Letter to the editor: Government can’t run a business

 

It is generally agreed that the U.S. has the best health care of any country; our hospitals, doctors and caregivers are the best.
Drugs are available to forestall illness as well as treat existing medical problems. However we have come to a bad place where government is the primary payer — as a result health care billings are astronomical but government only pays a small percentage of the amount billed. As the government percentage goes down the charges go up! It is a stupid system and a failure because government does not know how to run a business.
We need government to literally get out of the health care business; free government medical is not a constitutional right! In the past, before the feds got into the act, paying one’s medical bills was done for reasonable charges by either paying cash upon receipt of services, paying for insurance so the insurer pays the fees or by working for an employer that provides insurance as a part of worker benefits. There are cases where some people are unable to do any of the above but they usually could get some help from a charity, church, family or a health care provider.
The state and local government provided some emergency services but as we have seen they are doing too much and going broke trying to do the job.
The main problem is that government reps are getting elected by giving away free stuff; over many years this has inadvertently resulted in government as a primary medical payer.
It started with “safety nets,” then forcing wage earners to contribute to Medicare and now to Obamacare. It is extremely difficult to go back to the old system as neither patients nor providers want the old system — but we must because we as a country are broke.
Although the current GOP plan had insufficient votes to improve the failing system there is still time; time that can be used to help people realize that they need to plan for medical care as they do with a secure place to live, food and transportation. Time for the feds to back off and encourage re-establishment of private insurance companies. Time to have hospitals and care providers make realistic changes to what they charge for services. Doctors are doing more to get people out of an expensive hospital and back home; this is good and perhaps more can be done.

George Loegering
Sun City

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