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Saint Louis, Jefferson, Saint Louis City, Sainte Genevieve Counties, MO August 5, 2008 Election
Smart Voter

Health Care

By John Wayne Tucker

Candidate for US Representative; District 3; Republican Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Health care is a major issue, but it is also one of our most complex issues. What do we really want? I promise you that it will not be Socialized Medicine.
The health care issue is extremely complex. No one wants to see affordable health care more than I do. I personally pay $1,156.32 every month for family health care and then there are the deductibles and the co-pays, etc., etc., etc.

The problem with health care is multi-faceted. First, there are those who want to Nationalize Health Care. The problem with this, of course, is that the government is responsible for the huge cost of health care, the taxpayer foots the bill, a huge bureaucracy controls the care, and the quality of the care inevitably declines. The very idea of nationalized health care is contrary to the foundations of our country which is built on free enterprise and the very reason that we have the best health care in the world by most standards.

Secondly, There are some who call for privatizing health care. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the system as it is already privatized. In fact, privatization is one of the reasons that health care is so costly. Many of you will remember that we used to pay for health insurance and the health insurance companies paid the bill. When costs began to sore, the insurance companies were not making money as they thought they should. So, they created managed health care or HMO's. These were companies that were designed to manage the health care so that it would remain a profitable venture. As a result, many extra costs began to surface. Now, we were required to pay co-pays, deductibles, etc. As costs continue to rise, we are now faced with even higher out of pocket costs as well as limits in the numbers of items which are covered and the ridiculous notion that the health care managers can decide what medicines we should take and what procedures are covered regardless of what the doctor recommends.

Thirdly, the medical communities costs have risen for two related reasons. Doctors have been successfully sued for malpractice which has increased the costs of malpractice insurance. Those costs are passed along to the patient or HMO. In addition, to prevent the possibility of being falsely sued, doctors may over treat a patient. Do we really need all of the tests and medications we receive? Research indicates that we do not. But doctors call for them to make sure that patients can never sue them for not turning every possible stone regarding their health care.

Fourth, there is the problem of a new irresponsible public. When I was in college, I remember that my bank account had $6.00 left in it at the end of the month. We survived only because members of my home church sent us money and deacons from the local church would put bags of groceries in our car at night. But one thing I made certain was that I paid for health insurance out of my pocket and I was only in my 20's. Today, people opt to not purchase insurance so that they can have other things. They do this because they know that when they go to the hospital, they will not be turned away. However, when the hospital pays to treat someone who does not have health insurance, that cost is passed on to you and I.

Now, I know that you will immediately argue that there are many that cannot pay for health insurance regardless of what they may try to do. I know that you are correct in that regard. And there are those employers who hire people at minimum wage and then refuse to pay health benefits or contend that they cannot pay them. If they were forced to pay them, the cost would be passed on to the consumer and we pay the bill again.

So, what do we do about this complex problem? I have to say that I do not find a simple solution. Politians have argued that they have the answer when, in fact, they do not. If someone had the answer, it would have been solved by now. I propose to gather together medical experts, insurance companies, doctors, hospital administrators, legal experts, economists, and the public in a blue ribbon committee to finally come to some sort of acceptable resolution to this dilemma. But one thing I promise you. Whatever I am able to determine, it will not be socialized medicine.

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