Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, April 26

An idea for reforming our health care

Lately I have been hearing a lot of horror stories concerning health care insurance companies. A few weeks ago I was watching one of the TV news stations and the newscaster mentioned some people getting dinged for $800 because they were out of network. These people were taken to the hospital by ambulance. I thought, "How ridiculous." When a person is taken by ambulance, it is usually an emergency. The ambulance driver doesn't ask the patient anything about what network they are in or anything else. He takes the patient to the nearest hospital.

Recently I was sitting in a doctor's office waiting room. I started talking to a man sitting next to me. We started to talk. He told me that he had a kidney removed. When he was in the hospital, the doctor wanted to keep him an extra day or so. The insurance company said no. He had to go back to the hospital two days later. It cost that insurance company a lot more in the long run.

It is really something when these insurance companies can dictate how a doctor can do his or her job. After all, that doctor has spent 12 years and thousands and thousands of dollars to get where they are. More than one doctor has told me that insurance companies have ruined the medical profession. Several people in the medical profession have told me that dealing with these insurance companies is a big pain in the butt. Often they have to check with the insurance company to be sure they will pay for a procedure. The insurance company said they would pay for it, then drags their heels on paying.

One of my doctors told me that there are a lot of medical centers around the country closing their doors. They can't make it. The main reason is because a lot of people come in to be tested who don't have any insurance because they can't afford it. A very good friend of mine told me that he was paying over $800 a month for insurance. He said that he couldn't afford it anymore and found something cheaper. My wife and I are paying over $400 a month for our supplemental insurance.

My doctor also told me that this so-called Obamacare is not the answer. He said that a lot of people get these cheap policies, and then end up with a $12,000 deductible. Who has that kind of money?

My idea is to implement a 2 percent federal sales tax to take care of health care and prescription drugs. I have never minded paying sales tax. You are paying a little at a time. President George W. Bush once said that it was a sad state when people have to decide whether to have food on the table or get their prescriptions. What did he ever do about it? Absolutely nothing. With my idea, medical centers wouldn't be eating anything.

With my idea it would have to be stipulated that the tax money is strictly for health care and prescription drugs. Nothing else.

As far as I'm concerned, our healthcare system is in bad need of an overhaul. If something isn't done it is only going to get worse. Doctors don't need to be dictated to by insurance companies.

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