Medical care continues to dominate our attention in this nation. I hope we don’t have millions of people without health care in the next year or so. However, in reality we already do.
A fifty-year-old woman told my wife and I that she seriously needs a knee replacement but she can’t pay her deductible and 20 percent. Together they would be several thousand dollars and on her waitress salary she can’t afford the surgery. She has medical care but she can’t afford to have a very needed surgery. If she falls over with a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital then her insurance will of course pick up a major part of her treatment, but she will still be stuck with a big medical bill. That would be another crisis. I wonder if her heart would be able to withstand the shock of her medical bill?
The answer to medical care in America is to put everyone 65 and over on Medicare. We pay for it so we should receive it when the time comes. Make Medicare pay for everything and get rid of the supplemental insurance. We pay into Medicare all of our lives and then have to worry about supplemental insurance at 65. Congress should eliminate that hassle. Medicare should cover everyone over 65. Many will go throughout life and pay very little if any into it. Obviously our country has major debt. Therefore, we should take some of our foreign aid to cover any who might be left out. The very poor in America should be on Medicaid. Doctors and hospitals must be required to accept Medicaid patients. I realize they have to make money but a 10 to 15 percent load of Medicaid patients is not asking too much for a doctor. People with preexisting conditions should be able to buy into Medicare. Allow working Americans to buy medical insurance across state lines so we can shop for affordable insurance that fits our budgets. Open up pharmacies in Canada so we can shop for cheaper medicines. Find a cure for cancer. Give Americans a serious tax break if they keep their body mass index at 26 or below. There is a further question as to whether we should keep poor senior Americans on Medicaid, or as I previously said, move them into Medicare as well. If Medicaid covers all medical treatment then it won’t matter. However, if Medicaid is not accepted by all of the medical society then we still have major issues.
To read the entire column by Glenn Mollette, see the March 23 edition of The Central Virginian.