As one looks at the healthcare debate as a person with medical training one wonders why the people debating the issue do not follow the medical models already in place. The models currently in place were in use during the Vietnam War. They use a simple formula. First, if the person is walking, talking and complaining about where they hurt, they are tagged as “Green” patients and are put to work or sent to an area for treatment later.
The second group is the red group requiring immediate medical care. Medical personnel treat these people first. The third group is the orange group. They require urgent care but do have the same immediate need for care as patients in the first group. The yellow group requires care, but treatment is not critical for life and limb. The black group is the group who are either already dead or will soon be so.
As it relates to health insurance and required health insurance there is another category. That is elective or non-elective medical treatment. The S.T.A.R.T program is about non-elective treatment. It identifies treatment required for life and limb. Non-elective medical care would include cosmetic surgery and such needs as reproductive health, code for birth control, and other treatments not required for life and limb.
If the healthcare plan had incorporated S.T.A.R.T. and distinguishing between elective and non-elective treatments, the healthcare mandate would require treatments only in the non-elective category. Further, it would only require healthcare for the first four groups in the S.T.A.R.T. category. There might also be conditions set for the green category in the S.T.A.R.T. model. To keep healthcare costs low, it should also cover preventative healthcare.
This would be the base or mandated health care insurance plan. All employers would be required to provide their employees with at least this plan, and all citizens would be required to have at least this model. Citizens could opt for plans that are more expensive include elective medical treatments. They could include plans that included people in S.T.A.R.Ts black group. Employers might even be required to offer these more expensive plans, but they would not be required to pay for them. They would only be required to pay for the basic plan. The government would subsidize the basic plan if required, but not the more expensive plans. If a person to be insured opted for a more expensive plan, the employer and the government would only have to pay the cost for the basic plan.
If a court ruled that a hospital must treat a person in the black category, the government would be required to cover the cost for that coverage. It would not be fair to require a hospital to pay for court-mandated coverage, nor would it be fair for a patient, his family, or his insurance to cover court-mandated insurance. The courts are part of the government. The government is requiring the treatment; let the government pay for that treatment.
This S.T.A.R.T. insurance plan does not address some key issues, which would need to be addressed in other legislation. The article, “St. Augustine, the City of God, and Shalom Aleichem. Receive the Holy Spirit,” relates how 5% of the population accounts for 50% of healthcare costs and most of these people are poor people whose poverty has resulted in chronic medical conditions.
Any long-term solution to the healthcare problem must address the conditions of poverty in this country. The article, St. Augustine, the City of God, and Shalom Aleichem receive the Holy Spirit,” also relates the appalling percentage of how the income the poorest 50% of the population receives dropped from 27% in 1968 to 19% of total income today. That wealth all went to the richest 20% of the population. We must address this income inequality for healthcare costs to drop. There simply is no alternative. Sadly, if we addressed this poverty issue in a meaningful way it would be the first time in 44 years. The question is, when will we decide healthcare is too expensive and needs to be addressed?