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|Orange County, CA||November 5, 2002 Election|
Extending Health Care security to seniors and kids
By William R. "Bill" OrtonCandidate for Member; California State Assembly; District 67
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We are entering a "post-HMO" world, where the future of health care needs new definitions. We must make some big decisions, so that seniors and children are able to go to the doctor and have access to prescription drugs.When pharmaceutical drugs emerged as a true competitor to the hospital, people who previously had to spend hours and days getting treatment for chronic conditions could miraculously take a pill to control their symptoms. Drugs became expensive, but cut costs for care, as people were no longer admitted to hospital.
As insurance companies shifted to the HMO model as the way to control the bottom line, this became the way that most people received health care.
Now, HMOs are dying. They have competed brutally against one another. They are no longer able to hold down costs, as the drug companies are charging too much, capitation has stagnated care and mergers, consolidations and squeeze-outs. have gutted the concept of competition.
California is at a point where our lawmakers must now ask: What comes next?
"Capitation" and "Authorizations" and the idea that doctors are simply workers within a company will not hold up.
It was state legislation (written by a gentleman named Barry Keene) that outlined the "paradigm" of the HMO. It is time now to see what next needs to be crafted. We need to be ahead of the curve on this one. Too much is at stake to leave it to chance.
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