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Friday, May 5, 2017

Health care and capitalism?

I thought about titling this article "Why not capitalism?" The reason is that much of the problem in providing universal, affordable health care in America stems from the war of ideologies with capitalism and socialism at the extremes.

The utmost attention to the topic of health care in America is accompanied by legislative incompetence and continued public ignorance about what is happening. Here, I will attempt to set the record straight.

Principle #1: Shared among all citizens are particular needs, which begin with the foundation of necessity. 

What are the grounds of necessity?

  • food
  • shelter
  • health care
  • transportation

These things are essential to ensuring that no one lives in impoverishment and that every citizen has critical support to apply their ability to work to achieve self-sustainment.

When adults create children for which they do not have the means to help, it is the nation's responsibility to provide it and to assist individuals to optimize their abilities, including acquiring additional job skills and training.

Health care is one of the required foundational elements.

Principle #2: Citizens should pay for services based on their means.

Some citizens should pay nothing for health care, and wealthier persons should pay more.

Principle #3: Essentials such as health care should be delivered in the most cost-effective way possible.

Determining how health care should be administered and delivered is the question? Should it be a free market system or a socialized system? Should it be a mixed system of regulated health care? What is the role of government?

Until we citizens can express our ideas about this, and until elected representatives discuss the pros and cons openly and with transparency, there can be no trust in legislated outcomes.

At present, there is no clarity and insufficient testing of new legislation, and we can barely understand the Affordable Care Act.

Therefore, the first act of Congress is to answer the questions and explain their intentions.

"In Rare Unity, Hospitals, Doctors, and Insurers Criticize Health Bill 
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with the health and human services secretary, Tom Price, on Thursday. 
MAY 4, 2017 
It is a rare unifying moment. Hospitals, doctors, health insurers and some consumer groups, with few exceptions, are speaking with one voice and urging significant changes to the Republican health care legislation that passed the House on Thursday. 
The bill’s impact is wide-ranging, potentially affecting not only the millions who could lose coverage through deep cuts in Medicaid or no longer be able to afford to buy coverage in the state marketplaces. With states allowed to seek waivers from providing certain benefits, employers big and small could scale back what they pay for each year or reimpose lifetime limits on coverage. In particular, small businesses, some of which were strongly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, could be free to drop coverage with no penalty. 
The prospect of millions of people unable to afford coverage led to an outcry from the health care industry as well as consumer groups. They found an uncommon ally in some insurers, who rely heavily on Medicaid and Medicare as mainstays of their business and hope the Senate will be more receptive to their concerns. 
The New York Times

James George was former Affordable Care Act newswriter for CBS News and National Politics Examiner for Clarity Media.

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