OUR VIEW: Healthcare ruling leaves many questions

By Daily News • Last Updated 11:43 am on Monday, July 09, 2012

Well, it’s here.

The Supreme Court of our country, in a landmark decision, has apparently made universal health care availability the law of our land.

And why not? If we really believe that America is the greatest country in the world, why shouldn’t affordable medical care, a most essential human need, be a fundamental feature of American life.

As with so many aspects of 21st century life, the problem is money, and the numerous interests involved in the level of care and benefits given. Herein looms a big part of the fight against a new system. The medical care industry is booming. Private hospitals and “non-profit” hospital systems are acquiring doctors and consolidating services at a rapid rate. Public and private insurance benefit programs have a lot at stake here. With literally millions of people coming on board for medical services at “affordable” prices, what will be the effect on people already enjoying the elite status of current public and private health insurance? Will rates and levels of service be established similar to boarding and seats on airlines?

As the push and shove continues on the political front, we need to know how this program will affect us locally. We have a top 100 rated hospital here in Greenville and another highly respected hospital in Carson City. How will this legislation affect their operations?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) unquestionably has many nooks and crannies to be seriously examined. Adjustments … dare we call them compromises … must be made. But for what we’re paying the folks in Washington whose lifetime health care is already assured; we’d better get something more than self-serving political deadlock.

As our medical systems enjoy unprecedented prosperity, it becomes incumbent upon them to find ways not only to lower costs, but to make billing practices far more transparent. The unbelievable complexity of doctor/ hospital billings implies that the practice is either the result of incompetence in administration or self-serving contrivances of the industry.

Whatever, it’s time the issue was seriously addressed.

Opposition to PPACA seems to include resentment aimed at people who would qualify for extended costly benefits despite a history of poor hygiene and health habits. Surely some safeguards from and limitations to these excesses could be established.

America should guarantee adequate, accessible medical care for all its citizens. For all the resources that our government would put into this goal, we’d also like to see mandates that would insist on and lead to more Americans taking personal responsibility for their well-being, and becoming taxpaying contributors to the country’s beneficence.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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