Addressing Greed & Politics in America's Healthcare System - The Trainwreck
I spent 10 years as a nurse working in two different small rural healthcare systems.
From the very beginning it became clear that profit took priority over patient care even as all of the healthcare systems broached patient care as their focus.
Now we must understand that life is complex and we as a nation have allowed politicians to make our healthcare system into a machine that is soley focused on checking off all the boxes to meet government requirements. Patient care is a shield for profits.
Now we must also not paint with a broad brush that the people running these healthcare systems and greedy and uncaring. Most are very caring committed individuals caught up in a system that will not yield enough for them to properly care for patients.
Some basic observations.
The treadmill of seeing patients every 20 minutes is an offense to the ethical sensibilities of the Doctors, nurses and technicians tasked to care for people. People are not numbers or inanimate objects.
When I was a nurse working in on a hospital med surg unit, in home health and family medicine we ALL knew we were being used to generate profits at the expense of our own health and stretching our skills to the limit.
All healthcare workers know this now and the pandemic gave them all a chance to breath and realize that they don't have to live this way! Many people I knew in healthcare have gone on to other less stressful careers.
To much pointless paperwork to again check off the boxes!
Doctors and nurses want to care for their patients and NOT spend time looking for revenue.
This must change!!
The common reply from administration is this is just the way it is, deal with it or leave is no longer acceptable! Again this is an insult to staff and patients.
And patients know that this is the goal of them being there, to make money instead of actually focus on them.
Now let me be clear, I have worked with many excellent committed doctors and nurses that dispite the insanity of the system took good care of thei patients. But it was often at the expense of their own well being. Burn out is always the result!
As the video below indicates doctors are demoralized as are nurses, technicians and all levels of healthcare workers.
They can no longer pretend and live the lie!
Enough is enough!
Fix the System!
If Obamacare is at the root of this train wreck then the doctors, nurses and the public needs to vote people out and or in and change things! It can be done.
Americans have become very complacent, that needs to change.
ObamaCare: 10 years of distress and disappointment
"March 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. In its first decade, ObamaCare has failed to solve many of the health care problems it was supposed to address. Even worse, it has compounded many of the issues it was meant to fix — the law of unintended consequences in action.
First, then-candidate Barack Obama said his namesake act would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”
In reality, the opposite has occurred. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect.”
Even more shocking, HHS reports, “Average individual market premiums more than doubled from $2,784 per year in 2013 to $5,712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017—an increase of $2,928 or 105%.” Needless to say, ObamaCare has fallen woefully short in its grand ambition to slice health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year.
Second, ObamaCare supporters claimed it would drastically reduce the uninsured population. Unfortunately, this also has not happened. As of this writing, there are roughly 28 million Americans without health insurance. And the number of those without health insurance has increased in recent years. And now that the individual mandate (a dubious provision forcing Americans to purchase health insurance) has been repealed, this number is expected to rise even more.
Why is this happening? According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Simply put, there are too many people without subsidies who cannot afford coverage under Obamacare.”
To exemplify why millions of Americans remain uninsured, CMS provides this personal account: “A 60-year old couple in Grand Island, Nebraska making $70,000 a year—which is just slightly too much to qualify for Obamacare’s premium subsidy—is faced with paying $38,000, over half of their yearly income, to buy a silver plan with an $11,100 annual maximum out-of-pocket limit.” No wonder 28 million Americans are uninsured.
CMS notes, “We should not be surprised if they make the tough decision to drop their coverage. With a similar cold reality facing millions of American families, it was inevitable that Obamacare’s affordability crisis would eventually show up in the rates of uninsured Americans.”
Third, President Obama repeatedly assured voters, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” After ObamaCare was enacted, millions of Americans were unable to keep their pre-ObamaCare health insurance plan.
According to a report by The Heritage Foundation, “Obamacare has significantly disrupted the market for those who buy coverage on their own by imposing new coverage and benefit mandates, causing a reported 4.7 million health insurance cancelations of an existing policy in 32 states.”
In other words, ObamaCare’s mandates and regulations have upended the health insurance market, causing millions to lose their pre-ObamaCare plans.
ObamaCare has been an abysmal failure when it comes to the integral promise of, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” Such is why President Obama’s pledge was named the Lie of the Year for 2013 by PolitiFact.
Fourth, President Obama also repeatedly guaranteed voters, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” As it turns out, this promise also fell by the wayside.
According to MarketWatch, “Various sources note that a common (and popular) way to reduce premium costs has been to reduce the number of doctors in the insurer’s network, which leads to a much greater likelihood of people losing their doctors than without the ACA.”
Even worse, “15% of plans offered on the exchanges exclude doctors from at least one kind of specialty” notes the National Institute of Health. Put another way, after ObamaCare took effect, millions of Americans lost access to their doctors.
Sadly, since ObamaCare’s inception one decade ago, the vast majority of Americans are not better off in terms of their health insurance costs and health care access. ObamaCare has failed miserably because it lacks free-market principles and is a one-size-fits all, centrally planned boondoggle.
In the next decade, and for decades to come, the American health care system would function much more optimally if patients, not bureaucrats, were allowed to take control of their health care decisions.
Chris Talgo is an editor at The Heartland Institute." from the article: ObamaCare: 10 years of distress and disappointment
Why Are Doctors Quitting? This Physician Says They Are Demoralized | Amanpour and Company
Video from Amanpour & Co.
"America's doctors are leaving the profession in growing numbers, creating a crisis in the U.S. healthcare system. Some 117,000 physicians left the field in 2021, and one in five doctors say they will soon do so. In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, political anthropologist and physician Dr. Eric Reinhart explained fatal flaws in the country’s health system that led to this worrying trend. He shares with Michel Martin some potential solutions. Originally aired on February 20, 2023." from video introduction
Why Doctors Should Organize
Meeting the challenges of modern medicine will require more than seeing patients.
"In the fall of 2018, the American College of Physicians published a position paper on gun violence. “Firearm violence continues to be a public health crisis in the United States,” its authors wrote, in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The report argued that assault weapons should be banned and that “physicians should counsel patients on the risk of having firearms in the home.” When it was published, the National Rifle Association responded with a tweet: “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.”
The N.R.A.’s tweet provoked an unprecedented response from the medical profession. Using the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane, emergency-room physicians, trauma surgeons, pediatricians, and pathologists, all of whom are involved in the care of patients with gunshot wounds, posted images of shooting victims and bloodstained hospital floors. Some shared selfies in which they were splattered with blood. “Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn’t just my lane. It’s my fucking highway,” Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist, tweeted. Melinek’s tweet went viral. Doctors appeared on television and wrote op-eds expressing their disgust with the N.R.A.
As a physician, I was thrilled by this display of solidarity and political engagement. But I also wondered why such mobilizations aren’t more common. In October, 1980, when I was a medical resident at San Francisco General Hospital, a group of interns and residents went on strike, protesting a disastrous shortage of nurses. (We also asked for on-site childcare, and, less crucially, a lounge with a Ping-Pong table and.." from the article: Why Doctors Should Organize
Lets Look at Canada
Health-care workers quitting in droves as burnout, staff shortages plague system
Video from CBC News: The National
"Canada's stumbling health-care system is now facing funding and staffing challenges that threaten the entire sector. Burnt-out and over-worked nurses are quitting in droves, while jurisdictions struggle to convince them to stay." from video introduction
Health care: America vs. the World
Video from PBS News Hour
"Millions of Americans have no health insurance and live in fear that one illness could bankrupt them. Even though the U.S. spends far more on health care than other wealthy nations, Americans die of preventable diseases at greater rates. The PBS NewsHour special, “Critical Care: America vs the World,” examines how four other nations achieve universal care for less money, with better outcomes." from video introduction
Why are Americans choosing to quit their jobs in record numbers?
Video from 60 Minutes
"The United States is seeing its highest “quit rate” since the government started keeping track two decades ago. Bill Whitaker speaks with employers who are scrambling to find help and people who left their jobs and aren’t looking back.' from video introduction