The health care debacle

Health care has become the buzz words of the day. Talks, gallons of ink, sweat and tears have all been employed to work on the issue. But, there is yet to be any satisfactory result.
It was one reason the country elected Donald Trump president. Most were unhappy with the Affordable Health Care Act and wanted it repealed and replaced. It was placing a burden on many citizens, yours truly included. There are some stories here and there, of people who were helped but those are few and far in between. The majority were negatively impacted.
One reason Congress can’t get it together, is they do not have to use the AHCA insurance. If they were required to do so, we would be seeing a different scenario and may even already have had a new system in place. Another problem is we have too many special interest goats who could care less about the actual people who get the health care and more so about how much money it will put in their pocket and who else they can get to scratch their backs. Republicans and Democrats have made it into a “party” thing and are against anything the other party proposes. Therefore, getting anything done has turned into a complicated nightmare.
It doesn’t have to be that way if everyone would take off their boxing gloves and determine they are going to do what’s good for the whole and it doesn’t matter what happened in the past or who got what, but just do what’s in the best interest of the people who elected them as a whole.
First of all health care should be patient centered. What we have today is more pharmaceutical, doctor and insurance centered. Neither of those are the ones who are sick and seeking treatment.
It should not be mandated for everyone either. Not everyone wants the government, nor their insurance company to dictate their health care choice.
Let’s face it. Health care costs too much and those costs are out of control. I’ve heard nothing so far that would decrease those costs.
As a nation based on freedom, we should be free to choose which doctor we see, even if he or she is not on some insurance plan list.
I believe in treating the patient as a whole and trying to find the cause of a health problem, not just throwing drugs at it which only treat the symptom and sometimes even make the person sicker in other areas. Therefore, I want to see an integrative health care doctor who treats the cause, not the symptoms. My insurance, however, will not pay for such doctors, nor the tests that are needed to get to the root cause of health issues.
We are paying exorbitant health insurance costs and therefore I feel it should be my choice on doctors, regardless of the specialty. You see, I want to be in charge of my health care not some bureaucracy.
Patients need to be informed and be able to communicate with a doctor who will listen. They need to understand that most medicines will never cure their health issues, only treat the symptoms and that they will have to be on them the rest of their lives. Doctors need to be more proactive in getting their patients to take better care of themselves and to explore health care options. Many patients don’t understand they have options and aren’t told they do and so they don’t ask questions. Patients should have as much information about health care as consumers they have about the products they buy.
There is not one size fits all when it comes to health care. Health issues for men and women as well as people of different nationalities, is different for each person. Those differences need to be recognized in health care and treatment pursued accordingly.
There should be a unified team approach to health care. You are sent to different specialty doctors for various ailments and most of the time there is no coordination between them at all from start to finish of an illness or treatment. Care delivery should treat the whole patient and not just the disease.
A patient’s health care data should belong to them, not monetized by the hospital. When a doctor feels a test is warranted but has to go through several tests because of insurance requirements and ends up costing more in the end, something is wrong. Why just not go to the test the doctor feels is the best for the patient to get a desired result?
Health care value should be maximized for patients — in other words achieving the best outcome at the lowest cost possible.
All of this will require that everyone work together beginning with the patient being armed with knowledge and doctors who want patients to get better not sicker from only treating symptoms. It also means dropping the mindset that profits are more important than the health of the patient. When you do not improve the quality of life for a patient, to me that is a failure. Access to health care that is below standard is not acceptable. A single fee for service may help in reducing costs but does not necessarily improve the value of that service to the patient.
We should reward those doctors who strive to educate patients and work toward improving the quality of their patients lives as well as fixing the problem, not just treating symptoms.
The voters have spoken — they want AHCA repealed and replaced. Congress needs to quit the name calling and back biting and get serious about giving the American people what they need — lower health care costs with quality care.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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