The Norman Transcript

Columns

October 9, 2012

Dismal care outcomes, causes and cures

(Continued)

NORMAN —

They report eight of the worse recent “pants on fire’ lies as the following: It finances abortion, it did and still contains death panels, it will end Medicare as we know it, it will end our present employer plans, it will cost 20 million jobs, it is the biggest tax increase ever and it amounts to a complete government take-over — all complete lies and fabrications but, sadly, commonly believed.

Our country and its citizens pay a huge price for not reforming our present for-profit and broken health system. U.S. News and others news sources report sharply rising medical costs, meaning that our employer-based plans are becoming increasingly more expensive, have increasing higher co-payments and are paying increasingly less for medical procedures.

American companies are less competitive in the global market, largely due to our high health care costs and increased health care costs in our associated archaic employer-based workers compensation system. It is not commonly known, or it is misunderstood by most citizens, that American workers are paid significantly less than their counterparts in other modern-world countries. This pay difference is primarily due to the same reason — the exorbitant health care costs for their employers.

Our doctors are currently crushed by rising malpractice insurance costs. Such costs are not faced by their counterparts in countries with government-based health systems. So-called tort reform only modifies the symptoms, while creating injustices and other problems. Our older workers are finding difficulty retaining and regaining employment, due to employers’ reluctance to shoulder the greater risk that older workers might have for health-related problems. Older citizens in other countries do not face this problem, or at least not for this same reason.

It is not my contention that our current health care reform law will solve most of the above problems, being that it consists mainly of items that are warmed-over versions of 1990s Republican health care proposals and of Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law. However, it is a small step in the right direction and would have tragic consequences if legislatively overturned.

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