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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Righty says 'Give Obamacare a chance'

Thoughts From the Left by a Righty

By Global Trekker


I strongly support Obamacare (actually known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010). Not because its the best solution to a difficult problem.
I am at a loss as to the vehement rhetoric that surrounds the issue. A reader of the conservative press would quickly conclude that ObamaCare was developed by an UnAmerican anti-Christ. That isn’t the case. On the basis of open-mindedness and fairness, we Americans need to give it a chance to be successful. Really, what other options do we have?

Let’s be honest. All of us who have used or dealt with the American health care system in the last 30 years knows there were some very serious problems. I myself had such an experience in 2010. A heart condition is no laughing matter. After several months of standard protocol attempts to treat my condition, it became obvious that more serious treatment methods were necessary. I underwent a surgical procedure in December 2010. The treatment was successful and I am thankfully restored to a healthy state again. But, at what cost?

I chose one of the best medical facilities in the country. I had some of the best doctors available for this kind of problem. The treatment was excellent, the doctors were brilliant, and the caring staff treated me like family instead of a patient. Best of all I left the hospital after one night feeling better than I had in many years. I was lucky. However, the cost was about $125,000 – for one night’s stay in the hospital! I am grateful for the care, the treatment, and the result. When I curiously asked the doctor what this procedure would cost he replied, pausing, “I have no idea”. Nor did he care. It wasn’t his job to care. His job was to treat me to better health.

My point is this: America’s health care system is not just broken, as so many like to refer to it as. Its unaffordable, unworkable, unreasonable, unfair, unavailable for many, and statistically comparable to other countries in the world, not as good. Period. I am lucky. I had insurance and the tenacity to research where I wanted to go, who I wanted to see, and what I wanted done. I could afford the deductible which, by comparison, seemed almost embarrassingly modest. Most importantly, I had time to await these results. Without insurance this option would have been unaffordable for me.

For far too long too many people have dealt with a health care system that has been unmanageable and inefficient on its best day. On its worst day, its dangerous. Let’s be honest. Despite all we know and all we have achieved the medical system hasn’t been successful. If we simply trade a medical problem for an economic problem for a service that is unaffordable, what have we accomplished? The widespread desire of immortality for most Americans is bankrupting this country. The medical profession knows it, the insurance industry knows it, the legal profession knows it, and the politicians have known it for decades. As my cardiologist told me, “Hey, we have figured it out. Most people will transfer most of their estate to the medical profession in their last 1-2 years of life”. He was right.

After his election in 2008, President Obama set an initial course of correction of this problem. He specifically warned us it wouldn’t be perfect, would require modification as we went, and likely would take years to correct an out-of-control condition that had been exasperated for more than 30 years. He wanted an individal mandate to be included but Congress wouldn’t approve any of the health care act with such a provision included. So, he settled for what he could get.

Obama has taken unmerciful criticism over the act. He has been labeled everything from unAmerican, to a socialist, to a traitor, an idiot, and an amateur. He told us, years in advance, this would be the case. He told us there would be much criticism. He also told us, with the present system, we really had no choice. We all knew it. The gravy train had stopped. There was no way to manage the financial and economic crisis in this country without better control of the health care system. I applaud the President for his vision, strength and stand on this issue.

The criticism of the Act is fair to some degree. Criticism of Obama for the Act isn’t fair. ObamaCare isn’t perfect by any means. It isn’t entirely fair. It isn’t inexpensive. But it will be more inclusive of the 30-40 millions Americans that were not covered by insurance that the rest of us were paying for anyway. Despite the criticism, warranted or not, was there really any alternative to simply continue on the course we were on for another 20 or 30 years? We surely knew what outcome that would bring. Every political administration in power has tried to bring about small modifications to the health care system for two or three decades. For numerous reasons they were unsuccessful. At least now the Act gives us a chance at reforming a system we know was broken. It will need revision and modification, no doubt. It will need to be changed. But at least its a start. If we can build on this new beginning, maybe, we will reach a conclusion we all need and one we all can afford.

Before we dismiss the Act before it takes effect, let’s give it a chance to be successful. The system we came from had already failed. There was no hope in where we were. Let’s look forward and stop looking in the rear view mirror.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might start by looking at the tort law system. It probably cost the heart surgeon $150,000 for malpratice insurance. The objective of Obamacare is to provide health insurance to those who don't want to get health insurance. $17 T in debt and spending like there was no tomorrow has been tried by a number of countries. You really have to be uninformed not to see the plain, obvious facts when they are in the news month after month.