Our representatives in the U.S. Congress and Senate are debating health care, and completely missing the big picture of what is needed. Please read the full article from my elementary school classmate, Dan Morhaim. He is both a medical doctor (who had 90 doctors and 120 employees in his medical practice) and a representative in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Here is a link to the full article from The Baltimore Sun:

In summary:

Point 1: Health care coverage should no longer be an employement benefit, and not all companies can afford to provide it. It should be available like a medicare for everyone approach.

Point 2: The people on the front lines of medical care need to be brought into the conversation. The cost of health care administration, paperwork and claims is a huge percentage that does not provide patient care.

Point 3: The way to drastically reduce health care costs would be to look intelligently as the following problems:

  1. The Chronically ill: Five percent of patients account for 60 percent of health care spending. Studies show that the key to managing these patients is to provide carefully developed personal care plans.
  2. End-of Life care: With the aging of the population and advances in medical care, people are living longer and increasing the rate of completion of advance directives and engaging hospice and palliative care earlier will result in more satisfactory end-of-life care experiences.
  3. Addictions to illegal drugs, especially narcotics, cocaine and methamphetamine: These are responsible for the majority of violent crime, HIV, hepatitis and homelessness in both urban and rural areas. Studies show that up to 80 percent of patients who come to emergency departments without insurance are there for substance abuse issues.
  4. Legal addictions (alcohol and tobacco): These are still major causes of disease. Studies prove that investment in addiction treatment programs — for both legal and illegal substances — is highly cost effective and saves money and lives.
  5.  Mental Health: Of the tens of millions of people affectect only a fraction of those receive treatment. Mental illness is costly to treat, but the societal costs — to patients, families and communities — of not treating are far greater.
  6. Prevention and Innovation: From safety proofing the homes of at-risk seniors to encouraging fitness for all ages. Scientific research creates dividends in improved health and a reduction in costs. This is the wrong time to cut funding that could lead to new treatments and cures. 

PLEASE, please share this with others in your email sphere, on Facebook, and with your elected officials.