Frankly I am tired of hearing about the health care mess. I suspect most everyone else is as well.
As a retired, academic-based surgeon I share the lay frustration surrounding the ongoing debates - what do the 2,200-plus pages of the Affordable Care Act mean?
We have been traveling a road that offers little hope for a meaningful outcome. Decades of proffered solutions have not stemmed the tide of health care costs rising faster than the economy and the lack of access for all citizens.
Government HMOs, private competition and combinations have proven not up to the task culminating in the gigantic, mysterious Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare."
The road miss taken have started in the early 1990s with the Hillary Clinton's well-intentioned, but disastrous health care legislation. The process doomed the outcome in that most of the organizations familiar with how health care worked were excluded from the table as being "too self-serving."
The American Med3ical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and health care providers were not present in any significant measure leaving it to politicians, lawyers, managers, lobbyists, consultants and consumers to cerebrate their way to a workable solution for rising health care costs and mal-distribution of coverage.
Dr. Clyde L. Nash Jr. is emeritus professor of orthopaedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a Boca Grande Club resident.
Sadly they continue to underestimate the deep complexity of how health care is dispensed and the multiplicity of what is required to effectively manage the health issues of a nation as each interest group weighs in with its pet theory and limited point-of-view.
All this is like trying to cure a patient for whom we do not have a any clear idea of his/her disease conditions. Or in a secular vane, the seven blind wise men are still trying to describe the elephant.
Either way, the odds of hitting on a curative solution are as remote now as they have been in the past.
The current omnibus health care legislation offers a minefield of unintended consequences consistent with risks of treating a patient with a medicine or surgery when the cause of his/her malady is unclear.
So what to do?
Assuming we could actually implement an effective plan, which would require bipartisanship, diagnosing the problems can be done.
First, set aside the issue of how effective U.S. health care is by recognizing it is pretty good but not perfect. Focus on the more pressing issues of making what we have available and cost-effective to all citizens.
Let's begin by defining what a healthy health care system would entail: timely access for all wherever they live, ability to choose one's doctors and hospitals, affordability and high quality of care.
Turns out that we have a system in our country that fulfills most of the above, it just isn't available to everyone. It is called Medicare. Few senior citizens would raise any significant complaints about it, except perhaps the complexity of its paperwork. And it can be funded without breaking the bank.