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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fixing The Broken Health Care System

This week President Obama reached out to Labor and Industry, employers and employees and Congress and the voters, in an effort to increase the momentum for repairing the medical delivery system. The problems are universal and the remedies will need to be global.

In his weekly address to the nation The President said, "Simply put, the status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way. If we do nothing, everyone’s health care will be put in jeopardy. Within a decade, we’ll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care – and we’ll keep getting less for our money." Furthermore, "That’s why fixing what’s wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve – it’s a necessity we cannot postpone any longer."

The delivery of adequate medical benefits is a metastatic problem that goes to the very heart of the ability of the network of State workers' compensation system to operate. The costs of the delivery, co-ordination and administration of benefits continue to strangle the system into growing stagnation.

In a noble experiment the State of NJ, in response to critical reports, has proposed new regulations to establish an administrative system to expedite "emergent" medical benefits if an "irreparable harm" can be established. The irony is that the standard and requirement is so stringent, that imminent death does not even meet the standard.

The workers' compensation system was enacted in 1911, when the path was simple and short to provide medical care to "relieve and cure." The complexities that developed into the highway of benefits, has brought the major vehicle producers into bankruptcy, ie. Chrysler and General Motors. New vehicles will now need to be manufactured to meet the new needs of today and tomorrow.

It is time that Congress looks toward the workers' compensation system to develop a new vehicle to provide innovative approaches for a better medical delivery system for injured workers. A single medical care program that provides universal medical care would be a wise and appropriate route for America.

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