‘Dakotans for Honesty in Politics’ opposes socialized healthcare. Government alone cannot financially support the spiraling health needs of the entire American citizenry. The American taxpayer cannot afford such a system. A supportable health care system requires varied funding streams.
- We oppose a national health care system that forces submission to government controlled healthcare which regulates and restricts freedom to choose one’s own doctors, medical care, and treatments.
- We support alternatives to socialized medicine, such as health insurance based on cash value life insurance principles, medical savings accounts and private insurance – as well as individual choice to pay for and receive only what one can afford, or even forgo medical treatment if one chooses.
- We support allowing consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines, just as they do for other insurance products – including online, by mail, over phone, or in consultation with an insurance agent in their hometown. Chairman Fred Upton of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, said in 2011: “Competition is one of the most powerful market forces. It drives down cost while improving quality, and it creates a vast array of options to meet consumers’ individual needs…rigid federal constraints prevent Americans from shopping for health insurance the way they shop for car insurance and consumer products, looking at the costs and benefits offered by providers from coast to coast…I welcome…efforts to replace Obamacare with commonsense solutions designed to bring down costs, expand access to coverage, and protect the doctor-patient relationship”(Press Release, 2011)
We also support genuine healthcare reform, which would focus on methods, delivery and questionable regulations of medical care, rather than merely a reform of the way insurance is packaged.
The physical, financial and emotional responsibility of an individual is best fostered within the care of family members and should be encouraged when possible. Health care delivered in the home, with proper training, respite and resources, can be much less expensive than facility care, while at the same time more emotionally therapeutic for all involved.
However, the deterioration of the family unit in the last 60 years has left many elderly and children and without family to help. A concern for the weakest of the citizenry is the mark of a great society. Therefore, a limited Medicare and Medicaid system for low-income elderly, sick citizens and displaced children is necessary.
Preventative Care is already well-recognized as a reducer of health care needs and costs.
- Continue to encourage well-child visits, bi-annual check-ups, and preventative care,
- Continue to encourage good nutrition and exercise. Teach the benefits of whole foods as opposed to processed foods.
- Continue to Teach children from a young age about the physical damage of cigarette smoke, alcohol and drug use. Teach teens about alcohol related birth defects and how even one drink, taken at the wrong time in the development of a child, can permanently hurt a child.
- Continue to encourage producers of movies and television to return to scripts that inspire healthy choices, as most did in the early days of cinema and TV.
Suggestions for healthcare reform: Reduce costs:
- Allow nursing facilities to either return fresh, unopened boxes of medication to the Pharmacy and charge back the Medicare system, or allow boxes to be relabeled for use by a resident with an identical prescription. Not only does this prevent vacuum sealed, untouched medications that have never left the nursing station from being wasted, it prevents them from being thrown into landfills or the sewer system, where it can contaminate ground water and cause unforeseen health issues within the community.
- Encourage good wages, benefits, training, and working conditions for those who look after our most precious resources; our elders and children. Competent, rested workers give good care, reducing health care costs.
- End increasingly burdensome and micro-managing federal regulations which do nothing more than suffocate health care personnel under unnecessary paperwork, limiting time for direct patient care and increasing job stress without any practical benefit to the consumer. Some facilities, fearing state record inspections, have been more concerned with completed paperwork than completed patient care.
- Encourage growth of private or church run healthcare facilities as well as respite homes for the disabled, with consistent and thorough local and State health inspection of such facilities.
Suggestions for healthcare reform – improve life for those needing health care
- Encourage the consolidation of care centers for our children and elderly. A single building with separate wings but shared community rooms gives both age groups the opportunity to enjoy and nurture each other in a supervised setting, allowing an environment of community and extended family while making available quiet areas in separate wings. This step alone could improve some health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Allow Nursing Homes to honor elders who wish to engage in tasks around the facility and are physically able to do so, particularity tasks they’ve enjoyed all their lives. Most states discourage this, despite the desire of some individual residents to keep busy. Interested residents should be allowed to manage the facility library, assist in the kitchen (even if to just share recipes), organize group activities, tend facility gardens, walk the facility’s dog, or create newsletters. This step alone could improve some health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Develop computer rooms within healthcare facilities and teach elders how to use them so they can keep contact with relatives and friends as well as stay connected to daily news and events. Grandparents could skype with grandchildren. This step alone could improve some health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Support healthcare facilities in planting vegetable gardens and fruit trees, incorporate home grown produce into meal plans, and allow residents who have had a life-long interest and joy in gardening to participate in the care of the gardens. This step alone could improve some health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Allow nursing staff more leeway for trained use of safety belts, vests, bed rails, and geriatric trays to reduce the number of confused elders attempting to stand up on legs that no longer support them. This will reduce a large number of broken hips, head trauma events, and emergency room visits, not to mention the emotional stress residents go through following a fall. Some elders never emotionally or physically recover from a broken hip. With proper safety precautions, a large number of ambulance calls, X-rays visits, and pain medication prescriptions would be reduced. Further, the exorbitant amount of time nursing staff spend on ‘event’ paperwork would be reduced, along with the number of times a resident must be woken up during the 24-hour mandated monitoring of those who have fallen, whether or not they had hit their head. The human factor aside, allowing wise use of safety precautions would reduce health care costs.
Comprehensive discussion with healthcare personnel will reveal many more areas where true healthcare reform could make a difference.
Our God-given Human resources are our greatest value. Let’s treat them as such.