I wrote this blog after some deep thought about President Trump’s speech, the future implications, and where we are going in health care:
I listened to the State of the Union Address last night by President Trump not knowing quite what to expect. Was it going to be a reality show or was it going to be a true roadmap to the future of the United States? Of course, I was especially focused on his comments about health care. I was not disappointed. It was a good start.
“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated”, he began. Well, maybe, Mr. President. My readers and I already know that. Patients surely know that. Last time I checked, health care was almost 20% of our nation’s Gross National Product. And anyone who even thinks he/she has it figured out is probably delusional. But I got past that as he continued to outline some concrete steps toward his new plan:
He reemphasized the need to eliminate the pre-existing conditions exclusion. That must be maintained as many Americans could be denied coverage at the times they most need it… and many have contributed over the years to health care insurance that they never had to use. In the time of need, health care coverage must be there.
He emphasized a smooth and stable transition into the new system.
He mentioned the importance of helping Americans purchase their own coverage through the better use of HSA’s and other vehicles. Increased consumer flexibility can most efficiently purchase the type of insurance that best applies to the individual person.
He advocated the importance of state flexibility with the issue of Medicaid expansion. Many states have struggled with this very important issue and we must get appropriate resolution in all 50 states.
He talked about legal reforms to reduce unnecessary medical costs.
And he once again talked about interstate competition amongst insurance companies so that the individual consumer would have the benefit of the increased competition.
But there’s much more that needs to be discussed. There needs to be hard work done to decrease overall health care costs. That number is the silent “blood pressure” in medicine that can cause catastrophic results down the road if not contained. The appropriate benefit structures must be better determined. And I could go on and on.
Gone are the days, thank God, of “Repeal and Replace Obamacare on day One”!! President Trump appealed to both sides of the aisle to work together. Yes!
To regurgitate an old “Hillary-ism”, it’s now time to for both parties to hit the re-set button.
Let’s get real and face a fact: Every one of us is either a present or a future patient. We will all ultimately be receiving care of in the system that we presently designing.
Let’s acknowledge, republican or democrat, we are all in the same boat. “Taking a knee” and not standing up in support of the future of health care is NOT an option.
More than ever, we need to come together as Americans and do the right thing for our health. Even Winston Churchill said many years ago: “Americans will always do the right thing… after, they have exhausted every other possibility.”
I mentioned in an earlier post the importance of applying the time-honored principle of “Tincture of Time”. We do not have a lot of time, but we NEED some time to let cooler heads prevail. Doing something rash to an industry that represents 20% of the GNP could be disastrous to our economy, not to mention what it would do to individual patients.
I very much look forward to what will be happening over the next few months. It’s time for all Americans, republican or democrat, to come together “in sickness and in health”, or we may be left with “till death do we part”.