Will Congress Wreck Health Care?

The most important rule in health care is “first do no harm”.  Unfortunately Congressional Democrats seem totally oblivious to this rule.

Many  Democrats are so egotistical that they think anything they do will  be an improvement.  They seem incapable of understanding  that changes can make a situation worse instead of better just like giving a patient the wrong medical treatment can worsen the patient’s condition.  The wrong medical treatment can kill.   Making the wrong changes in the health care system can reduce  access to health care and reduce the quality of health care.

In one of my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H*   Captain Hawkeye Pierce is appointed the unit’s chief surgeon.   Major Frank Burns complains to a general when Hawkeye decides not to immediately operate on  a badly wounded soldier who comes in.   When the general arrives Hawkeye has been playing cards while the man was receiving a blood transfusion, etc. to stabilize his condition.   Hawkeye tells the general he can now safely operate because the patient has been stabilized.  Operating too soon would have jeopardized the patient’s chances of  survival.

Congressional Democrats continue to push a health care plan substantially similar to the one adopted by Massachusetts which is a failure according to the Boston Globe

The program has failed to provide the universal care it was supposed  to guarantee.  Coverage is not affordable.  The cost  of the subsidized program has gone from $630 million in 2007 to $1.3 in 2009.    High deductibles mean people who buy compulsory coverage may not be able to afford to use it.

Low income families aren’t the only ones who have trouble affording health insurance.   Many with incomes well above the poverty level like Ron Norton of Worcester, Mass.,  make  too much to qualify for government assistance but not enough to afford insurance.

The key to successful medical treatment is an accurate diagnosis.   The problem with American health care is the high cost of health care rather than lack of insurance.  High costs make it difficult for persons to afford insurance.

Doctors take x-rays or run tests as appropriate before choosing treatment for any major medical problem.  Congress needs to do the same with health care.  Congress needs to determine the specific causes of high costs to see if they are unnecessary.

For example, are doctors, hospital administrators, insurance executives, etc. receiving higher incomes than patients can afford to provide them?   Are hospitals or other medical facilities making excessive profits by overcharging insurance companies?  Are so called non-profit hospitals or clinics actually functioning as if they were profit making organizations?   Are the uninsured including illegal aliens really responsible for high costs or are they being used as scapegoats by the health care industry to cover up the real cause?  Are courts forcing unnecessary costs on the industry?

This is breast cancer awareness month so perhaps a breast cancer analogy is appropriate.  Thirty years ago the treatment for all forms of breast cancer was usually  a complete mastectomy.  Today some, but not all, forms of breast cancer can be  successfully treated with a  simple lumpectomy that  removes only  the small tumors, provided the cancer is detected early enough.

Thirty years ago toxic chemicals were used to treat breast and other cancers.  Today a growing number of  cancers can be treated  with milder chemicals that  may attack only the cancer cells  without  damaging other  healthy cells.  In some cases radiation can be targeted to cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

The American health care “problem” doesn’t require radical surgery or toxic chemicals.  Improving American health care only requires  a lumpectomy  and mild chemicals.


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One Response to “Will Congress Wreck Health Care?”

  1. LOUDelf Says:

    In a perfect world, the government would be the BEST resource for pretty much anything the public needed. The problem is our world is not perfect, people are flawed, and our government has repeatedly proven to be inept, and self-centered at best — and very possibly corrupt to the core.

    I’ve done to paralelling from Mass to the Fed in a couple of posts myself, and I fully agree with the Globe’s assertion.

    Bottom line, things DO need to change. But when our system covers a vast majority, and most of those people don’t want change, then we need to focus on sensible tweaks that we can come by in order to assist the truly needy, and fix some of the inneficiencies, rather than overhaul.

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