Friday, September 3, 2010

Marshall in Jasper County

From the Monticello News:

Last Week, Jim Marshall, and long time champion of rural health care, visited Jasper Memorial Hospital last Wednesday and participated in a round table discussion concerning the ramifications of the recently passed health-care-reform legislation and other health care concerns.

Mr. Marshall, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat who did not vote for health care reform, was joined in the meeting by moderator and Administrator Jan Gaston, Doctors Leigh Anna Thompson and Shannon Barton, Controller Stewart Abney, and Pharmacist Phil Johnson. Health Services Board Chair Steve Jordan was also on hand.

Mrs. Gaston began the discussion by informing the congressman that the 90 employees of the Jasper Health Care system has a $2,000 deductible each and were only paid out $60 of every $100 they paid in, yet their provider was raising their rate by 23 percent equal to $125,000.

Mr. Jordan asked, “Do the people in Washington think our health care problems are solved?”

Mr. Marshall replied, “Some do, and there are no votes to repeal it. Where we were was a disaster and where we are now is a disaster. It’s difficult to believe the U.S. economy has a segment which is this ineffective. The system is just out of whack. We didn’t get here overnight. It took us 60 years and we won’t get out soon because people equate health care with health insurance. It’s like you don’t have health without health insurance and they are synonymous.

“It’s widely acceptable that health care cost is 65 percent of the federal budget, and we can’t solve our debt problem by reducing the remainder. All we can do is print our way out of it.

“I think we are going to look at health care again, and the trick is to do it in a way that gives our seniors and poor people what they have now. We can’t do it this year or the next, but I believe we can.”

Dr. Thompson emphasized how potential lawsuits were a huge factor in health care, and Dr. Barton added that the huge number of entitlement programs compelled people to expect someone else to pay their way, and how the onus is now on the physician and not the patient to make sure they stay healthy.

Mr. Johnson elaborated on the complicated problems between pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and branded drugs versus generic.

Mr. Marshall said, “It’s a complex problem and I would like people to know how this system drives the cost of health care up. Employers led us into the problem and they can lead us out.”

Mr. Marshall recently penned an article on nationalreview online, titled “Real Health-Care Reform, Why America Must Move Away From its Third-Party System.”
The first paragraph reads: “The recently passed health-care-reform legislation, which I opposed, has been pilloried as ‘worse than 9/11’ and ‘the end of prosperity in America forever’ and ‘the end of America as we know it’ and ‘the end of the republic.’ Utter nonsense.

“It’s supporters have said the new law ‘is a triumph in terms of deficit reduction’ that will ‘Significantly reduce long-term health-care costs’ and ‘not add one dime to the deficit’ and ‘strengthen Medicare’ and ‘reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs.’ Unfortunately, this is also nonsense. Structurally, the legislation is just more of the same—a few box cars added to a runaway economic freight train hauling the nation toward bankruptcy.

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