Not left, not right, forward.
Andrew Yang supports a “Medicare for All” policy where every citizen receives full medical and holistic insurance coverage.
There will be an increased emphasis on preventative and holistic care services such as mental health care.
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The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, providing funds to states to innovate while expanding Medicaid substantially. However, it didn’t address the fundamental issues plaguing our healthcare system:
- Access to medicine isn’t guaranteed to all citizens
- The incentives for healthcare providers don’t align with providing quality, efficient care
This must change.
Through a Medicare for All system, we can ensure that all Americans receive the healthcare they deserve. Not only will this raise the quality of life for all Americans, but, by increasing access to preventive care, it will also bring overall healthcare costs down.
With a shift to a Medicare for All system, costs can also be controlled directly by setting prices provided for medical services. The best approach is highlighted by the top-ranked Cleveland Clinic. There, doctors are paid a flat salary instead of by a price-for-service model. This shift has led to a hospital where costs are visible and under control. Redundant tests are at a minimum, and physician turnover is much lower than at comparable hospitals.
Doctors also report being more involved with their patients. Since they’re salaried, there’s no need to churn through patient after patient. Instead, they can spend the proper amount of time to ensure that each patient receives their undivided attention and empathy.
Outside of a shift to a Medicare for All system, we can look to the Southcentral Foundation for another important shift necessary in the way we treat patients: holistic approaches. At this treatment center for native Alaskans, mental and physical problems are both investigated, and, unsurprisingly, the two are often linked. By referring patients to psychologists during routine physicals, doctors are able to treat, for example, both the symptoms of obesity and the underlying mental health issue that often is related to the issue. The referral also leads people with issues they may otherwise try to bury – sexual abuse, addictions, or domestic violence issues – to bring them up with a doctor so that they can be addressed.
By providing holistic healthcare to all our citizens, we’ll drastically increase the average quality of life, extend life expectancy, and treat issues that often go untreated. We’ll also be able to bring costs under control and outcomes up, as most other industrialized nations have.