What’s up family?
I know that this isn’t a typical post from me…given what this blog is geared to address. But a part of being Afro-American (you know I prefer the term Negro), is living in America. I can’t be oblivious to what’s going on.
So what’s today’s post about? If I was president, what I would do to fix the health care issues. Now I know that there are no easy solutions to the problem at hand, but I do believe that all of the solutions aren’t hard…just not politically expedient. (Get ready…this is a long one…)
Before I get into deeply on the topic, I have to say this… In 2008, I voted for Senator Obama. That was my first chance to exercise my constitutional privilege to vote for the President of the United States. I was extremely impressed with how he presented himself to the country. Being a young Negro, I was provoked to vote for him because he seemed to be quite distant from the stereotypical boundaries many African-American males subjugate themselves to live in. He seemed like he would be an individual to help bring on the progression of the country as well as the image of the Black male. That’s a long way of saying; Mr. Obama’s being Black did bear a slight implication on my ballot.
However… I don’t know if that alone will be enough to cast a vote.
I am not satisfied with the evolution of the experiment known as these United States of America. The Founding Father, and slave owner, of the country may not have been right about everything… (See French and Indian War and SLAVERY), but he had a clue about governance. He warned against the national engaging in foreign alliances and he warned against political parties…
From President George Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796
“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations.”
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them. “
Well…we look to be marching to a New World Order and are constantly led to believe that there are only two opinions on how the government should be run in a land of over 300,000,000 people. Things that make you go…hmm…
So I’ve watched the nonsense of Some States’ Attorney Generals v. “Obamacare” unfold in the Supreme Court this week. Poor Attorney General Cuccinelli…it was a tough week for you…you’ll still become governor. I know that I am not well versed on the law. But when I consider it, I’m simply led to ask the question. Why can’t the true truths be addressed in politics? When you look at the Constitution, it isn’t 600 pages deep full of nebulous legal verbosity. It is cut and dry and has lasted for quite a while. Why does the political scene have to be so complex?
Without further ado, this is how President Timothy Wright, Jr. would fix the “health care crisis.”
What are the problems?
When I was in grade school, and approached my first word problem, I was told that we have to see what things are givens in the problem to help us reach a solution. That is the first thing that I see wrong with this push for reform with health care; as with many laws that are passed now. Congress is currently in the business of creating remedies rather than cures. When you think about it, the money isn’t in the cure, it’s in the pills; power in government isn’t in solutions, it’s in proliferating confusion and befuddling simple truths behind polarizing “party platforms.”
- Medicine is very expensive.
- Insurance costs are going up.
- Medical care is expensive.
- Personal responsibility for health is lacking…
It makes no sense to me that pharmaceutical companies spin millions of dollars advertising to people… Then these companies are often misleading causing people’s health to hang in the balance. Anytime a company can stroke a $3 billion check for penalties and not really feel the pinch…no bueno… These commercials lead people to try to diagnose themselves and then they go to their doctors and ask about the pills. I would think that the person that spent the decade to earn the MD behind their names would be better equipped to diagnose illness and prescribe medicine than me. First Amendment rights wouldn’t allow laws to limit how these companies advertise…but a campaign could be launched to have people take advantage of preventative care with routine check ups which would diminish the need for the pills. Needless to say, if the advertising was limited, the cost of the pills would come down significantly.
We’ll come back to number two…
Medical care is very expensive. I’ll be forthright, I’ve had dental insurance all of my life; last year as a teacher, I paid for my own policy. But for almost five years, I refused to go to the dentist…not because I was afraid, but I just saw it as an unnecessary expense…an expensive expense at that. I went for the first time since April 2008 last week. She told me… “I hate to tell you this, but your teeth look really good.” Thank you… *As I take a bow.* But why does medical care cost so much? I honestly don’t think that it’s smart people (aka physicians) trying to take advantage of sick people just for a buck. President Wright will be led to believe that the Hippocratic Oath extends to doing patients’ financial stability no harm as well. I can’t pinpoint all of the reasons why medical care costs so much, but this one I can attest…why does it cost an arm and leg to go to school?
Tonight at midnight, I will miss the deadline to get my student loans restructured at a lower interest rate. Oops… Well, it was too much paperwork, but President Wright is stuck on these two things. In his philosophy classes at Old Dominion University, he learned about a fellow by the name of Immanuel Kant. One of the ground breaking theories Mr. Kant came up with was the categorical impero ative. In short, it suggests when the law applies to one, it must apply to all. Understanding this, the moral and political-contentiously-dissenting philosopher wonders why I should get sweat to pay off my student loans (pay my debts), when the same governing body, that indirectly is making me pay back my student loans (pay my debts), can create more debt and either pass off the loan for “tomorrow” to pay off or run the printing press and make more fiat to “pay” their debts. The law that applies to me should apply to my government as well.
The second thing President Wright is stuck on is the fact that there are too many people that receive federal moneys making more than me. I’m sorry… Call me a hater, but I am POTUS and there are few jobs that are as hard and trying as mine. Just consider the number of people I’m responsible for… 300,000,000+! What’s the point Mr. President is trying to get to? College costs. If a school receives federal funding, no university employee (presidents, chancellors, professors, coaches) should receive more than I do as the President of the United States. I believe that these salaries bear significant implication on the rising cost of college. Put a cap on salaries and maybe private practice physicians wouldn’t have to charge as much in the long run…
Finally #2 and #4…they go hand in hand.
President Wright is well aware that companies go into business to make money… The lower the liabilities the greater the potential there is to make a profit. He gets it… But he still understands the Founding Father’s position on life: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. President Wright, with all due respect, feels that Mr. Jefferson failed to recognize the need for an adverb… equally. Be that as it may, the point the “President” is trying to make that while insurance companies want to make money, they can’t place a value or worth on people’s lives…in the manner that they currently do. Sick or not, everybody deserves credit. HOWEVER, I do believe some discretion should be used to decide who gets coverage. Some people get sick because of environmental determinants. Others get ill because of they are genetically predisposed. But there are a good-n-plenty that get sick because they brought it on themselves. Obesity, Cirrhosis, many STDs, Lung Cancer/Emphysema, and others among those diseases that don’t typically come on just by walking down the street. Many people that do whatever they do to get these illnesses, in a twisted and contorted sort of way, feel that the responsibility for their treatment isn’t their own. So what is the solution? I feel that insurance should move towards an incentive model. The reward for taking care of yourself is a lower premium. Those that do this all along shouldn’t be penalized because they are the “moneymakers” if you will; they are putting in considerably more than they are taking out. (This is why President Wright feels that there should be a very affordable entry premium rate for high school graduates and college students…most are healthy and won’t be needing the insurance. But this overwhelming influx on funds would sure up insurance company’s coffers.) But those that have to take out more, especially due to these diseases should pay more because they cost more. If they take steps to show that they are attempting to take better care of themselves, then the premium can come down. You’re obese? Then set target weight zones with different premium costs at each zone. This encourages someone to take care of themselves because there is the incentive of paying less, while getting healthier. Cirrhosis? Go through AA and subjugate yourselves to monthly alcohol screenings. Lung cancer and emphysema? Quit smoking… Bottom line, President Wright feels that a culture of personal responsibility needs to be created in the insurance field. It will strengthen profit margins.
Another spin on #4… President Wright thinks that there should be incentives extending to companies and organizations that promote people to get healthy. Tax breaks shouldn’t just be doled out, but we should see a return on the tax break…in a perfect world, we should make more than what we lost with the break. That gain is made is savings most time. First thing I would do? Public school districts that are receiving federal funding would have a deadline to comply to my new directive: to continue to receive federal funding, they must institute mandatory Physical Education programs through senior year. STEM education is great, but it isn’t stopping the obesity epidemic. I would also extend an incentive to gyms that have a lower entry membership rate for recent high school graduates and college students for a period of no less than three years. If young people can develop an awareness of physical fitness early on, that will be a habit that will follow them in life. Lastly, I would extend an incentive for physicians that are exploring nonconventional methods of curing illness; much of this is geared towards diet and exercise. This is a new wave of medicine that isn’t pushed because of the greed in pharmaceuticals. This would create the opportunity to sure this field up with more physicians that could provide preventative and at-need care at lower rates because it doesn’t include medicine.
I could go on and on, but the last major thing that I would do is go through the Medicare/Medicaid rosters and cross check them with income tax filings. A part of income taxes is making an honest declaration of all assets. If people have enough money to provide their own care, be it through salary, pensions, and other earnings…or assets held, they should not be receiving governmental health care. They should pay their own way if they afford it.
Ok…this is the last thing for real. It’s time for a tax to be implemented that will bring record revenues to offset the health care costs for the government. What ingredient is in just about everything we eat in America, but isn’t necessary… SUGAR TAX. Sugar tastes good. People eat a lot of it. They gain a lot of weight. They get sick. That’s generally how obesity works. So…issue a mandatory sugar tax that is relative to the sugar content to make it a flat tax…if you eat and drink more, you pay more. This will do two things. It will lower consumption which will lower the health care costs, but it won’t lower it that much (See cigarettes and alcohol sales…smoke shakes and liquor stores are still in business…). That being said, that is increased revenue to help pay for the monster costs. All of these solutions are without making states comply to law… These are creative ways to generate revenue while bettering our health.
But sometimes I think that the powers that be truly want solutions to the problems…it would lessen the need for their influence of power if things actually got fixed. Oh well…
That is…if I were President… How do you feel about the Obamacare ruling?
TWJ the HNIC,
- Protest Picture – Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. – Acquired from The New Yorker.