Higher Taxes or System Reform?

Now that election year is drawing near, we see Democratic candidates making an issue of medical care. There is no question that state and Federally funded medical care is needed for the disabled and seniors after retirement but what about the rest of us? The costs of medical care for the average citizen are out of control and unaffordable to millions, including myself. People are forced to settle for HMO plans that do not provide them with acceptable and satisfactory health care options, or use their health plan at work which often require a high co-pay and are a huge expense to their employer which only adds to the cost of goods. The root of the problem is that medical costs are simply too high in America and it doesn't have to be that way.

It is not the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide health care, or to pay for it with taxpayer's money. It should be the responsibility of the Federal Government to pass laws that will assure affordable health care for everyone. So how do they do that and still maintain the medical system we have? The answer is; they don't. The existing medical system is way too expensive and too much money is being wasted on things we don't need yet continue to pay for. We make health care affordable by eliminating those expenses which do not contribute to quality health care.

The first thing that has to go is "malpractice lawsuits". These account for nearly half of our medical expenses and we don't need them. Doctors and hospitals pay over one third of their income to insurance companies for malpractice insurance policies and that expense could be easily eliminated altogether with a change in the laws. Doctors take a medical oath and should also have to practice in accordance with a medial code that would assure their integrity and competence. If that code is violated then they should have their license suspended for a period of time and/or be charged with a crime depending on the seriousness of the violation. In this way, doctors would be policed by the law instead of by lawyers. Malpractice premiums would be eliminated and medical costs would be drastically reduced.

Because of the threat of malpractice lawsuits, patients are now required to submit to, and pay for, huge batteries of medical test before being treated by doctors who can't afford to take any chances. If they are sued, they will need the results of all these tests, and the expense of hiring a lawyer just to defend themselves. Just more medical expenses that we have to pay for in our medical costs not to mention the profits made by the insurance companies, again at our expense.

We don't need to be spending money on medical research for things like "cloning" except where it relates to finding cures for diseases. We don't need to be spending millions of dollars on research to make people live longer and try to defeat the natural life cycle. Some researchers are trying to find ways to keep people alive forever and doing it at our expense. If people live forever, where are we going to put them all while new babies are being born everyday? Take your time on Earth, then get out of the way to make room for others. Nor should we be spending money on keeping unconscious people with no hope of recovery alive with machines after their natural body functions have failed. These things just add more to our medical costs and do nothing to improve the quality of life for anyone. The medical industry doesn't want to let anyone die when their time comes because the dead don't produce income to the industry. As long as they keep them alive they get payed for it.

Americans, in many cases, pay ten times what medical drugs are worth just so that the pharmaceutical makers can sell their products cheap in other countries and we have to pay the difference. The more sales the more profit, even if they sell to customers who can't afford their prices as long as they can overcharge us to make up the difference. They don't have to sell their drugs in these countries, customers there could purchase them from local sources, but our drug makers want a share of their business too and have to sell at their prices to compete. Another example of medical costs to Americans that could be drastically reduced.

Highly expensive cutting edge medical equipment is nice for the few who actually use it but they don't pay for it, we do. As long as the medical industry has unlimited funds they will continue to spend them on allot of equipment engineering and development that few will benefit from. More expenses that we all pay for but the vast majority of us will never use. What ever happened to doctor's abilities to diagnose illnesses without the need for expensive, high tech equipment? Are medical schools teaching students to become doctors or machine operators?

A portion of our federal budget will have to be spent on health care for those who qualify for Medicare and federal assistance but should we have to pay for the health care of illegal aliens who violate our borders and don't belong in this country to begin with? To me, this is an outrage, that Mexicans in our country illegally can get health care for free when I can't even get it at an affordable price, yet you and I both have to pay for it with our taxes. Stop offering free health care to illegal aliens and that will help to reduce the cost of health care for you and me. There is no such thing as "free" in America. Everything has to be payed for by someone and those of us who pay have to pick up the tab for those who don't.

I'm sure there are many more examples of medical reform that would make medical care for Americans affordable but I'm not a medical expert. I do believe that what I suggest here, could easily eliminate at least half of the costs that we have to pay for our basic right to medical care. Don't let the Democrats convince you that our federal government should be paying for more medical care for citizens because that will only make the problem worse and drive costs even higher. You will end up paying for it in higher taxes, a greater Federal defecit, and more government control over your medical care. The solution to the problem is to reduce the unnecessary costs of medical care with intelligent legislation, not encourage and cater to them with our tax money. The Federal Government is in the business of making laws, not the business of providing medical care which should be left to the private sector with proper government supervision.