We know our current health system is not good. It measures up poorly when it is objectively compared to other health care systems around the world. Ours is near the bottom in most categories such as life expectancy and infant survival rate. It costs more and the results are poorer. Many Americans have no coverage at all. Some people do not get treatments they need. It causes many people to lose their life savings and to go into debt. It causes too many people anxiety about their future. It emphasizes treatment rather than prevention of ailments.
What is wrong? First let’s look at what is right--which is plenty. We have great suppliers of health care: doctors, nurses, many professional and technical staff people, hospitals, and treatment centers. This list would go on and on. What we do not have is a delivery system to get these services to the people. They all go through a complicated network of insurance systems, none of which really contribute to the health care we receive. In fact they are expensive barriers which must be overcome to get health care. These all operate on the basis of profit as their sole driving force. This is contrary to what drives the suppliers whose prime objective is to provide the services in which they are trained and skilled.
This insurance driven system did not always exist. As recently as 65 years ago almost every part of the health care system was controlled by doctors who took their professional obligation of providing good treatment very seriously. Almost no one failed to get treatment they needed because the doctors took the responsibility to provide it themselves if need be. They held accounts that patients owed for long times and rarely made hard efforts to collect.
Times have changed. Very expensive diagnostic and treatment procedures have been developed. Malpractice suits against doctors and hospitals have skyrocketed costs. People are living longer. Public health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid have turned over much of their administration to insurance companies. More importantly, insurance companies now control almost all of the health care system. Almost as important is that the big pharmaceutical companies have developed government protected monopolies and engage in price gouging.
The clock can not be turned back. We have to build a new health care system that serves both the people and the providers much better. Some improvements to the existing system, such as the Affordable Health Care Law which provided health care to many who had none before it, have been good. The problem with this and other improvements is that they do nothing to solve the underlining cause: profit driven insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are in control of our health care system. The only real solution is to set up a single payer universal health care system such as the NYHealth Act. Insurance companies must not be a part of the health care system. Big pharmaceutical must have to deal with representatives of the people.
Remember the New York Health Act does not set up some untested or radical program. The system it would create has been in practice in most of the developed countries of the world for years—even in many of the less developed countries. They have demonstrated that they provide better health care for less cost. All objective measures of the quality of a health care system like life expectancy show that universal single payer systems work better than ours and cost less. It is time for the United States to join the rest of the world. This should be led by New York. Our NY Senate District 62 can provide the single needed NY Senate vote by replacing Robert Ortt with me. Vote for me, Peter Diachun, to make this happen.