CareTrek Support Group

Support
  • 440 Monticello Avenue, Suite 100
  • Norfolk, VA
  • 23510
  • (757) 985-3624
PUBLIC PROFILE

Medicare Expansion in Democratic Candidate Debates Misses Point

Posted by Thomas Edwards on August 9, 2019 9:50 AM EDT
Thomas  Edwards photo

Interesting "Other Views" op-ed piece by the former publisher of The Daily Press casts a conservative light......

...on the issue of Medicare for All topic that was heavily bantered about in the Democratic Presidential candidates debates a week or so ago.

Former publisher, Digby Solomon, who is a frequent contributor to op-ed pieces in The Virginian-Pilot, wrote an interesting opinion titled "Medicare's expansion will come with a cost".  It was published in the Other Views column on the editorial page in this past Wednesday's edition of The Virginian-Pilot.

Characteristically, the opinion again focused on the supply side, with a nod to the impact on healthcare system demand due to prices being lowered dramatically if a "Medicare for All" model were adopted or put into effect as all the Democratic candidates proposed.  Mr. Solomon argues the point that the impact in increased demand and volume into the American healthcare system would be untenable, citing common examples from the Canadian and UK healthcare systems' responses which have been to ration healthcare and to impose stiffer limits and judgments on allowable healthcare based on the concept of a system of gateway entities determining allowable care under the "moniker to ration called "limited clinical value".  

He further cites the impact in long wait times, citing:  "The strain on resources has led to increased wait times even for critical illnesses:  Nearly a quarter of cancer patients have to wait more than the recommended two months to begin treatment".  This argument, of course, has been cited many times by the opposing Republican or conservative perspective.  

Fear and uncertainty often drive lack of action.  

Make no mistake, I'm not in disagreement or in support of Digby Solomon's point of view.  Nor would I make the mistake of challenging him in a side debate.  In fact, I very much think his perspective is right.  Just as I suggest that the liberal view of a more centralized system may also we worth considering.  A "death panel" threat conjures up all sorts of images, most of which nobody wants to consider.

The point in my blog today isn't to case dispersions on Mr. Solomon's argument or to support the liberal view either.  What I do suggest, which we as a blogging trio has suggested on other occasions in this space, is that solving for improving the cost/quality/value dimension of the American healthcare system still ignores that fact that the American population is increasingly becoming more unhealthy.  And interestingly, many of the chronic illnesses that can be reduced are amongst the portion of the American population that benefits from government-sponsored or subsidized health insurance through Medicare, TriCare, Medicaid, etc.  

Until we build policies, programs and efforts tied to driving population health improvements that reduce demand on the American health care system, the problem will not be reduced.  Why can we as a people not see that rewarding healthy behavior, reductions in health care system claims and reinvesting the savings into more research is a better focus for the future?

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Promotions

  • Try CareTrek for $99
    Sign up and Enroll First Employee
    The first step in recovery journey
    CareTrek Support Group - (Norfolk VA 23510)

Recent Posts

Working Well into the "Golden Years"
We know from Gallup Inc.'s research published in their book, "The Five Essentials of Wellbeing",...
read more
"The Golden Years"-Let's HOPE So!
Continuing on the theme of aging, I offer this thought. Every year, my birthday happens to fall...
read more
"Medicare for All" Still Misses Key Point
After having written a few blog postings in the past where I have opined about the.....
read more
Veteran's Day 2019: Time For Meaningful Thanks-and Action- For Our Veterans
We are blessed to live in the United States, the home of the brave and the land of the free. And...
read more
Long Term Care Crisis: A Big Innovation Opportunity?
Recent blog postings by our team and much research suggest that the issues that have emerged due to...
read more
Lessons from Experience: Ageless Wisdom
The recent series of blog postings by our team made me think about the value of capturing...
read more
AARP is Helping Caregivers in Virginia and Across the Country
According to printed material and a press release by the AARP, there are over 1.7 million caregivers...
read more
Looming Retirement Crisis-Can Social Security Become More Secure?
Thomas' recent blog on the impact of the aging population and its negative impact on the long term...
read more
Long Term Care: Next Healthcare Crisis?
The growing baby boomer demographic group, its poor preparation for retirement and the continuing...
read more
Engaging Employers: Solving the Opioid Crisis in Virginia
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend two terrific programs on the same day at the same...
read more

Go to blog