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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Medicaid system is in poor health, too

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

It will come as no surprise that poor health of those without health insurance costs our nation an estimated $130 billion annually. This illustrates to me a couple of points. First, we indeed need an overhaul of the health care delivery system in this nation in the worst way. Congress has wrestled with this issue for what seems a lifetime. And yet an estimated 41 million Americans lack health insurance. But the report also illustrates the growing problem of providing health care to those without insurance. If medical care is free, millions upon millions abuse the program and burden the health care delivery system. That, to me, is the greatest problem.

A new report breaks down the costs of providing medical care for the uninsured. And one point of the report strikes far too close to home. Here's the line that hits our community.

"Paying for uncompensated medical care for the uninsured puts a strain on the entire community and can affect the quality of medical care for everyone." That strikes me as a perfect example of Sikeston. But recognizing the problem and arriving at a solution are two different issues.

What frustrates much of America is that many people on Medicaid receive far more extensive medical help than others paying for private insurance. You simply cannot dispute this fact. Where the problem lies is puzzling. But rest assured, there's ample blame to spread around.

All I know is this - we are indeed facing a medical crisis in this nation. Too many people are unable for various reasons to afford private insurance and thus, taxpayers must pick up the remaining load. That is the right thing to do morally without a doubt. Yet at some point, the system, funded by the workers, will be broken by the non-workers. That could well lead to a national health program that could be worse than anything currently imaginable.

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