October 16th, 2014
This week’s writer is Allan Rodgers, MBA, MEd, a professor of business at, and former president of, Vermont Technical College.
Twenty years ago, the Vermont State Colleges hit the demographic iceberg of declining future high school graduates. The good ship VSC has been taking on water ever since and the slow sinking has finally become visible on the top deck. From recent articles in various publications, it would seem that the iceberg was only recently discovered, but the truth is that the lower birth rate curve was sighted and struck 20 years ago.
HEALTH CARE: States have regulated health insurance for decades. The federal government began their efforts in 1965 as President Johnson met the issues of insuring the aged and the poor (Medicaid and Medicare). ERISA, President Bush’s Part D drug coverage and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act all sought to make medical care approachable.
HEALTH CARE: Government’s role is to protect patient safety, maintain health standards, license providers, insure solvency reserves, and ensure timely access to care. It is governments roll to provide a safety net to those unable to afford healthcare.
What government should not do is to create a multi-billion dollar health care monopoly where patients have no choices, providers are controlled by government and taxpayers assessed staggering new taxes.
HEALTH CARE: We have a great network of community hospitals and providers here in Vermont. We should not fault them for engaging in business practices that are necessary to be sustainable in our current health care financing environment. Yet this environment is disastrous for providers, employers, families and for patients who struggle to pay the bills.
HEALTH CARE: The role of government in healthcare should be to reconnect the patient with the caregiver. When a patient can choose which doctor to go to, the quality of health care is maintained, and if the patient is encouraged to shop around by being directly involved with the payment of healthcare then the cost of healthcare is contained.