Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Community Health Centers: One part of Health Care Reform




During the Stimulus Debate of 2009, Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who I admit I agree with about as often has elephants fly to the Moon. But who's someone who I have a lot of respect for, because he's honest, he's someone who says what he believes and wants to do the right thing. We just have a different approach to solving problems. His approach is more Federal Government centered, my approach is more people centered. But he did have a very good amendment attached to the Recovery Act regarding Community Health Clinics. Especially for under served areas, urban and rural. Where people there have to go a long way, make a days trip which might mean taking time off from work. And losing a days pay to get Health Care. We could build the best most Cost Effective Health Care System in the World. But if people can't get to the Health Care that they can afford, its pointless. We might as well just have the most expensive Health Care System in the World. With too many doctors and hospitals and too much medicine. Too many doctors, hospitals and medicine would be a great problem to have. But I doubt we'll ever have to worry about having it. Sen. Sanders also managed to get his Community Health Clinics amendment attached to the Affordable Care Act of 2010. That the House GOP Leadership is now trying to gut. Which won't happen because the President and the Democratic Senate would never let it happen.

Sen. Sanders Community Health Clinics idea got me to thinking when I wrote my own Health Care reform plan back in 2009. Expecting not to completely like the final product. The Affordable Care Act, which I was right because it left out things that I would've liked to see in it. For political reasons, like the Public Option and preventive Health Care. Which both would've saved a lot of money. Which is why I came up with the idea. For my version of Community Health Clinics. I would create an independent of the Federal Government as well as Self Sufficient of Tax Payers, a United Health Service. A National Organization of Community Health Clinics that would compete with private Health Clinics as well as other government run Health Clinics. With its own management and Board of Directors, that they would select themselves. With their own local affiliates, that they would select. That would be subject to oversight by the Administration and Congress as well as Federal Courts. That would be Non Profit with its own staff that they would hire and would have no unfair advantage in the Health Care Market. They would compete fairly with other Non Profit Health Clinics. And one of the best parts of the UHS, is that it would be Self Financed, unlike the Veterans Administration. It would be paid for by its patients through their Health Insurance or their Health Savings Account, their choice.

UHS Health Centers would be targeted to under served areas where its hard to find an affordable place to get Health Care. Or where people would have to make long trips to get to them. Whether they live in urban or rural areas. These Health Centers would only provide Health Care that has to do with the patients health or life to cut costs. No Luxury Procedures. I like this approach especially over the NHS in the United Kingdom. Because the UHS would be another option a good option for people to use to get their Health Care. This wouldn't be a Private or Public Monopoly, the UHS would expand Freedom of Choice which is important in Health Care as well. And people would be able to decide for themselves where and from whom to get their Health Care.