Penny wise, pound foolish. In her “As I see it” column (3/25, Opinion, “General Assembly falling short on children’s health”), Charron Townsend decries the Missouri lawmakers’ decision to strip financing for children’s health benefits. But let’s not limit it to both children and Missouri.
We face a nationwide crisis of bankrupting families with a health system that is wasteful and ineffective. It’s ineffective in cost versus benefits, enriching insurance companies and preventing early care and diagnosis of potentially devastating conditions that ultimately blossom into catastrophic and expensive treatments.
The conservative argument, besides the specter of “socialism,” is that the government will mess up. Any conscious person will say “What do we have now?” If, for example, we had one agency to straighten out the prescription drug monster, we could probably save millions on the cumbersome system that exists now.
Some estimate that shuffling records contributes to 40 percent of medical costs, so the new administration’s idea of having a national database for billing and record-keeping would reduce health-care costs significantly. An additional benefit would be a means of tracking fraud.
Businesses would also gain by relief from expenses of employee health plans if a national universal health plan were in place.