health-care-doctors-officeAny legislation passed by the Congress, which must be voted on before it is ever analyzed or read, and which results in over 7 feet of regulations – as demonstrated by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley – with yet more to come, is not going to be successful.  It is certainly not going to result in the “desired” outcomes of healthier citizens – whether families, senior citizens, or individuals, or provide them with greater access and lower costs.

The experiences so far with Obamacare and expanded government control of almost one-fifth of our economy show that it only creates more dependency.  Having almost half of Iowans receiving government health care benefits is not a goal we should work toward.  Obamacare will increase the regulatory burden and complexity, drive up costs, and reduce access for those who truly need help funding their medical care.  It will result in higher taxes for virtually every citizen.  It does not, and will not, work!

The core expectations of medical care, for any individual – whether insured or un-insured – should be the ability to be seen in a timely manner by a qualified provider, to have the necessary tools and equipment available to make an accurate diagnosis, to have the provider make an appropriate recommendation for treatment, to have the needed treatment – whether drugs, therapy, or surgery – quickly available at an appropriate cost, and finally to be assured that they are not being offered substandard care and options because of their age or income level.

The decision on type of care to receive and options used must be made jointly with the patient and their doctor.  And yes, in some cases the cost may well be a driving factor.  For example, does a broken little toe really need an x-ray?  Will the treatment be any different?  If not, and if the individual receiving the x-ray really cannot afford it, why insist it be done?

And even if they have “insurance” to cover the cost, is it an appropriate use of the insurance plan money?

The rest, from “coaching” to electronic medical records, is basically make-work.  People have received excellent medical care, as well as poor care, for many years without either coaching or electronic medical records.  That care has been provided at all cost levels and by not only medically licensed MDs, but by nurses and physicians assistants.

The public commentary from leaders of major health care organizations in the eastern Iowa area, as documented earlier, does not address these issues in a solid, focused manner.  We do not need our medical professionals to be our “friends,” we need them to provide medical care.

Governor Branstad and the Iowa Legislature should say “NO” and keep on saying “NO” to federal health care exchanges and Medicaid expansion until Obamacare is repealed or defunded.  It does not, and will not, work and is a massive drag on our workforce and economy.

We, the citizens, must not be lured by the “promise” of “free money” and “someone else” paying for our health care, and instead insist on free-market driven reforms to address the real issues of cost transparency, inter-state portability, malpractice reform, and increased providers.

Possibly even more importantly, we must act personally to ensure our health is as good as we can make it and to not expect the government to take care of us.  We must ask questions, not settle for secret rationing, and be educated enough to insist that we, our children, and our elderly, receive needed medical care.

The Governor’s Healthiest State approach, though mocked by those supporting the government industrial complex, is a good idea.  As is Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative – though presented and handled in a ham-handed manner.

Most of us should lose weight, eat healthier foods, exercise more, drink less alcohol, and get enough sleep.  We should step up and make sure our children do the same thing.  We should help our elders stay active and take care of themselves.

Importantly, we should pay attention to our mental health and build good relationships with our families, our friends, and our churches. But the government cannot make us do these things.

When using medical care we must ask questions and understand the problem and potential solution.  Then we must insist that the care we and our child need is provided, not accept delays in access or reduced access to necessary specialists and treatments, decided by either the federal or state governments, not by ourselves and our medical providers.

The squeaky wheel does get the grease, and the assertive patient will be more likely to get the care he or she needs.

Finally, we must say “NO” and keep saying “NO” to government control of our lives and decisions.

Photo Credit: Courtney via Flickr (CC-By-NC-SA 2.0)

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