Healthcare reform: 4 Truths and 1 Lie

As the debate, changes and uncertainty over healthcare reform rages on from ACA to AHCA or whatever it will be called next, some things actually remain the same. See if you can spot the four constants in these next five statements and the one that is the moving target.

  1. Healthcare in the USA is expensive.
  2. We all want the best healthcare for ourselves and our loved ones.
  3. We can all agree on who should pay for healthcare and how much.
  4. Everyone deserves good healthcare.
  5. Access to health care is not the same as affording healthcare.

Did you spot the moving target? Yep, it’s #3. It is what politicians, employers and everyday citizens are arguing and debating about on the floor of congress, barstools in taverns and booths in restaurants

The other truth is healthcare should NOT be politicized. There are many healthcare delivery models around the world, some work better than others but NONE of them are perfect BUT I do think we need to investigate BEST practices for BEST outcomes. We need to keep in mind cutting-edge healthcare and technology are not cheap especially for rural communities that don’t have the populations to recoup ROI on expensive diagnostic treatments and therapies. Science and research require large amounts of public and private funding not to mention educated scientists.

We all have to remember this when we complain about health insurance premiums, tax bills and medical bills and also when we wonder why a cure hasn’t been found for something that keeps killing us like cancer or heart disease.

This is not minimize the impact of waste, price gouging, lack of patient education and little if no transparency of pricing of medical services.

Who should pay for healthcare in this country is the toughest question to answer. Healthcare makes up almost 1/5 of our GDP* and so making any kind of change can have unintended consequences. There are no quick fixes.

Many people think the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced or at the very least fixed. Of course, there is great disagreement over what some people feel is working and what some consumers feel is broken but I think I will save that for another article. For now, let’s focus on what we CAN agree on, shall we?

*https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nationalhealthaccountshistorical.html

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