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Jerry Moran provides hope that health care will one day be cured E-mail
Opinion
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 13:05

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L&T Publisher Earl Watt



Not too long ago I had some frustration with Senator Jerry Moran and his position on the embargo with Cuba.

Moran would like to see trade restrictions lifted so that Kansas farmers can sell their grain to the Cuban market. 

While I support Kansans selling their products, I want them to get the best possible price for their products as well, and every time we open up communist markets, our farmers seem to work harder, produce more, and earn about the same thing they did before, or sometimes less.

While I disagree with Moran on the issue, I respect and understand his way of thinking as well, and I appreciate his approach.

In fact, there are times I hope Moran disagrees with me. 

Benjamin Franklin challenged the delegates of the Constitutional Convention before it was ratified, when he asked them each if they were perfect and had all the answers, or if, perhaps, they each might be less than perfect, and while the Constitution may not be perfect, either, that they should sign it nonetheless.

They did.

While I believe that I give careful consideration to a variety of viewpoints and issues before taking a position on any particular issue, I also know that there are people who are just as deliberate that reach a different conclusion.

Yet, we both have to be represented in government.

Jerry Moran might be one of the few independent voices remaining in Washington, D.C., and I don’t mean independent as far as political philosophy.

Moran is Republican. He’s conservative. But he is not a lock-step ideologue, and he is not compelled to satisfy leadership with his vote at the cost of his state.

His recent stance on health care is a prime example. While there are those on the left who champion his position as defying a president they despise, there are those on the right who equally want something, almost anything, to repeal the train wreck known as Obamacare.

For Moran, politics of the issue havent clouded an overarching objective — do what is right for Kansans.

Cancer does not discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. Not do pre-existing conditions.

But Moran also knows that the answer isn’t simply trying to find someone else to pay an ever-increasing bill.

Moran isn’t interested in the symptoms of a health care system spiraling with out-of-control cost increases, insurance exchanges collapsing or federally-operated health care. He is interested in a cure for health care.

What is causing the rising costs?

Moran knew before the Affordable Health Care Act was passed that costs were on a perpetual rise, and the new mandates didn’t stop the momentum.

Penalties for not having health care coupled with expanded Medicaid in many states only caused an additional burden, and health care insurers have been dropping out of the marketplace like flies, leaving fewer choices, higher premiums and no end in sight.

While most are focused on these issues, Moran is looking at what is driving up the costs including additional employees on a doctor’s staff just to fill out paperwork, sometimes in multiple ways for the same claim. Can’t we streamline the paperwork so one form can work for everyone? That’s what Jerry Moran is asking.

He also is revisiting all the tests that have to be performed not necessarily to enhance a patient’s care, but to prevent a doctor from facing a malpractice suit.

Running additional MRIs, X-rays, blood tests and more to treat something that might be as simple as a hangnail are causing the costs of health care to explode. 

Can’t we relax the requirements for some many unnecessary tests?

If a new health care law doesn’t address these and other root problems, Moran knows that costs will continued to escalate.

Moran could easily support a plan that would replace Obamacare, but that is not his goal. He actually wants to cure healthcare.

And the cure won’t happen overnight.

Moran completed one of his many listening tours last week, with the national media following not necessarily to listen to Moran but to push its own agenda, hoping that Moran would be critical of the president or of congressional leadership. Or perhaps they would get a juicy transaction between Moran and some protesters or troublemakers.

Instead, they got to see good old-fashioned leadership, where a Senator listens, the people speak, and a true solution is sought. Instead of trying to see if Republicans or Democrats can score points, Moran is working to help them both, to restore choice and the ability to stop the avalanche of cost increases.

And he knew that government was not the end-all, be-all for health care.

At the end of the day, making better choices in how we exercise and what we eat can have a major impact on health care costs, and Moran said as much. He also noted that poor choices by some create consequences for all.

That’s why I am glad Moran is the one in Washington making the decisions on our behalf.

He didn’t go to play games, he went to solve problems.

Yes, I may want to see a political victory in a solution to health care, but Moran just wants to see the problem solved.

If he can get more of his colleagues to focus on the cure rather than the symptoms, he just might be able to deliver truly affordable health care.

And we will discuss Cuba on another day. I know he will listen.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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