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Healthy Living and Medicare for All

Posted by Thomas Edwards on April 24, 2017 7:15 AM EDT
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An opinion piece by Catherine Rampell which was published in USA Today on April 19th, grabbed my attention-but not my heart, soul and mind.  She had it half-right and half-left....

...or shall I say that her opinion was compelling and well-written, but in my humble opinion, it was just not complete.

For those of you who would rather read her piece before reading my piece about her piece, here's a link to the piece online:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/04/19/rampell-appeal-medicare/100639156/

Now, I will say my piece...

After reading both Joe and Chip's recent blogs on this HealthETeams Support Group profile portal, in addition to Ms. Rampell's, I have to say that I think my buds, Joe and Chip, bested her in the logic area.  The discussion on all fronts tends to be about what is the best option for "health insurance reform".  Very little is said or written in the popular press about the notion of "health care reform"-even though pundits will use that phrase from time to time, what they really mean is "health insurance reform".

So until we rethink health care and provide meaningful incentives for the public to become better educated health care consumers and to also have better wellbeing there will not be optimal improvements in health insurance reform.  The public simply must embrace a healthy lifestyle culture and become more active physically, manage their diets and nutrition better and improve emotional well-being through better social relationships, more meaningful and financially rewarding work and more community engagement.

Obviously, this is easier said than done...

Here's the point, we must improve the quality of health care, reducing its cost through better diagnosis and procedures, and through smarter cost-efficient and quality-conscious consumers and then live healthier lives so we take demand out of the healthcare supply system.

Joe and Chip both have it right.  But here's a tactical tip...

Tally the dollars that are spent by employers and their employees, by Medicaid and Medicare, by the government through public health care grants and tax/income subsidies with Obamacare.  And then add in the ridiculous health insurance premiums paid by individuals who make too much money to get an ACA subsidy but not enough to pay the ridiculous rates of straight-up individual health insurance premiums.  I assure you that it will be a very big number...

Then divide this number by the population as a whole.  Use that number to buy Medicare for all.  And then let consumers and others who can afford more than a catastrophic plan purchase enhanced plans with whatever features that they want through the private marketplace.  But before you dust off your hands and claim "victory", offer an incentive for those who don't spend as much on health care as their premiums-give them their money back (a healthcare rebate).

Now that's an All-American idea...!

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