Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Single-Payer Healthcare

              If you’re like me you probably know little of the Single-Payer Healthcare. Heard of it? Yes. But beyond that, very little. After some of what I’ve been reading of late, I obviously need to pay more attention.

Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity—a government run organization—would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs. (PNHP – Physicians for a National Health Program - www.pnhp.org/facts/what-is-single-payer)

“I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is, unless you have what is called a single-payer system in which everyone is automatically covered, you’re probably not going to reach every single individual.” President Barack Obama, July 22, 2009.

So, is Single-Payer something you should know about? I hope to shout! This is the direction our government is taking us. ObamaCare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, is the vehicle being used to get us there. I’m convinced that the obvious conclusion to ObamaCare is the collapse of the medical system we currently have in place because the government will not be able to sustain it. Just look at the mess people are facing simply trying to sign up through the Internet website! Single-Payer would eliminate all current medical insurance programs. In its place would be one governmental agency that would handle every single Americans medical records and the decisions that would be made regarding your health care. Such a system might sound easier to manage and oversee than the present system which is problematic in its own right. However, there are a few things that are very troubling to me in such as system as Single-Payer.

First, we the people are being forced by the government to enroll in some sort of medical program. There is no other option available. This is contrary to the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Americans should not be required to pay for something that they do not want – in this case government healthcare. Someone might argue that we are required by the government to obtain a drivers license to drive a motor vehicle. That’s true. But you are not required to drive a vehicle.

Second, can you show me one government agency that has been run effectively and efficiently? I would suggest that the military does a somewhat respectable job of it in the area of recruitment and producing warfighters. But not much beyond that. Having worked on the electronic components of jets during my time in the Marine Corps, I witnessed first-hand the rampant waste and abuse in the purchasing of parts. Simple items such as nuts and bolts were exorbitantly priced through government contractors which cost pennies on the dollar in town.

Third, a government run operation overseeing my medical care will have non-medical people making decisions about what I can and can’t have when it comes to treatment for illnesses and life-threatening conditions. Such decisions will be driven by the bottom-line. So, if the person reviewing my record sees that I am 65 and need a another stent put in my heart, he may think I’m already in the senior citizen category so it would be a waste of money to pay for such an expensive procedure.

Lest you believe I’m being paranoid in my thinking, or simply misinformed, ask yourself this question: Why do so many Canadians who pay into a single-payer system travel across the border into the United States to receive medical procedures in our hospitals? Aren’t those same procedures available in their hospitals? Yes. But – and this is a big But – to receive such a procedure may mean the person waits 18 months or more before they can be treated. If it is life-threatening, you might not make it. Same is true in England.

Last week we were visited by a former foreign-exchange student from Brazil who is now a medical doctor. I had a discussion with her about Brazil’s socialistic medical system. I asked her how it was working. Ummm, not so good, apparently. She said the whole system is going broke because it simply costs too much.

That, my friends, is the trouble with where were heading. ObamaCare and/or Single-Payer Healthcare will be a cash cow for the government which will spend it on other programs just as they have with Social Security.

Our healthcare system needs to be changed, but ObamaCare is not the answer, nor is Single-Payer. Remember this in next year’s elections, and especially in the presidential election in 2016.

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