Healthcare reform in Washington is a hot topic this year, as anyone who watches even a scrap of news will already know. Unfortunately, though, healthcare reform is not actually being discussed. They are talking about the same old system of medicine that is not serving us well; the United Stateshas by far the most expensive medical system in the world but rank only 39th in performance.[1. World Health Organization 2000 Report http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/print.html] What is being discussed is insurance reform. While this is a good idea, it does not address the cause of the problem.
As you have probably heard, the projected costs for these new “disease-care” plans are in the trillions of dollars. So now we are attempting to find new ways to pay for these plans. None of these will likely be effective. A recent New York Times article reviewed the options for paying for this system:[2. The Work-up: Obama and Congress Clash on How to Pay for Health Care. New York Times, June 25, 2009.]
- Decrease the amounts Medicare pays hospitals and doctors
- Tax employer-provided insurance plans
- Limit income deductions for high-earners
Medicare already pays primary care doctors really low rates. Many doctors have already dropped Medicare as it is not worth seeing patients for such low reimbursement. Lowering the rate lower will cause even more doctors to stop accepting Medicare. That would result in a poorer Medicare system and cause problems collecting money to pay for the new healthcare plan.
Taxing employer-provided insurance plans will decrease the number of employers who can afford to offer medical benefits. That will effectively decrease the amount of tax revenue able to be collected from that source and increase the number of uninsured. That will increase the burden on any national healthcare program. I do not see how this could work
Limiting income deductions for high-earners could possibly work. But that segment of the population has historically been very adept at maneuvering the tax world to their advantage. Often this has resulted in tax increases yielding lower tax revenue. This is well beyond my understanding of taxes and economics so I do not know if that is true.
The truth is we need real healthcare reform that will decrease the cost of healthcare while increasing the performance of the system. True preventive care using natural medicine is the best way of doing that. I must admit that I am a bit biased here. When people learn how to take care of themselves and get the guidance and encouragement necessary to make healthy choices, people get heart disease, diabetes, and cancers far less. This is a complex topic that I am addressing in an article in the September issue of the New Life Journal. I will post that article after it is published.
I am about to start the planning of a community healthcare program. This would consist of practical and hands-on monthly classes, group cleanses, exercise programs, herb walks, cooking classes, and weekend retreats. I need feedback about this. Please contact me to let me know if you are interested in this sort of program, suggestions that you may have, etc.