Sunday, August 16, 2009

Health Care - Local and Personal

Air Force One over Clifton.

I spent my Saturday afternoon with an orange vest on, listening to at least three separate radios while helping to keep traffic off of F Road between 31 1/2 Rd. and the I-70 approaches while the President's motorcade passed by. There may have been over 200 officers deployed from various agencies to assist with the overall operation, but there were a lot of volunteers assisting in that role as well.

This blog is subtitled "notes from the journey". That means my journey. Regurgitating someone else's opinions, position papers, news reports, etc. may be helpful in embellishing a point or building consensus, but this issue is too close to home and too well-debated already to warrant me wasting time adding to the noise floor.

I've got lots of experience, both personal and professional, in the health care delivery system. Most of it relates to Emergency Medical Services, which is best described as a symbiotic hybrid of the health care and public safety disciplines.

Add aircraft to the mix and you incorporate the rigorous disciplines of aviation. More about that later on.

Here's what I believe must happen if we are to come anywhere near providing adequate health care to all citizens:
  • Universal coverage is essential. No one with a pre-existing condition should be excluded from obtaining health care coverage.
  • Health care coverage must be in force and accepted regardless of the location within the country or the qualified provider used.
  • A profit motive is incompatible with the provision of health insurance coverage.
I've had a front row seat to catastrophic illness, out of network care issues, hospice care, and coordination of benefits disputes, among other things. I've been fortunate to have had good health care coverage through employers, that covered the vast majority of the costs involved in many of these circumstances.

There are things that I prefer to handle myself. I choose to self-pay for my own prescriptions, because I want to be able to control where I obtain these, and in what quantities.

At this point I don't have a great deal more to share. I'll keep reading and listening to both sides, and will watch yesterday's town meeting coverage on the DVR. I can tell you one thing, though. If the debate is indeed distilling itself down to hope versus fear, count me in for hope.

Have a great day.

1 comment:

Rad Winters, Alanologist said...

If you ever have time, John, perhaps you could explain (to those like me, who are Slow and Don't Understand) why the media has been saying that GJ is a model for affordable health care. I have been able to "afford" health care only for an approximate 2-year window when I had health insurance thru RMHP ... and even then, it did not cover everything I needed, and the "co-pay" costs were sufficiently high as to make regular doctor visits still unfeasible. The rest of my adult life has been spent haunting medical care establishments like the good ol' Health Department, about which I also have a few gripes. So I am not understanding this concept of GJ being a model for affordable anything.