By Dr. Glenn Mollette
Americans need options for healthcare and every American needs healthcare. Too many Americans are walking around hoping they don’t have to go the hospital. A friend recently said to me, “I don’t have health insurance. I feel like I’m hopeless if I have to go to the hospital.”
Living a life hoping nothing will happen is like hoping you aren’t going to live very long. The longer you live the greater the chances for illness or an injury that requires medical attention. There is no inexpensive medical attention. Going to the doctor or spending any time in a hospital is financially debilitating.
Make medical insurance competitive by allowing people to buy across state lines. Anyone shopping insurance and finds a company on the other side of the country they want to buy from should be allowed to do so. Allow as much competition as possible in the game.
Make medical insurance available as term insurance. For example allow people to buy a 15 year health care policy before they reach 59. This would allow people to stay with medical insurance if they want to postpone going on Medicare at age 65.
Give people the option to go on Medicare at an earlier age if they choose. It can’t be free because somebody has to pay for it and it should be the person receiving the coverage.
Keep Medicaid available for those who are poor.
Strengthen the county health departments across the country. Make the local health departments places where real doctors work and see patients for realistic fees. People who can pay should pay something and those who are disabled or unemployed should be treated for free. However, it should be a place where people aren’t afraid to go because of cost and receive real medical attention. Make medication available via the health department. Making a drug dispensary available to all via the county health department for the best generics available might make the difference between life and death. The goal would be to provide medication for the best affordable price.
Make long term health care available via Medicare. This would require another unfortunate monthly premium but it would be much cheaper than the $7,500 monthly cost that elderly Americans are being tagged with in today’s nursing homes. Plus, make real medical care and rehabilitation affordable to all those in long term care whether at home or in a facility.
Medical care is on the minds of many Americans. Bernie Sanders has gotten a lot of votes because many Americans see him as the candidate of hope for those who cannot afford to go to the doctor. He won’t be elected President for a number of reasons. One of those reasons being the majority of Americans have some form of hope when it comes to health care. Sadly, millions of people feel hopeless about medical care and this feeling has to change.