This is the beginning of a series of columns that address the "upside down world" of the attitude of entitlement. Perhaps if we can all agree on some basic truths, we can actually advance the conversation and solve some problems.
So who is responsible for the health and care of your body: your family doctor, emergency room doctors and nurses, the surgeon?
Who is responsible for your debt: the bank, creditors, government (people who pay their taxes), your parents?
You see where this is going -- you. You are responsible in every instance. In all situations, conservatives start with the individual's responsibility not the government's. Actually the government is the last resource to be tapped. We know that our nation was founded on and has functioned well on the principle of individual liberty. Some citizens trust the government first and individuals last.
That is a very important difference.
Let's look at health care. When I have a health issue, I go to my doctor. I go to the emergency room only when it's a critical situation.
Too many people are currently using the emergency room as a family doctor's office. This expense is such a burden on the hospitals that it is one of the reasons that many hospitals are closing. In Tucson, Ariz., for instance, there is now only one emergency room for the entire city of 520,000 residents and uncounted illegal immigrants. The wait is unbearable. Still, the hospital is required by law to examine and treat anyone who comes in. Furthermore, too many people never pay their bills.
Obamacare, as far as I can tell, doesn't address this problem. At a recent meeting, Reezie DeVet, president and CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan, called this debt "charity." This "charity" is not a voluntary giving to the "poor." It's mandated by law that a private business, which this hospital is, must give away their products and services. Even if this expense threatens to put them out of business they're unable to send non-emergency patients to an urgent care facility. This must be changed.
My attitude is this: When my body needs something that I can't fix, I ask my doctor. He's helping me. (Note to the politically correct police: my doctor actually is a male.) I'm not turning over my responsibility to him. When my doctor prescribes treatment, it is my decision to accept the advice or find another alternative. I'm not forced to do what my doctor recommends.
I'm very grateful that he's willing to share the information that he has and his expertise in treatments. He worked very hard, at great personal expense, to attain his skills.
I would not sue a doctor who was trying to solve my problem. If his treatment didn't work, then I take the responsibility to take the next step in finding a solution.
Tort reform for some reason isn't taken seriously by our legislators. Hospitals and doctors are paying unreasonable amounts of money in malpractice insurance premiums to protect themselves from lawsuits, limiting the amount of settlements must be reviewed.
The misuse of emergency rooms, lawsuits and government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are running our doctors and hospitals out of business.
If that happens, we are going to be on our own when we have broken bones, cancer or a heart attack. Are we so stupid as to allow this to happen instead of repealing Obamacare and repairing our health system in a more reasonable, truly affordable way?
No matter what your political philosophy is, everyone knows that the current health care program is going to bankrupt our system.
The Congressional Budget Office has already announced that there will still be millions of uninsured people after Obamacare goes into effect. One of the reasons some people continue to support this program is that they believe everyone will have affordable or free health care. That is not going to happen. It would be better to face that fact now while we still have the ability to reverse direction and figure out a better solution.
From the Washington Examiner (July 29, 2013), "The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says 'I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.' The National Treasury Employees Union represents 150,000 federal employees overall, including most of the nearly 100,000 IRS workers."
Even the IRS workers, who will be administering the penalties and overseeing large portions of Obamacare, know this is not a good program.
Let's meet again next Tuesday.
Nancy Sarowski is the president of Emmet County Republican Women. Her column appears each week. Contact Sarowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Emmet County Republican Women's group on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily of the Petoskey News-Review or its employees.