Last Week’s Speaker: Kristi Martin, Senior Adviser of the Office of Health Reform,

Betsy C, Kristi w/ Pres. Jim
Betsy C, Kristi w/ Pres. Jim

Bereft of a workable projector, Kristi Martin, Senior Adviser of the Office of Health Reform, reverted solely to verbiage without missing a beat.

She was inspired early, when health coverage was weak and poorly distributed, to get it for those who needed it. To get it off the ground, she worked through several levels up to the federal. An anecdote was given for illustration.

Ultimately health care reform was passed, with Medicare and Medicaid created in 1964. The Consumer Assistance Plan was developed to help individuals contend with denied claims from insurance companies. This struggle resulted in two favorable Supreme Court decisions. The Affordable Care Act, following the Massachusetts model, followed. This is admittedly not perfect, but is a start, creating coverage for 20 million people. In addition, adult children up to age 26 are included under parents’ policies. There is now also free coverage for screening services, benefiting 137 million. Clinical trials have shown that this is economically feasible.

In that partnership has been needed, the YMCA in Seattle and elsewhere has been a logical choice. All of this proactive activity has saved Medicare money. Attention has now targeted the malnourished. Delivery of healthful meals to the home is a program known as Feeding America. Each food box costs $13. People are being empowered to control their health, i.e., in managing cardiovascular and diabetic situations. Trials in Ohio. California, and Texas have proved encouraging. Politics aside, all of this has shown success.

Comment: Is this the forerunner of single-payer universal health care? The other industrialized nations might be consulted on this concept.


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