A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that Americans know the problem with U.S. health care is cost rather than increased government involvement (translation: Medicare for All, Universal Health Care, Single Payer Health Care).
The government needs to listen (and so do any candidates for office), then empower and enforce transparency and accountability in order to achieve affordability and quality.
Not only do Americans know cost is the issue – the U.S. government’s record on practicing medicine without a license is nearing disaster on all fronts, which Jon Stewart’s recent plea for our 9-11 first responders pushed to the forefront for a media moment:
All of this is not lost on we Americans. We have to ask whose lame idea it was to have politicians and their academic policy advisors all illegally practicing medicine without a license in the first place!? In my book, Bill Please: Consumers Driving Health Care, I point out in detail how we all contributed to this fiasco – which also means that together we can all fix it. Could we create health care that operates like other industries and get the government out of all of it? I believe we could!
According to the KFF survey, Americans are laser focused on the rubber meeting the road: lowering prescription drug costs, continuing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and protecting people from surprise medical bills.
I’m a broken record on this – but besides keeping the government and academics (and insurers) from illegally practicing medicine without a license, take health insurance out of the equation for just one year, and health care would immediately get fixed. Why? Providers and pharmaceuticals would immediately have to look consumers directly in the eye with 100% transparency and accountability when presenting their prices. That’s, indeed, when the rubber would meet the road. No third-party payer to hide behind, no discount shell game. Game over!
In reality, many Americans depend on their health insurance – so how can we achieve this without sending health insurance on a one-year vacation? Demand your government representatives (and candidates) enforce the current consumer advocacy laws already in place, empower virtual care in under-served areas, and require price transparency and quality accountability – then let consumers shop.
Ashley Kirzinger, Bryan Wu and Mollyann Brodie, 4/24/19, “KFF Health Tracking Poll – April 2019: Surprise Medical Bills and Public’s View of the Supreme Court and Continuing Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions,” Kaiser Family Foundation, retrieved 6/18/19 from: https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kff-health-tracking-poll-april-2019/
Laura Hollis, 6/17/19, “Stewart Speech Shed Light on Larger Health Care Funding Problem,” The Boston Herald, retrieved 6/18/19 from: https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/06/14/stewart-speech-shed-light-on-larger-health-care-funding-problem/
Is anyone surprised about the federal judge in Texas ruling the entire health-care law unconstitutional? I’m not.
As I shared in my book Bill Please: Consumers Driving Health Care, this could be predicted due to the way the Affordable Care Act came to be. Victory at any cost cannot be the modus operandi in a fully functioning democracy. Consensus was never achieved in Congress. Further, our presidents are not authorized to either make or change laws – that’s what dictators do. Yet, at least the last three sitting presidents believe they can and have – unchecked. Why is this important? Our democracy is important. We are just checks and balances away from not having a democracy. If We the People don’t make certain these checks and balances are honored, we no longer have a democracy.
That’s the big picture here. As far as the Affordable Care Act goes, it is facing quite the legal quagmire and it will be interesting to see what happens next. As soon as the GOP succeeded in removing the individual mandate from the tax code, this was the plausible next legal move, nullifying the Supreme Court argument in the GOP’s first attempt to rule it unconstitutional that the individual mandate is a tax and that Congress has the power to authorize taxes. How about the Democrats and Republicans working together, in good faith, to come up with a health care solution that is best for all their constituents? That’s what we elected them to do. How about they focus on enabling us as consumers to take the wheel? How about they focus on the core issue -- unsustainable prices? This ought to be the message to our representatives in Congress.
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Serving Southern California: