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The lesson for us in the Charlie Gard case

By in Press Enterprise on August 27, 2017

By Marcy Zwelling-Aamot

There is a lesson to learn somewhere in the debate last month about the unfortunate circumstance of British baby Charlie Gard. Charlie was born with an inherited (yet) incurable disease that left him on a ventilator, blind and deaf. The government wanted to dictate his care in spite of the fact that his parents raised money to pay for his care with cash. The lesson: This is what will happen if the GOP allows the ACA to deteriorate into a single-payer system and choice evaporates from the American lexicon. In the meantime, the Senate debate did not show much promise as a “fix” to the ACA and it doesn’t look like the government is getting out of the way any time soon.

There are many ironies in the health care reform debate. The premier irony is how Congress continues to feed the health insurers’ overactive appetite for money and profit. Insurance is a major reason health care is as expensive as it is; and like the ACA, the new GOP “reform” plans continue to offer those same insurers a bailout. Congress is busily negotiating with those same insurers about how much money it will take to keep them “in business.” All the while insurance regulations that come from D.C. will only make that bailout more expensive.

The insurance industry continues to inject itself into the heart of the physician/patient relationship. Marketing geniuses have branded them “the gateway to care” and the public bought that hook, line, and sinker. Patients are in greater fear of losing their insurance than losing their doctor. The truth of course is that what patients really need is a trusted physician. Insurance should be affordable and available only if something unforeseen occurs. Insurance should not be used to pay for prevention any more than your car insurance should […]    

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