• Carroll's Corner article for February


  • July 5, 2017

    We’ve had four elections with the GOP promise to “repeal” and then later, “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    GOP leadership in the House voted over 50 times to repeal the ACA and failed. As of late, holding all three branches of government, they still struggle to produce and pass a single bill that fully repeal and replace one of the most intrusive power grab in American history.

    Much of the healthcare debate has been the tail wagging the dog.  Amidst the confusion as to who’s covered or who will die for lack of healthcare coverage, it draws a curtain over who’s really driving the healthcare program in this country, and that’s who stands to gain the most money, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

    Throughout the months and years of the healthcare discussion the primary people; patients and care providers, have been left out of the discussion on how to best structure the nations healthcare program that will be most beneficial for the people who choose to get healthcare.

    Remember President Obama’s own words about the ACA, “If you like your healthcare plan & doctor you can keep them,” “Premiums will be lowered up to $2,500 per family per year, “Raising the debt ceiling is “un-American,” and only the rich ($200K & up will pay more).” Today, people are confused about what’s covered by their health insurance, they’ve lost their original doctor, and they are paying higher premiums and co-pay. With these skyrocketing costs healthcare is unaffordable and the alternative is to move to a single payer system. But what will a single payer system look like? That image will look like baby Charlie Gard, who was recently denied by the courts for his parents to seek alternative healthcare to save his life. This rationing of care and stripping patients of choice is the slippery slope the U.S. is heading down.

    Dr. John Drewniany, M.D. in his book “The Death of the Physician”said it best, “Today after 50 years of government intervention, the practice of medicine has been changed into “Healthcare.” Healthcare is a business that comprises 16% of the American economy. Outside influences feel that they have the right and knowledge to control this business even though they have never treated a patient and have no idea what sacrifices “healthcare providers” have made to enter this vocation nor the sacrifices they continue to make in the healing of human beings.”  

    In America we do not have a problem with access to healthcare, our issue is the cost of healthcare and that should be the primary focus of the healthcare legislation. Let the free market competition reign, open competition across state lines and allow patients to have tax-free health savings accounts so they can make personal choices that best fit their healthcare needs. The most our government should be regulating is help for the legitimate indigent population and overseeing humane quality standards.

    Healthcare debate is more about “health insurance” than “healthcare.” The discussion of healthcare and its cost is far removed from patients making their own personal choices as to where they want to be seen and by whom.

    Insurance and pharmaceutical companies are pulling the strings of the politicians who are driving healthcare in the direction that is most profitable and beneficial to them and not the patient. These same politicians have personal financial interests and receive huge campaign contributions from the very people pulling the strings on the healthcare discussion. Just recently, “because of the optics,” New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker announced that he would be, “pausing fundraising from pharmaceutical companies.”

    With politicians in bed with big pharmaceutical companies they are afraid of their own shadow to fully repeal the ACA. 

    ACA should be rolled back to 2008 policy before the Congress engages in fixing what may be wrong with healthcare costs and preexisting conditions.

    Shriners Hospitals for Children, receiving charitable donations, turns no child away due to inability to pay. Why can’t a tax deductible pool be set up for anyone to donate to aid adult cancer patients who are unable to pay?

    Ask yourself the question; Is there really a desire by Congress to make the healthcare system where the focus is on the patient instead of insurance and big pharmaceutical companies?

    Since the loud voices, in their efforts to create a smoke screen, scare folks into believing they do not have access to healthcare because they have no insurance, there is little honesty presented to the public. What’s really preventing Congress from going back to 2008 policy and starting a new?  Patients will be familiar with the 2008 system and will know how to navigate in their best interest. Also, rolling back will bring stability to the market place and confidence for small businesses.

    Healthcare should be about “healing of human beings” not profiting health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.


    Jennifer Carroll

    Former Lieutenant Governor

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