisis. It came about by insurance companies demanding profits over the quality of human life. Insurance companies are cold, deliberating, as well as discriminating against those who are disabled, sick, or injured, and for those who cannot afford the high premiums. Health care must not be for sale to the highest bidder.
Health care for all is a right for people, not a right for insurance companies to make a profit on human life. It is almost essential that this country revert to Medicare for all, regardless of income status, race, diagnosis, or disability. Here are some reasons why:
The health care industry is labor intensive. Poor quality of care in nursing homes for example is related to the dearth of qualified nursing assistants in relation to the population cared for. Fifteen residents per LNA is unacceptable and dangerous, both to the resident as well as the LNA. Homes with better staffing ratios show higher caliber of care and provide a better quality of life for those in their remaining years.
Staffing by both RNs and LPNs appears to be short as well, further potentially compromising care.
Appointments: doctors are directed to keep time with patients to a minimum, even though they charge for the whole hour, or mass production of medical care.
Prescriptions are notoriously expensive if one does not have prescription coverage. Pharmacies seek profits, not the care that patients and clients deserve.
One cannot displace the human factor for both the patient as well as the entire health care team. Machines and computers cannot replace the quality that human care provides. Robo-care is unacceptable.
Computerized health care systems. While it is nice to be organized in progress notes written, other aspects of computerized systems take more time than previously encountered. Quote from one provider, "We take more care of the paperwork and computer activities than we do our patients!" Insurance requires excessive time in paperwork and documentation. The need to focus on care is priority, not profit.
In this legal sensitive atmosphere, one also wonders about the appropriateness of "additional testing" or "screenings;" i.e. a colonoscopy needs to be done every 10 years (this is for example only: the importance of this screening is essential to a long, healthy life cancer free), or other screenings. How many people are needed to make sure the insurance industry is doing what they are supposed to? Insurance companies make decisions regardless of input of the entire medical team devoted to either a health compromised patient or a healthy one. It is all about making money. Human life is not for sale or profit.
Mr. Bernie Sanders is correct to suggest a united M
edicare program for all. It must be a contribution system, similar to Social Security. If one is unable to pay for this program, then this is where the Medicaid system helps, to provide the income challenged individuals the care they are entitled to. So long as the system is run by medically qualified individuals — such as a team of nurses, LNA's, either advanced nurse practitioners or doctor's assistants, as well as medical doctors — not some group of people trained by medically untrained individuals as may be the case currently. For example, medical decisions should be made by medical people, not car mechanics, or plumbers.
Medicare for all puts the insurance industry out of business, which must be done. Given that everyone should be contributing to the system, the costs of payments would be significantly lower than the private industry. Medicare for all also should focus on the issues of medical care and health promotion without prejudice, which would further reduce costs in the long run. Transportation must also be included in this package, as this is a vital access to medical care, either via ambulance or private transport.
This program stimulates the economy with increased spending power. Premium reduction by mandating participation, increases the cash flow to the individuals and/or their families. This makes such a program a win-win situation for all American people, and promote better health at the same time. Insurance companies do not provide this benefit. Both major parties as well as minority parties should focus on, the right of all to affordable, total health care.
Robert T. Joseph, Jr.
- Category: Letters
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