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Old 06-03-2020, 11:17 AM   #7
theoddz
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I hear what you all are saying about how the expense of such a nationwide single payer system would almost be just plain out impractical and, in the end, disastrous. I do think, however, that removing some of the profit incentive would drive overall costs down.

Even in traditional business models, costs always go up when you have middlemen (insurance companies) involved. Could that be where the first slice of a type of precision "trimming down" could begin?? At least, in theory?? Insurance companies seem to be the base cause of a lot of costs going up. They are, by and large, public companies, so they have shareholders to appease, therefore, they are in it to make as much money as they possibly can. In this case, it's at the expense of another person's health and/or well being. That's where the profit motive lies, in large part. I think everyone would agree that every living organism on this planet has the drive to live, and we humans also feel that the quality of our health determines a lot of the quality of our lives. What person wouldn't do everything and anything to just live?? What would YOU sell, bargain, beg, steal, lie or cheat for, if for nothing else, life?? Just to keep taking one breath after another without screaming in pain?? C'mon, be honest. This FOR PROFIT health "system" that we have, here in the US, has a sincerely captive audience. It isn't hard to understand. Yet we will give anything, ANYTHING to anyone who will help us live to see another sunrise, even if we are flat broke, living in a cardboard box under a bridge with nothing to eat but dirt.

Leveling the economic playing field in the health care industry is going to mean taking the huge profits away from the insurance companies, and they might just have to reinvent another business model that they can survive under. Maybe get rid of the shareholders and replace them with folks who really do have some skin in the game....like maybe the patients they are charged to take care of/insure?? I don't know what the answer is, but this much I do know: Something is going to have to give if our entire democracy is going to survive. We ALL do better when the interests of the public good is served, so we've got to start with one measure of common sense and make sure that ALL of our citizenry, not just the ones with $$, can just stay alive.

I've gotten a bit jaded, over the years, because I've worked in the US health care industry (both private and public sectors), and one of the big reasons I switched to the public sector (VA - US gov't) is because I saw what the real conditions were in the private/for profit systems, back when they brought in the concept of "Managed Care". We providers used to cynically call it "mangled care". I loved the VA system, overall, because it didn't require that a patient have enough $$ to get care. All that mattered was that that person served our country and put his/her life on the line for his/her countrymen/women. We treated all Veteran patients equally, no matter what. They are ALL precious lives to us. Oh, and something like 40% of us are Veterans, ourselves, so that helped. I once heard someone comment that, "if you want to see what socialized (I assume they were meaning government run) medicine would look like in this country, take a look at the VA." I thought that was kind of interesting, because it's widely recognized, according to consistent polling, that the VA Health Care System has held the top rating in patient satisfaction (of all US health systems) for many years now. The VA was one of just a few systems that brought about using computerized patient records/charting that streamlined VA care and reduced costs, nationwide. It also served to improve the quality and timeliness of care, also. Overall, it is a very impressive system, and I'm very proud to have worked in it, serving my fellow Vets.

I am so thankful to you all who have shared your thoughts here. I'd also like to extend a hand out to every and anyone else here to throw out your ideas and thoughts about this here, too. BFP is, admittedly, a microcosm of our LGBTQ communities, I think, and we all come from various walks of life, occupations and arenas. Something someone says here, or other places, might end up reaching the right ears and create constructive conversations in other places, with other ears. An idea is an idea, you know!! I've gotten a lot more to think about now, thanks, again, to those who have shared. I tip my hat to ya'll!!!

~Theo~
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