The United States spends much more on health care costs than other developed countries, yet healthcare is unaffordable for millions of Americans. Where does the money go? Inefficiencies abound in our healthcare system and insurance company's profit margins are two reasons.
No one should lose everything they have worked hard for their whole life, just because they get sick. Legislative leaders can guide the way, especially at the State level. Ballot initiatives to force more healthcare billing transparency are a start. An independent legislator could bring together all stakeholders (patients, employers, hospitals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, etc.) to find common ground and develop workable, creative solutions, without the baggage of political party platforms.
Completely revamping the US healthcare system is a long-term project and must be addressed sooner rather than later. There are also some short-term steps that can be taken to help those who need it the most right now. Three long-term options being widely discussed now are the going back to the days pre-Obamacare, Single-Payer, or the Public Option. The third option, a public option, is what I support. The public option, aka “Medicare You Can Buy Into” will benefit the most people in the long run by decreasing overall healthcare costs. It can do this if the option is allowed to really compete with private plans. With the bargaining power to negotiate with drug manufactures and the large corporate hospitals/clinics/labs, the public option could drive down prices.
Short-term solutions such as those proposed by Democratic Governor Hickenlooper and Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich are something we should consider. Additionally, in the short-term, we need to take concrete steps to stabilize our nation’s health insurance system.
Right now, current law prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices. The government needs to stand up to industries with political power, i.e., special interest groups, and negotiate on behalf of the American people.