What did I do again? I misread one of the questions Melanie posed in her Share Your World prompt yesterday. Her question was, “What is your opinion of the state of health care in your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”
I apparently had a brain fart and completely overlooked the “…of health care” part. So my answer was based upon “What is your opinion of the state of your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”
I realized my faux pas after reading the answers from other bloggers, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer Melanie’s actual question about the state of health care in my country.
I spent most of my working life in health insurance and in health care benefits administration software solutions. And I can say with some degree of knowledge that the American health care delivery system is a mess. It’s great if you are wealthy because you can afford arguably the best doctors and health care facilities in the world. But if you’re not wealthy, it’s adequate at best. And if you’re poor, good luck.
I was thrilled back in 2008 when Barrack Obama decided to push the Affordable Care act (aka Obamacare). The idea was to expand health coverage to tens of millions Americans who did not have access to health car and to mandate a minimum set of coverage requirements. Obama wanted to creat a single payer system that would not depend upon for-profit health insurance companies to underwrite and administrate the benefits.
Unfortunately, those same for-profit health insurance companies pushed back hard and vigorously lobbied the Republicans in Congress, and the only way Obama could push through the ACA was to fold on the single payer approach and agree to keep the insurance companies in the game.
The vote in Congress pretty much went by party lines, with almost all Republicans opposed to it. But the good news is that Obamacare passed and about 20 million Americans who previously didn’t have health benefits enrolled in ACA.
It’s been 11 years since Obamacare was passed and, despite numerous Republican efforts to repeal it, it’s still here. But I think what this country needs to improve health care coverage is to embrace a “Medicare-for-All” system. Medicare covers senior citizens and some who are on kidney dialysis. It’s great as far as it goes, but it offers no vision, dental, or hearing benefits. And most people under age 65 don’t qualify for Medicare.
So I say offer Medicare to all Americans, regardless of age, expand benefits to include, vision, dental, and hearing benefits, and move to a single payer system.