The Difficulties of Health Care Reform

By Senator Chris Steineger

Health care reform in the U.S. is difficult because we have assembled the most complicated, convoluted, inefficient, un-systemic health care "non-system" of the industrialized nations. The two biggest cost drivers are: the American lifestyle of too much food and not enough exercise, and the payer "system". Changing these two factors are "extremely difficult" and "difficult".

Health care reform in the U.S. is difficult because the elected officials who are to change or reform the non-system seldom get the opportunity to truly learn and understand the vagaries of Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, the Veterans Admin health system, ERISA, federal regulations, state regulations, and more. All Americans pay into these programs via taxes, but only poor, old, kids, & vets receive benefits. No other country has different programs for poor, old, kids, vets. Instead, every other industrialized nation collects taxes from their citizens but then guarantees a minimum benefit for every citizen regardless of age or wealth. Americas segregated health benefit "system" makes us unique and costs substantially more while delivering less.

Health care reform in the U.S. is difficult because there are so many lobbyists defending every station of the status quo. Many organizations, corporations, and individuals make money from the "system" the way it is. Hospitals, Doctors, Dentists, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, trial attorneys, etc., all will oppose some aspect of reform. They oppose any reform which might reduce their revenue or their ability to control who gets what.

Senator Chris Steineger represents the 6th district of Kansas, which includes portions of Kansas City and Edwardsville. Currently in his fourth term, Senator Steineger is the ranking member of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and also sits on: the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations; the Committee on Assessment and Taxation; the Committee on Education; the Joint Committee on Information Technology; and the Joint Committee on Legislative Post Audit.


love this ...great job thanks for the it

Nothing changes. Nothing changes. We need to take away all the free healthcare and all healthcare that Congress enjoys. Only then will there be an incentive to help everyone else. How any of these people, including Congress, sleep at night while thousands of us die needlessly is beyond me. They all should be ashamed. BS. It is not that difficult to fix. Just take away Congress's healthcare and see how THEY LIKE IT.

I agree with Steinger's comments regard PAC's heavy hand and their DC and state lobbyists favoring health insurance, but not health cost pricing controls.I just received the Record from the FEC showing 4,611 PACs with 9% increase in these special interest groups. In regard to Obama's health care reform committee, it also suggested the same-insurance. But no reductions or control health care or insurance costs. In checking FEC documents, as well as state campaigns, the health care bribes merely show the money to grease politicans is one of the reasons health care and insurance industry remains intent on getting more of our money. Instead of the United States of America, maybe we change it to the United PACS of America because these PACS are coloring the legislative agenda to their favorite color, green. So, one solution to getting to a better health and insurance system is stop PACS and their bribing federal and state politicans.

With all these entrenched interest supporting a broken system, we all lose a little bit, either through worse care, higher premiums, or higher taxes.How do we break out of this cycle?

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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at