In his recent letter to the Daily News-Record, the writer mentioned my recent letter about Medicaid expansion. He states my opinion was, “inhumane and un-Christian.”
I started working in health care in 1973. I am a pharmacist and a dentist. I have worked for small drug stores and for large inner-city hospitals like Johns Hopkins. As a dentist, I have treated patients in small dental offices and in large government-run clinics like the Veterans Affairs. I have worked in the operating rooms at Portsmouth Naval Hospital and in makeshift dental clinics in remote areas of the Dominican Republic, North West Alaska and in the Mohave Desert.
I share this so the reader may understand I have over 40 years of experience working in health care under a wide variety of practice models and settings.
I recently wrote a letter indicating Medicaid for all in Virginia was a very bad idea. Medicaid is a federal program designed to provide necessary medical care to the poor. It was instituted in 1965 when there were many workers in our economy paying into a program with relatively few beneficiaries. Now the math has changed. In our economy we have fewer workers paying for more and more beneficiaries. Some states are even providing Medicaid to undocumented immigrants.
Being against Medicaid expansion does not mean I am against health care benefits for all citizens in our country. I ran for Congress in 2018 with the idea that Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid would hurt our country. Obamacare pushes Americans into a single-payer system for health care. It represents a government takeover of medical care in the United States. It will destroy the world’s best and most innovative health care system.
I believe we can do better. Many have proposed a system where a medical consumer can “buy-in” to Medicaid. Taxpayers would be allowed to use pre-tax dollars to purchase Medicaid just like it is any other insurance program. If a consumer wanted to purchase a more expensive medical insurance plan from another provider like Anthem or Met Life, he could pay the additional cost himself.
The poor would be given a voucher for Medicaid.
This would put Medicaid in competition with other health insurance plans. Consumers would have choice in the market just like they do when they purchase life insurance or automobile insurance.
Why can’t everyone support this idea? Increasingly, the American voter is expecting free stuff from the government. In surveys, some voters indicate they expect free health care, free college tuition and free child care.
Those politicians who are having trouble winning their next election are putting their political ambitions ahead what is best for our country. Single-payer health care provided by the federal government will hurt our country. Short-sighted benefits like Medicaid expansion will cause huge problems in the future. Crippling our health care system and hurting our country to win the next election is inhumane. Looking to “free” programs from the federal government for all our needs is foolish.
Douglas Wright lives in Rockingham.