We are all to blame: big insurance, big pharm, healthcare corporations, hospitals, doctors, lawyers, unions. You are right, we are looking at the next bubble that willl bankrupt this nation. After twenty-five years as a family doc, I say we need several major steps to drastically reform our system. One, we need to consolidate all public insurance systems into a new Mediare (Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, government workers). Also in this new Medicare we need to cover all children until their education and training is complete, and we need to cover all Americans for catastrophic costs. We still can keep a private system for workers. The results would be freeing state governments from Medicaid costs, streamlining one large system to improve efficiency and spending, reduce bankruptcies, reduce private insurance premiums. We can make this a more cost-effective system. Everyone can benefit, but everyone must sacrifice. We can pay for this by eliminating standard dependent income tax deductions and establishing a federal sales tax. States can reduce their sales tax, since Medicaid would no longer be a state issue or expense.
We are headed for a catastrophe, and all our elected officials are just doing some window-dressing. The American people need to know the facts. They will be willing to change and sacrifice if they can see some benefits for everyone. Everything else will just continue down the same curve on the same road. All the players in the game have got to realize time is running out on the present system.
JOHN EPPOLITO, MD
Aug 6 2009 - 8:22am