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Real suggestions needed
Survey fails to ask tough questions
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 Many of us received a mailer this past week from Congressman Roger Marshall. It was likely similar to mailers received in other congressional districts across the nation served by a Republican representative.

“As a physician, I’ve seen first hand that the Affordable Care Act has failed,” Marshall writes. “I believe we must repeal the ACA and replace it with free-market reforms that will ensure high-quality, affordable care options for every American – a system that puts patients first and ensures there is no government interference in the doctor-patient relationship.”

As part of this flyer, he included a survey for his constituents. There are three simple questions.

• Have you seen your healthcare premiums or healthcare costs rise since the passage of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act(yes or no)?

• Have you been forced to change doctors or healthcare plans (yes or no)? 

• What is most important to you in reforming our healthcare system (multiple choice - keeping premiums down, putting patients in control and getting the government out of the way, giving more options to fit budgets and needs, and ensuring access in rural areas)?

First, the first question. Most of us have seen costs rise, but these would have risen with or without Obamacare. They rose prior to the ACA and have just kept climbing, and the act was in part aimed at stemming that.

Second, the second question. Our healthcare system has long been in a state of flux with employers changing insurance providers at the drop of a hat, forcing employees to change doctors. Again, this occurred before ACA.

The final question does offer some valuable options but the first two are very leading.

Yes, the healthcare system in America is broken. Yes it is in need of reform. 

The ACA was a valiant attempt to do that. Some of it missed the mark, some didn’t.

If our elected leaders really want to replace this and make the system better, they should be asking questions that don’t lead to the conclusions they’ve already reached. They should want real, honest suggestions that would lead to real and honest reform.

It is great that we are being asked to voice our opinions. Now just ask us what we really think, and be willing to accept what we say.

Dale Hogg