Missouri needs major health care remedy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 | 1:24 p.m. CST; updated 11:51 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

Do no harm is a common-known oath taken by medical practitioners. Medical practices should be considered carefully before they are applied to the patients because this principle is common sense and ethical. When politicians prescribe cures for the medical system, they play by quite different rules.

In 2005, “Dr.” Matt Blunt used a meat ax instead of a scalpel to go to work on the health care system. While turning away millions of dollars of federal money, thousands of poor and disabled Missourians were cut off Medicaid, and thousands more people who still received Medicaid were denied medical necessities like rehab services, batteries for wheelchairs and oxygen.

The vital signs of Missouri are worrisome, indicating that the patient is in poor health. The rate of uninsured Missourians has risen at three times the national average, leaving 700,000 Missourians without insurance. Like an intense pounding in the chest, the impending election has once again called Dr. Blunt to inject another toxic cocktail of remedies. The name of Medicaid was changed to “HealthNet,” making us feel better already. Adding substance to the name change, Dr. Blunt added another layer of bureaucracy for HMO’s to skim.

Still the patient is unresponsive, so Dr. Blunt is calling for another procedure, “Insure” Missouri. Ingeniously, Dr. Blunt is asking to use federal grants hospitals use to take care of the uninsured to “insure” the working poor. A working person could earn only $850 a month and be eligible for “Insure” Missouri. Someone working full-time at the minimum wage $6.65 would not be eligible for “Insure” Missouri. Genius! Best of all, “Insure” Missouri creates another bureaucratic program separate from HealthNet, generating new paperwork and oversight regulators while at the same time serving very few people.

Dr. Blunt is using all the old tricks of the doctors of yesteryear such as leeching and bloodletting, only this time the patient is the entire state of Missouri.

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