Health Care Reform has been attempted by seven presidents. Obama’s administration with the Affordable Care Act, has put forth meaningful change. Even it’s detractors will state that it is legislation that is significant and can’t be ignored. There is strong argument that this is a mixed public policy debate on how to spend limited resources and survive in the political arena.
Whoever provides medical care or pays the costs of illness stands to gain the good will of the sick and their families. The prospect of these good-will returns to investment in health care creates a powerful motive for governments to intervene in the economics of medicine. Political leaders since Bismarck . . . have used insurance against the costs of sickness as a means of turning benevolence to power. Similarly, employers often furnish medical care to recruit new workers and instill loyalty to the firm. Unions have used the same means to strengthen solidarity. To be the intermediary in the costs of sickness is a strategic role that confers social and political as well as strictly economic gains. Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of Medicine
The quote above is a bit stale in today’s marketplace of medicine. Health Care services will always follow the streams of payment from whatever sources are available. With state governments unable to afford federal matching funds for entitlement programs the infrastructure of our community’s health care structure is truly at risk.
As the true cost of this health care infrastructure becomes more of a local government issue, limited funding may cause consolidation at the Hospital Level. Special Taxing Districts may increase to fund Hospitals. As the debate becomes more local a closer look a medical outcomes and cost of care will be fought at our doorsteps. We need to be watchful of this issue.