Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Are We Further Away or Getting Closer to Figuring Out Health Care in America?

It appears that after many decades debating health care, insurance, and all the costs involved with medicine and doctoring and all the legislation to subsidize drug-making and drug-dispensing, we are inching closer and closer to the basics behind all these issues. Or are we?

Getting medical care when needed and paying for insurance, in America, can be a mammoth undertaking.

And it's pretty sad and utterly short-sighted to hear Tennessee's new governor, Bill Haslam, offer this comment regarding the current health care law approved by Congress:

Our goal should be advocating for an approach that embraces healthy choices and personal responsibility and accountability for a healthy lifestyle."

So ... if he is right, then why do we even allow doctors and hospitals to operate?

We're all on our own, and if we make a decision or take an action, or by inaction allow for some illness or sickness to take hold of us, then each of us should just find some way to cope with it. After all, being in a human and an inherently decaying and injury-prone body, we must expect it to fall apart eventually. So, don't expect me to help you out since I'm planning on being self-sufficient.

If you seek zero government involvement in health care, then eliminate medical licenses and prescriptions and drug-testing, and we'll each just do our best, on our own to figure out why we are ill and how we can get better.

That's certainly an option and a direction our society could take.

Or maybe, using the idea of group involvement through insurance to help cover the costs, one could find a group to be a part of which will provide medical insurance at a lower cost. How about a group made of people who are your age, weight, height and eye color who also work at the same type of job? Or why not make the group really, really large - say, everyone who has a birth certificate in America?

Regardless of age or job or any "lifestyle choice", everyone would be in one group - would that make insurance premiums available at a low cost? Or will insurance companies and health care providers raise their prices so they don't have to alter their income levels?

It appears there are some mighty complex basic issues left to resolve. And we, in America, still have a long way to go before such resolution is to be found.

A discussion of Governor Haslam's ideas at KnoxViews.

Some ideas from Dr. Paul Hochfield


  1. Richard Cook10:08 AM

    It seems, to me, that you took Gov. Haslam's comment to an illogical conclusion.
    Ask any doctor what four things a patient could do that would transform heath care in America.

    1. Don't smoke

    2.) Drink in moderation

    3.) Exercise 150 minutes each week where your heart rate rises to 60% to 75% of its maximum.

    4.) Restrict your caloric intake so your body mass index is between 18% to 25%.

    Government doesn't have to enact a single law to make this happen. Nothing.

    As Rousseau wrote, "liberty is not license." We have a responsibility as individuals to the group.

    Those four small things could dramatically change our health care system.

  2. yes, if one could afford a doctor visit for such advice, that would be fine.

    and if Gov. Haslam made his comments to promote a healthy Tennessee project - but he wasn't. that comment was his view of the health care act approved by Congress, and it sort of implies that seeking medical help is a choice and not an eventual necessity.

    don't misunderstand, i am not completely happy with the law approved by Congress - it has many flaws. i continue to think that as long as health care is viewed as a for-profit business, then the costs of care and/or insurance will soon consume the bulk of our income.

    a person could have the healthiest lifestyle imaginable and still could come to great harm from an accident or simply from the ravages of aging - should the cost of medical care forever leave the person in debt?