Health care, liberty, and justice for all!

At MICHUHCAN’s 9th Annual Health Care Heroes’ Dinner on June 20 of this year, attendees had the privilege of hearing Wendell Potter, a nationally known speaker and advocate on health insurance issues. Mr. Potter shared his personal experiences working at high levels for several large, for-profit insurance companies and his personal crisis of conscience that caused him to leave the industry and become a voice for increased transparency and oversight of this industry.

His clarion call is that we, as customers and policy makers, cannot continue to let the need of large, for-profit insurance corporations to make more and bigger profits in order to feed wall street’s insatiable desire for money and corporate leadership’s desire for bigger salaries, bonuses and plusher office space while cheapening their benefits and passing on more health costs to their customers. Mr. Potter warned that the drive for profits is allowing corporations to buy influence by helping to elect policy makers who will allow them to write legislation and regulations that are even more profitable for them.

If we do not intervene two things will happen:

  • The costs of premiums and deductibles will continue to rise for all of us with millions again being forced (despite the ACA) to drop coverage;
  • Our democracy with the vision and hope for a government being of, by and for the PEOPLE will be threatened. Many would say that big money is already threatening the democratic process.

MICHUHCAN believes that big money is having detrimental influences on, not only the insurance industry, but also the health care delivery system as providers merge, becoming larger and larger. With burgeoning size can come a disconnect of corporate leadership from its customers Negative results for consumers can also occur without intervention.

We, as consumers, also have responsibilities to keep health care costs down and quality high.  What can we do, as citizens do? We must have the demand accountability from elected officials, policy makers, Regulators and ourselves.

Together, we must have the courage and perseverance to demand:

  • That the effect on the health of the entire community become a part of all policy decisions;
  • That accurate, ongoing data on the dollars taxpayers and consumers pay for health care (or anything else), is gathered and analyzed to assure the health outcomes for the community are being addressed;
  • That consumers are better educated on personal responsibilities for their health and how they can also influence the cost of health care by: eating right, exercising, avoiding unnecessary test and pills; serving on committees and advisory groups for the delivery system to assure that the interests of consumers are addressed;
  • That candidates for public office represent all of their community.

Taking the above actions, we will be able to achieve a “more perfect union” with liberty and justices for ALL. There is much we CAN do. Are we WILLING is the question. Are we?

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