1. Ron

    “Our healthcare system is not only unaffordable, but we can’t even have intelligent discussions about it.”

    This might be lengthy, but needs to be said so people have a better understanding of the problem. I would appreciate you researching this and maybe writing a more detailed description than I can.

    I believe you can find where Truman’s healthcare proposals were undermined by the workers unions. The unions after WW2 had there most influence in the form of benefits, with wages just behind. And one of those benefits was getting companies to begin offering health insurance. Fast forward 20 years and a large portion of employed individuals had health insurance except the elderly and poor. So the government proposed Medicare and Medicaid and unions had no involvement in those, so they passed. Government would pay providers basically what it cost to provide care. Great said the providers, 40%-50% of our business is cost based. so we can buy anything new and improved and the government will pass through the cost. Why should we care about cost? Except 15 years later government was paying too much, so they began to cut back and now the cost had to be covered by someone. That happened to be the employer based products. In come managed care, cuts reimbursement for employers and the ones left was the private pay insurances coverage and self pay. Along the way, there were nurse shortages and other healthcare worker shortages. Today, doctors in the USA make 50% to 75% more than in the UK. Nurses make about 40K, while in the USA they make 60K average, Pharmacist in the UK make 50% to 75% of what is paid in the USA. And then take into consideration the insurance company profits and the managed care company profits.

    So now the UK and other one payer nations have their healthcare systems and providers under one umbrella. Doctors, nurses, Pharmacist, Lab workers, Radiology Techs, etc all work for the government and the government sets wages. Not so in the USA. No insurance company profits in the UK. Not so in the USA.

    A single payer system will not work unless all individuals involved with the care of people are aligned both fiscally and professionally. When nurses demand higher wages, doctors demand higher wages, insurance company demand higher profits, our cost are going to be much higher than in the UK or any other system where the government controls the delivery of health care.

    People do not understand the intricacies of how everything in healthcare is intertwined and how one segment of the system being out of alignment will screw up the whole system.

    Had it not been for unions during the Truman administration, we most likely would have a UK form of healthcare system where everyone is an employee of the national health system and everyone’s outcomes are patient oriented and not income oriented.

  2. Ron

    Please look deeper into this issue to educate yourself and then tell your readers what you found. Remember, other countries with a national plan have had these systems for years, so they are all aligned with one issue in mind, patients! So today in america, how do we take multiple groups and bring them together to focus on patients and not profit or personal income. How do we convince a cardiac surgeon $200,000 is income that he/she can live on instead of $500,000. How do we get nurses to freeze wages for 5 years to help reduce cost. How do we transition to Medicare for all, absorb thousands unemployed by layoffs in insurance companies no longer selling and processing insurance claims. How do we absorb the massive sell off in the stock market when United Healthcare and others no longer are in business. And how do we reduce the government red tape to eliminate the millions required to bring new drugs to market?.

    Our system is messed up, but just a one payer system will not fix the system, it will just reduce quality as no one in the system wants to give up something. A one layer system will just reduce payments to providers and the way to stay in business is to cut cost. And right now, those are “quality” related.

  3. Matthew Holden

    Eric Hoffer would completely understand Donald Trump’s populist movement today. Hoffer neatly explained how movements such as this take root. Unfortunately the solutions to such problems are left to those who follow. People like Dr. Abraham help us search for the answers in a kind, compassionate and thoughtful manner. Thanks Joe.

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