The Death Of Health Care And How To Avoid ItMarch 23, 2023
Why are Americans so worked up about health care reform? Statements such as for example “don’t touch my Medicare” or “everyone should have access to state of the art health care regardless of cost” are in my opinion uninformed and visceral responses that indicate a poor understanding of our health and wellness care system’s history, its current and future resources and the funding challenges that America faces going forward. Health Care Guide While we all wonder how the health care system has already reached what some make reference to as an emergency stage. Let’s make an effort to take some of the emotion out of the debate by briefly examining how healthcare in this country emerged and how which has formed our thinking and culture about health care. With that as a foundation let’s consider the benefits and drawbacks of the Obama administration healthcare reform proposals and let’s consider the concepts put forth by the Republicans?
Access to state of the art healthcare services is something we can all agree will be a good thing because of this country. Experiencing a serious illness is among life’s major challenges and to face it without the methods to shell out the dough is positively frightening. But once we shall see, after we know the facts, we will discover that achieving this goal will not be easy without our individual contribution.
These are the themes I will touch on to make an effort to make some sense out of what is happening to American health care and the steps we can personally try make things better.
A recent history of American healthcare – what has driven the costs so high?
Important elements of the Obama healthcare plan
The Republican view of health care – free market competition
Universal access to state of the art health care – a worthy goal but not easy to achieve
what can we do?
First, let’s get yourself a little historical perspective on American healthcare. This is not designed to be an exhausted look into that history but it gives us an appreciation of how the health care system and our expectations for this developed. What drove costs higher and higher?
To begin, let’s turn to the American civil war. In that war, dated tactics and the carnage inflicted by modern weapons of the era combined to cause ghastly results. Not generally known is that the majority of the deaths on both sides of this war were not the result of actual combat but from what happened following a battlefield wound was inflicted. In the first place, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail’s pace which caused severe delays in treating the wounded. Secondly, many wounds were put through wound care, related surgeries and/or amputations of the affected limbs and this often led to the onset of massive infection. So you might survive a battle wound and then die as a result of medical care providers who although well-intentioned, their interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can be ascribed to everyday sicknesses and diseases in a time when no antibiotics existed. In total something similar to 600,000 deaths occurred from all causes, over 2% of the U.S. population at that time!
Let’s skip to the first 1 / 2 of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to newer times. After the civil war there have been steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical techniques and in physician education understand training. But also for the most part the best that doctors can offer their patients was a “wait and see” approach. Medicine could handle bone fractures and increasingly attempt risky surgeries (now largely performed in sterile surgical environments) but medicines weren’t yet open to handle serious illnesses. Nearly all deaths remained the consequence of untreatable conditions such as for example tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measles and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly alert to heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had next to nothing with which to treat these conditions.