Being a nurse myself, I’ve been watching with a growing sense of dread the debate over President Obama’s disorganized, uncoordinated, rapid-fire slouching towards Universal Health Care (i.e., Socialized Medicine for all Americans, whether we want it or not.) And I’m not alone in that feeling. Even the president’s own physician thinks he’s on the wrong track:
Scheiner, 71, was Obama’s doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House; he vouched for the then-candidate’s “excellent health” in a letter last year. He’s still an enthusiastic Obama supporter, but he worries about whether the health care legislation currently making its way through Congress will actually do any good, particularly for doctors like himself who practice general medicine. “I’m not sure he really understands what we face in primary care,” Scheiner says. Scheiner takes a few other shots too. Looking at Obama’s team of health advisors, Scheiner doesn’t see anyone who’s actually in the trenches. “I have a suspicion they pick people from the top echelon of medicine, people who write about it but haven’t been struggling in it,” he says
Unfortunately, Dr. Schreiner’s solution is “Medicare for everyone,” which would be a huge step down in benefits for 97% of us to bring benefits to the 2-3% of those who don’t have healt care coverage. And personally, I don’t feel the need to cut off my nose to make the rest of my face happy. Well, this is Texas. And we do things bigger — and better — in Texas. Here in San Antonio proper — and Bexar County specifically — everyone has Health Care. Everyone. And we don’t even have a state Income Tax! How do we do it? We have a little thing called Care Link. Care link is funded by Property taxes in Bexar County levied by the County Commissioners. Eligibility is determined by the ablity to prove residence in Bexar County. (Driver’s License and SSN are preferred, but a utility Bill or Phone Bill is accepted in a pinch.)
Does it pay for nose jobs and tattoo removal? No, it doesn’t. In fact, it only pays for part of any medically necessary treatments. It’s based on your income, so you pay a portion of the care yourself (so if you were thinking ObamaCare would be “free”, guess again.) The percentage you pay is based on both the medical necessity of the treatment, and your income. So if you’re destitute and have cancer, you’re not paying a dime. however, if you make $30,ooo a year and you’re taking the baby in for a cold, you’re paying every penny of that.
So, no freeloading. You don’t pay, they garnish your paycheck.
Is there the possibility of fraud? Sure — if you show up at the E.R. without ID, they still have to treat you, and you can skip on the bill. But frankly, if you show up at the ER with a gunshot wound or a motor vehicle accident, they’re more worried about saving your life than anything else. Lots of illegals that can’t even speak English go through the University Hospital Emergency Room.
The Better news is that nobody goes untreated. Lots of mental patients in other places can’t afford their (very expensive) medications, and have relapeses when they can’t take their meds. CareLink has partnered with The Center for healthcare Services to provide Drug Detox and Mental Health Services through Care Link. The money spent through Care Link saves tons of money spent in hospital cots when these patients present at ER’s for Detox , Psychiatric Crisis, or Police problems related to their mental status.
And it’s affordable – the costs are covered by the repayments of those able to and the funding by the local government. However, it’s not a piggybank for the poor, either — which is what a LOT of Universal Health Care proponents want to have.
Universal Healthcare should be a safety net that’s affordable — not a pie-in-the-sky entitlement. And being Americans, we should have some choice in the matter — not be forced into one-size fits all coverage.
Yet I don’t see anyone else pushing a CareLink style system; which is probably because it’s not what they want to offer. Entitlements, not Safety nets are the bywords of the Obama Administration.