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
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…