I’m no fan of privatized health care. We’ve been in its shadow in America for so long it has been accepted as the Devil We Know. Lots of people are too frightened to go all-in on a Nationalized Health Care situation, wondering if the quality of care will deteriorate, like most things do when handed over to the government. I get it. I have dealt with insurance companies on deeply frustrating, emotional levels since I was in my early 20’s and trying to figure out why my joints were on fire and my skin was breaking out in scaly rashes. (answer, Psoriatic Arthritis!). Now imagine giving an entire Plan of Care over to Government Employees who are NOT in line to get bonuses based on the organization’s performance, and you might begin to picture a doctor’s office resembling a DMV lobby on a Monday near the end of the month…
The problems that stem from the gap in having good coverage and having “not good” coverage, or no coverage, can be filled with money and doctors. By 2032, there’s a predicted shortfall of perhaps 122,000 doctors, both in Primary care and in Specialists.
“The major factor driving demand for physicians continues to be a growing, aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s population is estimated to grow by more than 10% by 2032, with those over age 65 increasing by 48%. Additionally, the aging population will affect physician supply, since one-third of all currently active doctors will be older than 65 in the next decade. When these physicians decide to retire could have the greatest impact on supply.”
The rheumatologist I was a patient of recently semi-retired, and was one of less than 20 in the state of Washington (his number, can’t corroborate). The provider gap is expected to be filled by Physician’s Assistants and APRNs, likely doing more triage and low-severity care before referring on to the Doctors. Got gas? They’ll check you out. The gas is presenting as a green spirit that can telepathically communicate with birds? On ya go!
So we’ll have fewer doctors in relation to (potential) demand of people. Baby Boomers (about 74 million) make up a great portion of the population, and will in turn need more geriatric services and care as they near the Final Good Bye (Florida or Arizona). Factor in a generation that was caught up in few terribly destructive health crazes (jogging, low fat dieting, voting Republican) and you’re looking at more cases of Alzheimers, Dementia, Trumpism, and judging of younger generations than ever before. What then?
Well… I don’t really know. Here’s where I’d start with getting a nationalized health care plan going.
- Take SUPER GOOD care of yourself. Get away from refined carbs, which can cause inflammation, which is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases. I triggered my autoimmune issues with a diet of stress, bad sleep, low fat eating, low-grade beer, and sleeping in a weird, moldy environment in college. Keeping inflammation low-to-no will greatly lend to longevity.
- Forgive all student debt for Medical Doctors, or heavily subsidize their education, particularly for specialists in fields lacking care providers. Nursing is the 8th most-popular Major in college. Pre-Med isn’t in the top 10 (one study shows Health professions & related areas is #2 in 2017 but doesn’t differentiate between Nursing, Dentistry, etc.). Computer science is #1, but that’s an entirely different pursuit. (FTR, Instagram Influencer and YouTuber are not college majors, but should be charged a quarterly tuition) Student Debt should not be a barrier to entry for the betterment of anybody’s life and education.
- Get Rid of Betsy De Vos. She’s a malignancy to the education of American children, and should be treated as such. She’d rather keep people poor and under-educated, as an attempt at reserving higher education for wealthier families. She is the richest person on Trump’s cabinet. She’s never taught a class in her life.
- Slow-Roll the national health care plan. Phase it in a few areas at a time. Nothing jarringly huge. Take one service and subsidize it. Radiology. Every x-ray, CT Scan, MRI is paid for by the American Government. Soon you’ll see what works and what doesn’t, the potential areas of corruption, and who stuck what in their where-now?
Ultimately, staying healthy is the best cure. Age and Life take their toll. I have a surgery on January 30 to repair a torn quadriceps tendon. Life happens. But in a nation with way more money than intelligence when it comes to spending it, we need to equate a Healthy Citizenry with a Healthy Nation. We have many more needs than faster fighter jets that will never fire a shot at a hostile foreign enemy. We need people to build solar panels and roads and tend to hemp forests.