Private Healthcare, Single Payer, Medicare for All, Socialized Medicine, Affordable Care Act, these are all terms that are continually being used to describe current and future healthcare. President Trump recently said the Republicans are going to be the party of healthcare; the Democrats won big in the mid-terms running on healthcare.
Sometimes I think the idea is to bombard us with talking in circles until we don't care anymore.
I care. The cost of healthcare is continuing to climb and if you want decent eye care or dental you have no hope. Who is winning in the current environment? The insurance companies.
If you talk to healthcare professionals, they will tell you they aren't winning. The insurance companies are squeezing them to the point that they cannot afford support staff and they must see so many patients just to keep the lights on.
Why such a fight over healthcare? The rest of the developed world provides healthcare to their citizens, why not in the U.S.? I am not a socialist and I don't think the government is a well-run organization, but I want to know that one major health issue is not going to break me.
I decided to follow the money. I decided to look at top management compensation at United Healthcare (full disclosure this is my insurance company). What I found was the Executive Chairman's compensation was in excess of $18 million (Proxy Statement filed in 2018). That was only the tip of the iceberg; if you added up the top six executive's compensation it was more than $70 million. The President and CEO at Humana compensation is over $16 million (Proxy Statement 2018), and this is not even the highest. The winner of the highest paid executive at a Healthcare Insurance company goes to Centene Corporation; their CEO is paid in excess of $22 million, as reported on www.fierceHealthcare.com.
What I am trying to say is, we need to get the profit out of healthcare. I want people to get paid and I hope my healthcare professionals are not worrying about their bills when they are helping me, but this kind of excess at the top is not helping the average person get good quality healthcare.
In the United States we pay more for healthcare than any other industrial nation and we have poorer outcomes.
As we approach the next election both parties are going to be pushing healthcare as a wedge issue. Be smart, look at each of the options and see which option aligns with your values.
Socialized medicine does not mean the Red Army is on the way, Single Payer and Affordable Care Act does not mean there will be death panels deciding who gets treatment.
What we need to consider is the idea that private insurance companies profit when we don't pay attention. Think about it.