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Health care needs reform, reg­u­la­tion and re­search

November 04, 2018 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online

Health care needs reform, reg­u­la­tion and re­search

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This year, 36 states will elect a governor. There are well over 24 seats that could change the balance of power in Congress, and 35 Senate seats are up for grabs during the infamous midterm elections.

A plethora of rhetoric clutters airways. Each candidate will lower our taxes, protect us and lower government spending. A loquacious relative explains why his candidate is better than another. Tactics from fearmongering to testimonials painting wholesome candidates blow up your smart phone and social media.

Recent polls suggest that the gender of the candidates is unimportant. Gun control is an issue, immigration is significant, but what seems to remain the most important is health care.

The obdurate partisan voter bases positions on rhetoric rather than issues. “Abolish Obamacare” or “pre-existing conditions” become codified into right or wrong. A more exhaustive review needs to be conducted.

Over $500 billion is spent on Medicaid annually. It makes up more than 30 percent of the annual budget of Florida alone. Texas warehouses more people in institutions than California, Minnesota and Michigan combined. Their resplendent rhetoric of doing business without red tape is simply not true. The Texas process for disabled community care is protracted. It is bogged down with an over-regulatory governing entity preventing the disabled from getting jobs or living in small homes.

Medicaid was ostensibly designed to help poor people. Over 25 percent of Medicaid is allocated for large state-run, inefficient, sub-standard institutional care. Billions are spent documenting care rather than providing it. Positively, it is the fuel that funds care to America’s most vulnerable citizens.

With so many issues revolving around health care, the political leaders need to see that there is low-hanging fruit. We need accelerated closure of large state-run institutions, privatization of care for persons with disabilities, and the reduction of zealous, redundant and, at times, sanctimonious regulations for those of us on the ground providing the care.

Robert Stack
South Side

The writer is the president and CEO of Community Options, Inc., a national nonprofit developing housing and employment for persons with disabilities.