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PUBLIC PROFILE

Are VA Problems A View into the Chaos that Would be "Medicare for All"

Posted by Thomas Edwards on September 17, 2019 10:00 AM EDT
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In our blog posts, we (Joe, Chip and I) try to stay away from the heavy politicized angles that are often overly covered in major news and often are not the solution that drives change....

....and massive new ways of solving problems or capitalizing on new opportunities.  In this profile, we tend to focus on topics that feature new and novel approaches and innovations that can improve the lives of people, whether those be related to physical wellbeing, career wellbeing, financial wellbeing, social wellbeing and/or community wellbeing.

My tendency is to try to "stay in my lane" of expertise as a management consultant.  That usually means that when it comes to innovation or breakthrough new ideas for improving population health, or resolving retirement crisis issues, or substance use disorder and recovery in general, my angle tends to be how can large organizations or businesses as employers influence the socio-economic fabric underneath such issues.

However.....

Joe often defers to or integrates into his blogs, op-ed pieces from newspapers or online news outlets or from interesting books he's read that open an idea or two or three, for improving some sort of huge socio-economic issue.  And, of course, he like the other two of us has a bias to population health improvement as a default priority socio-economic issue.

So, we tend to only use the political angle or governmentally-driven solution as a context for making our point that there could be other ways that are better.  And that is my purpose in my blog posting today.  The "Medicare for All" argument serves as a great platform for arguing the point that governmental intervention, oversight or management is not the best solution, even though this crosses the line of avoiding political arguments.

So, in accordance with our loose policy of not over-focusing on political solutions, I wanted to reprint and attach a "letter to the editor" that ran recently in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper that does a great job of suggesting why "Medicare for All" isn't the solution for our country's healthcare woes.  Because he does such a good job of articulating the case against a government-controlled solution and because we three bloggers prefer to not opine on political matters entirely, then I let the "letter to the editor" author Allen Floyd make his case by reprinting his letter to the editor below.

So, here goes:

"VA still has problems"

"If you think Medicare for all is a good idea, just ask a veteran how they lie government-run health care.  My wife has been suffering with crippling abdominal pain since December. When she goes to the emergency room, they give her a shot and set gets three hours of relief."

"She has had X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans and ultrasounds.  Nine months have gone by and nothing.  They refuse to refer her forVeterans Choice; the patient advocate will not return our calls.  Our newly-elected congresswoman, Elaine Luria, will not answer my letters.  I have written to President Donald Trump, with no reply."

"Nobody cares."

"We had a friend who had similar symptoms and who fours months later was dead of pancreatic cancer.  You can't get an appointment.  You can't even get a return phone call.  I hear Trump say on television that he fixed the WA.  Malarkey!"

"Having health insurance is not the same as getting health care.  So ask a veteran and be careful what you wish for.  Medicare works now.  It will work for no one if you add 50 million more patients and 500 doctors."

"Written by Allen Floyd, Virginia Beach"

So, there you go.....while the letter to the editor does not suggest the ultimate solution or sets of solutions, it does make a powerful, first-hand case that Medicare for All IS NOT THE SOLUTION-especially if it mirrors the problems that currently plague the VA system.

So, we will just have to keep digging to find a better way to better physical and emotional wellbeing.....

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