Today I am coming back from a vacation and after canoeing, swimming, being with family and other things I am feeling a lot more healthy than I have been lately. That has me thinking about healthcare. I think that a lot of other people are probably thinking about the same topic these days.
This Post which is a bit parable and a bit bad joke was posted by me on Facebook on my 44th birthday on June 15, 2008. It is meant to suggest that we take a hard look at healthcare as many are doing. It is not meant suggest any solutions in and of itself.
It is my conclusion tthat 44 year old today enjoy many of the benefits and opportunities that 42 year old people enjoyed in my parents generation. A booming set of industries in abortion, stolen organs, cut drugs, insurance fraud, nursing home abuse and the pinching of legitimate first response and family care medical people forbodes dire things for some. But after years of careful study I feel that I have proven that because of medicine as it is, a 44 year old oday can live almost the same quality of life which a 42 year old enjoyed when my parents were that age. As a 44 year old how can I be anything but grateful.
In our hotter world as the idealist rural practitioner finishes his seven hours of paperwork to prepare for half an hour of patient contact, he feels unhappy. Two of last week’s patients who are admitted to the hospital received a mixture of laxatives and amphetamines when he prescribed antibiotics and the bank is foreclosing on his house. But he is being selfish. The evidence is all around him. His patients are all living people, could they be if modern medicine were not great?
As I wait to see him he is distracted by the news that the blood components he prescribed last week came from people murdered for body parts in a foreign country. However his professional limited partnership group assures him that this only happened because the regular suppy of blood components was contaminated by addicts to a new ilegal recreational drug which in turn was cut with five different poisons coming from the shadows of a new gang — possibly linked to Al Quaeda. He tries to report his concerns to a government public health line for physicians. After five attempts he hears the voicemail explaining that health is not really public and he should seek a free market solution to his problem. However he can call back on Tuesdays between 11:00 and 11:09 a.m. He comes out and looks at my file and talks to the Assistant Sub Vice Advisory Practical Nurse. This country doctor and I are old friends so he actually waves his stethothoscope in my direction. I leave the pink slip to my car with his receptionist and walk to the drug store, hoping the robbery will go well and they won’t notice the name on the prescription and be able to arrest me later. I thank goodness for the advances in medical science and our increased quality of life.
I have suggested a few policy points on Politico’s “Speak to Power”. These ideas are not being considered seriously so far as I know. However, I still believe in them and while I am sure this summary will differ from the other summary submitted to Congress it has many of the same ideals and ideas.
A Dozen Policy Points on Healthcare:
1.Medicare and S-CHIP programs should be mostly preserved. Medicaid should be reformed but not abolished.
2. Americans should each be allowed to join three or fewer family associations and pay in one percent of their taxable income tax dedudtibly to each and these should be able to buy health insurance, get loans and make investments in a structure designed by the government to address the Healthcare situation. One investment which would qualify for some Federal support would be a Community Clinic.
3. A National Wellness Agency should be established. One mil of all FICA revenues and small fee of say $1.00 collected from everyone entering the United States would be devoted exclusively to this NWA. The NWA would have various chartering regimes for Community Clinics being especially generous to those already existing in getting Agency approval.
4. The NWA would have a subagency devoted to collecting, inspecting and dating unused medicines from institutions and deceased persons and would distribute them to Community Clinics.
5. Every physician who received federal financial aid would be required to spend one day for every thousand dollars of Federal loans and five days for every thousand dollars of Federal grants working for an approved Community Clinic after basic medical school graduation and before any extended residency or specialty training. The National Wellness Agency would oversee this program.
6. The National Wellness Agency would receive a dedicated tax of one mil of every health and life insurance premium collected in the United States. This money would largely (but not exclusively) pay for a coordination program linking Community Clinics to school nurses, fitness centers, foodbanks, shelters, eldercare and daycare facilitites as well as other community institutions.
7. The Community Clinics would have hours reserved for only those invested in the clinic or owning cheap Community Clinic Insurance which would be available to all including fugitive felons and ilegal aliens on confidential basis. The Community Clinics would also charge a visit fee of five dollars and a file fee of twenty dollars per year to any one able to pay and not insured. Half of one percent of the revenues of each clinic would be paid to the National Wellness Agency. Insurance would be about ten dollars per household per month and would cover clinic fees if current.
8. The National Wellness Agency would also receive a small dedicated of perhaps one percent on all imported alcohol, tobacco, firearms and high performance recreational vehicles. These funds would be largely dedicated to the Volunteer Support Program. Meals and seminars would be provided where possible for Health and Medical Professionals volunteering at Community Clinics. The Clinics would keep track of hours and the volunteers would receive a check at the end of each year for the federal minimum wage or one fifth of their normal hourly rate of pay — whichever was less.
9. The National Wellness Agency would offer a lottery for tests, specialists and referals for all those holding Community Clinic insurance. The NWA would also interface with research instituions, charity hospitals and other players. These agencies would also be required to dedicate at least one percent of the value of Federal funds received to the network of deserving cases.
10. The National Wellness Agency would train community workers in churches, clubs and sports leagues and sponsor nutrition, hygiene and other programs. This activity would be paid for in large part by a one mil tax on the wholesale and a one percent tax on the reatil of all prescribed pharmaceuticals. These community workers would be trained to transport persons needing care to the Community Clinics. Clinics would work with other nonprofit organizations of all types to create medical transport with donated vehicles and other assets.
11. Emergency Rooms and Ambulances would be required to give some triage preference to those coming from Community Clinics over those coming from the open street.
12. Corporations which sponsored a Community Clinic would receive a Wellness Program Support Package from the NWA tied to their level of support.