Health care system can be fixed, says author

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The American health-care system debate can be difficult for the average person to understand, says Kip Sullivan, a longtime activist and author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into it and How We’ll Get Out of It. Speaking Julyl 9 at Arise! Bookstore in Minneapolis, Sullivan explained the deterioration of the health-care system and how to solve the problem, while outlining the components of his new book.

Sullivan, who has spent his life working for citizen organizations,
currently represents the Minnesota University Health Care Coalition
(MUHCC). As a result of his citizen involvement, Sullivan has been put in a unique position to discuss the health care crisis.

Sullivan understands the importance of teaching average Americans about the health-care crisis so we, too, may understand this ongoing saga without needing special knowledge.

His facts are not skewed by profit incentives that may be found when
associating with big corporations. Sullivan outlined the best way to develop universal health-care: single-payer health care.

He proposed that the solution to the crisis is accessible by granting every American equal access to health-care under the expansion of a reformed Medicare program. Under a Medicare-style program, one person pays for health care, eliminating excess billing, medical care denial and the inefficient use of money.

Currently, only three percent of Medicare costs go to administrative costs, Sullivan noted. Health insurance companies keep 15-35 percent.

In a Medicare-style single-payer system, doctors would not be employed by the government and the government would not own clinics or hospitals, Sullivan said. This eliminates incentives that sway medical decisions. Sometimes these decisions are not in the best interest of the patient; they are designed to increase financial gains for doctors, hospitals or clinics.

Sullivan explained that under a single-payer system, insurance agencies will not have the ability to tell doctors or hospitals what to do concerning a client’s health care. Furthermore, every American will receive equal opportunities to have access to efficient health care.

However, Sullivan believes that big corporations and the media have
distorted the health care crisis. “Big managed-care companies are
heading us to high deductibles,” he said. The incentives behind profits for doctors and health care providers are what drive these contenders to push for high deductible health care systems.

Sullivan said he will continue to promote a single-payer health-care system and educate Americans on how beneficial this process may be. “The health-care crisis is fascinating,” he said. And a solution is “definitely achievable.”

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