Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Healthcare Liberty Rights….

Personal healthcare is so; well, personal when it touches you as an individual.  It really lights the lights of protest and is ripe for sound bites.  The one that gets me a little edgy is the cry that individual rights are infringed with any plan that is related to health care and people should be allowed to make all their decisions unilaterally.  I have a sympathetic ear for such concerns but in reality there is a catch and it is likely you will not hear much about it because it sounds radical or uncaring. 

You hear a little piece of it when you read a boring spending statistic that Medicare spends the greatest amount of one person’s lifetime care costs in the last six months of life.  The tricky unknown in the formula is calculating exactly when your personal last six months of life begins.  Real boring stuff unless it is your life, a loved one or you are saddled with the payment policy to fund the spending.




Here is the unpopular point; when the person who unilaterally opted out of funding his/her share along the way arrives at a critical juncture they opt not to die and feel entitled to the most and best healthcare available.  In short, they just won’t die which is the authenticate outcome one should expect if there is not funding to handle their needs. 

This is predictably when the person’s desperation and panic shows through and asks for the “best you got”.  Who in America will deny that person care then even if they opted out of funding?  Our culture supports doing everything we can.  But when is the right time to discuss the cost of these personal decisions?  Can we expect our Congressional Teams to do what’s right? 


In history we have had such times when good folks were able to use the best talents of America to solve big problems.  I think one good example of this is after the American Revolution’s last shot was fired it took a full ten years to test how a confederation of states would operate in American with each state jealous of and protective of their respective sovereignty.  That is how we do it in America and many examples exist.

I decided to compose this in the summer of 2012 after three days of testimony before the US Supreme Court but before they ruled on the constitutionality of the issues.  Many of the programs identified with the 1930’s New Deal also underwent such reviews and some were indeed struck.  We shouldn’t be surprised either way this turns simply because this is the American way; a good read of American history demonstrates this is the way it has always been in our form of government.  I don’t expect that will change much in the future and I actually think that is the optimistic view.


To say that America has the best healthcare system in the world is simply untrue unless you attach many qualifying statements; it would be the same error as saying all members of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party believe and endorse everything about their party values when they clearly do not.  We don’t have any kind of system and we are just kidding ourselves thinking that way; healthcare people and organizations are just as American as any other industry in America.  This means that what we see as a system is a hodge-podge of conflicting payment systems, massaged regulations and laws operating within multiple jurisdictions driven by short-term public policy.  Everyone working in healthcare has an organization working on their behalf to protect their interests and relative distance from the money trough.


I don’t fear the result of sustaining or striking the issues before the Supreme Court; if they are sustained then the Americanized approach to Healthcare will be shaped over years based on experience and political will.  If struck, we may see a re-orientation to the approach but WE THE PEOPLE have had our taste of some of the improvements already and I am doubtful they will be removed from the landscape.  I am specially thinking of pre-existing conditions, portability and cancellation of coverage just when you most need it.  Well, I least I have my fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. June 28, 2012; Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping health care legislation Thursday in a narrow 5-4 ruling.

    Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which said that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to require people to have health care, but that other parts of the Constitution did.

    The court's ruling upheld the law's central provision -- a requirement that all people have health insurance.

    The importance of the decision cannot be overstated: It will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans, both in how they get medicine and health care, and also in vast, yet-unknown areas of "commerce."

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