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‘Health Care That’s Always There’. Really? by Eric Novack

We haven’t heard from our favorite orthopedic surgeon in a while but Eric Novack is back to change the world…or at least express his annoyance at some people in it! I suspect that we’ll be hearing lots of arguments like this in years to come!

The initiative that SEIU aims to get on the ballot this November to amend the Michigan Constitution:

Michigan Health Care Security Ballot Campaign – ‘Health Care That’s Always There’

The State Legislature shall pass laws to make sure that every Michigan resident has affordable and comprehensive health care coverage through a fair and cost-effective financing system. The Legislature is required to pass a plan that, through public or private measures, controls health care costs and provides for medically necessary preventive, primary, acute and chronic health care needs. 

Will it pass? Should it pass?  Who wins?  Who loses?

Could ‘control health care costs’ include limiting the ability for
you to buy Tylenol or bandaids or getting a massage or natural or
alternative treatments  or health club memberships without approval?
What if ‘excessive’ television watching is associated with poorer
health; could the amendment be interpreted to allow the legislature and
the bureaucracy to limit cable tv usage, or internet usage— might
more activity lower overall health care costs?

Who would define ‘medically necessary’?

Who would define ‘costs’? As a percentage of income? Or total state budget? 

How about privacy? Would you be forced to get preventative care if
it is felt to lower total costs? Who would control your private medical
information if the legislature needs it to achieve the intent of the
amendment?

Would it empower the legislature to force hospitals, nurses,
technicians, and other staff to work longer hours to ensure that the
“medically necessary preventive, primary, acute and chronic health care
needs” of the people are met?

And if the budget runs out, but the ‘needs’ are not met, what
happens?  Must everyone from phone schedulers to cleaning personnel to
equipment suppliers be required to continue to provide their services
and expertise without compensation in the name of ‘control[ing] health
care costs’ while “provid[ing] medically necessary” care?

“It would NEVER happen”, is the most common refrain when the questions above are posed…

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6 replies »

  1. Peter– I can only conclude from your obfuscating that:
    1. no, you do not think that the ability for people to pay directly for legal health care with their own money, when they want, will be allowed under this system.
    2. You have no idea ‘who’ should make the decisions, but as long as it is includes ‘experts’ who agree with you, you would have no problem… Now, if by chance the experts do not agree with you…

  2. “Peter– please note they are questions I am posing, not ‘fear mongering’…”
    Eric, like the “questions” the Bush campaign were asking voters about Senator McCain during that nominee contest; “Would you be less likely or more likely to vote for John McCain if you found out he molested children.” Yea, those are innocent questions.

  3. Peter– please note they are questions I am posing, not ‘fear mongering’…
    Please allow me to disabuse you of another notion (yet again)– all of the reforms that I have mentioned over the last 3 years would make most doctors, as well as most other members of the health care food chain, less money.
    You did not, by the way, answer any of the questions I posed…

  4. “The State Legislature shall pass laws to make sure that every Michigan resident has affordable and comprehensive health care coverage through a fair and cost-effective financing system.”
    You have a problem with that Eric? Sounds pretty good to me.
    “Could ‘control health care costs’ include limiting the ability for you to buy Tylenol or bandaids or getting a massage or natural or alternative treatments or health club memberships without approval? What if ‘excessive’ television watching is associated with poorer health; could the amendment be interpreted to allow the legislature and the bureaucracy to limit cable tv usage, or internet usage— might more activity lower overall health care costs?…..”
    As usual Eric you go off the paranoid deep end when trying to fear monger your opposition to any healthcare reform that doesn’t make you more money. Universal healthcare seems to work pretty well in other countries that take reasonable measures to provide care and control costs.

  5. Universal health care is the only way. Period. Too many fights otherwise. How to pay: $1.00 tax per package of cigarets. The savings from lost taxes is much less than cost of providing health care. Also, what is wrong with taxing mega-rich Americans and others for health care. Of course, it runs counter to “the greater good of the individual” mentality. Increasing taxes for health and quality public schools doesn’t seem to be a problem for a country, which the UN stated, has the best overall quality of life in the world for six cosecutive years.

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