This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a teacher who can't stop writing and also a former newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, October 01, 2010
Former Senator Singleton offers thoughts on healthcare outlook
In the following op-ed piece provided to The Turner Report, retired Sen. Marvin Singleton, who served the 32nd District in Missouri from 1990 to 2003 offers his thoughts on healthcare in America:
"Where have American innovation and the will to change the status quo gone?
I have been a practicing physician since 1972 first in Joplin, the healthcare system then forced me to relocate to California where I became a senior partner in the world’s largest HMO, and now have recently returned from working in a government hospital in New Zealand. These experiences from solo medical practice, an HMO and finally as a salaried physician working for the government represented by a collective bargaining union, combine with the fact that I served as Republican State Senator for 12 years, to have serious concerns about the current debate regarding the future of Healthcare in America.
Beginning in 1992 a serious debate began regarding solutions to a broke healthcare system. President Clinton was unable to find a consensus regarding needed changes, leaving much up to the States to attempt to change.
After eight years with the same problems of the under insured and uninsured with no direction, President Bush for the next eight years was unwilling to deal with the problems in spite of having control of the Congress. Inaction of the President and Congress to deal with healthcare and universal coverage, privately paid or governmentally. The Congress and the President failed to propose any solutions.
If I had the opportunity to vote on changing the Healthcare system, I would have preferred insurance reform with universal care provided by a private/public partnership. I would have voted on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which President Obama signed into effect on March 23, 2010. Not that the Law is perfect, far from it, this Law is the first step towards addressing the huge problems of healthcare. There are parts I do not like but I believe it is a work in progress in the right direction.
What I do not understand is the lack of alternative plans by those who oppose the Law? Many of the provisions which is phased in over the next 4-5 years have not even been implemented and the benefits or negative effects are not even given a chance. Americans have forgotten that innovation, discovery and change take a bit of time. We have become use to judging our companies by earnings in 3 months, research and development takes years just as the effects of this Healthcare Law will take years to see the effects.
I would challenge the naysayers to prove the effects and make positive, specific recommendations, most of which has been lacking for the last eight years. As Yogi Berra said, “ If you don’t know where you're going, you might wind up someplace else."
Marvin Singleton, M.D.
Retired MO State Senator, R-32