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Health care reform needed, but is Obamacare the right remedy?
By DONNIE JOHNSON
The U.S. Supreme Court may render its decision on Obamacare as early as Monday. In my opinion, if the high court rules that forcing Americans to buy health care insurance is constitutional, then we are in big trouble.
Health care insurance is a product and for the government to require its citizens to buy any specific product is so far removed from what our Founding Fathers believed that the framers of the Constitution would roll over in their graves if they knew what was going on.
To face legal action if we don’t buy a government-prescribed product is absurd —and frightening. Surely the Supreme Court will see that.
To tell Catholic institutions that they must provide free birth control to employees is also ludicrous. Remember that deal about the separation of church and state? Like many other things in modern society, that seems to go only in one direction.
There are two aspects of Obamacare that are good. Children should never be denied access to health care, and those who move from one job (and insurance policy) to another should not be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
But other than those two rules, I cannot see much merit in the plan.
Health care reform was supposed to be President Barack Obama’s crowning achievement. It may well turn out to be his undoing.
A few weeks ago, the president was quoted as saying that he needed a second term to rethink his health care plan. That may have cost him my vote.
If you are elected to the highest office in the land, you can’t waver back and forth on issues, especially one that you fought long and hard to put in place. And you certainly can’t hint that you got it wrong the first time, but you’ll try to get it right if re-elected. If Obama wasn’t sure about his plan, maybe he should have waited. That seems like it would have been the prudent thing to do.
Don’t get me wrong. Health care reform is badly needed, but it is the doctors and the hospitals and the lawyers (who salivate over malpractice cases) that need reining in.
Health care costs have skyrocketed during the past 25 years and there is no end in sight. For some people, monthly health care insurance premiums are higher than mortgage payments. That can’t continue.
Health care costs are part of a vicious cycle. The doctors and hospitals will find some way to get the maximum allowable dollars from the insurance company, and the insurance companies will keep raising that maximum to appease the doctors and the hospitals. Unfortunately, the patient is caught right in the middle.
It is no secret that hospitals will toss patients out when insurance benefits run out, and physical therapists will declare you healed when the insurance company will no longer pay for visits. I’ve seen it happen numerous times.
How do you change this situation? I really don’t know. And neither does Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or even the irrepressible Ron Paul.
I only know that if health care costs are not brought under control, it may destroy the medical industry in the same way that escalating college tuition costs are threatening higher education.
The best solution seems to be a national health care system such as exists in most advanced countries. No, such programs are not perfect, but under them you don’t have to worry about losing your home if you get sick.
We already have such a system in place and it works extremely well. It is called the military medical program. Military personnel and veterans get access to some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world and it is all paid for by the government.
Military doctors don’t make a fortune, yet they perform at the highest levels. If it is not all about money, private-sector doctors and hospitals should have no problem with a military-style national health care system.
We will have to wait until the Supreme Courts rules on Obamacare to determine what the next step should be. But when it comes to health care costs and coverage, something has to be done.