Thursday, February 20, 2014

No. 32: More Comments from Readers about Universal Health Care

My blog post No. 12 is entitled "The Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act of 2013" and also mentions the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). My blog post No. 18 shows comments by a reader who opposes universal health care, a reader who supports it, and a prominent Republican who supports it. In response to No. 18, I received comments from two other readers. One of them is Reginald L. Jensen, CLU, ChFC (Eugene, Oregon). He said:
Single payer, universal health care, and socialized medicine are three names for the same thing. The movement is based on the idea that health care is a "right." It is also a movement with an eye on controlling a lot of money. One advocate of single payer is Lewin Group, an Optum company, which in turn is owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S.
No one has a "right" to the time, work product, knowledge, or services of another. One must do whatever necessary to receive the professional help of another. We can give a waiver to those who simply do not have the capacity to help themselves, but that would not be an advance from provider to recipient. There is an answer.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper's Clinic in Dallas conducted a study covering 20 years and over 7,000 participants to see whether moderate daily exercise would reduce health care costs. The result was that costs can be reduced by up to 50% for those who engage in 30 minutes of daily exercise five days a week. A 30-minute walk would do it. We could set up a health care plan where those who exercise would have medical costs covered 100%, but those who do not would have medical costs covered only up to the same average dollar amount incurred by exercisers, with the non-exercisers paying the balance. Those not capable of exercising could be included in the exerciser group.
The other reader is G. James Blatt, Jr., CLU (Pittsford, New York). He said:
Universal health care is an absolute right for all our citizens. The primary obstacle is the obscene compensation of health insurance executives. They neither save lives nor improve health outcomes, but simply pay bills. We are further hampered by the archaic notion that health care should be provided through employers. Now, with an expanding population of individuals who cannot find employment, emergency departments are providing more expensive health care than ever. At least the PPACA takes a swing at changing that situation.
Health care in the U.S. is manipulated by a cabal of self-interest: AMA-controlled access to medical education; overpaid health insurance executives; a revolving-door relationship between insurance regulators and insurance companies; the compensation awarded by mutual health insurance company directors to themselves and their executives; a broken tort system; a conflict-of-interest relationship with the best politicians money can buy; and a willing media that reports negative outcomes supposedly connected to universal health care in other countries.
The only solution that would bring sanity to this picture is a single payer system. We do not even need a mandate. Just give everyone access to Medicare. That would be a nuclear bomb for the fat cats mentioned above.