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5/15/2006

lowering medical cost or how to pay

BoonWan is tackling the 'how to pay expensive medical bills again.' I sense that the issue is not how to reduce medical cost, but how to pay the ever increasing cost, through group insurance. I think the root to this problem is high medical cost. And this must be tackled first. Medicare must be rightly divided into those who can afford and don't mind paying and those who cannot afford and needed help. That is why we have a govt and not an anarchic society where there is no govt and if one cannot afford it, just too bad. Another area is for the govt to provide choice for the people to decide what they want to consume and pay for. The govt shall not pre decide who should consume what and pay what. The third area is to educate people to prepare to die. Anyone who passes 65 or 70, must be prepared to die, gracefully, with minimum discomfort, through ageing. The medical service must not play the role of extending life at all cost, thus raising medical cost to an astronomical height. For those who can afford it, they can pay for whatever to extend their life for as long as they want. For many who cannot afford it, and without the means, extension of life is an extension of suffering, a burden to themselves, family and society. The expensive medical procedures and medicine are not doing them any good but increasing their misery. And hopefully, with a review of the objectives of medicare and its role in society, and with a proper insurance scheme tailored to different individual needs, with choices and not a straight jacket formula, no one need to have all their money locked up in medisave and CPF when these can be used to provide them with a better quality of life. Not everyone needs the heavy insurance, not everyone wants to extend their life mindlessly. And many will have other means to pay for their medical needs, including family support. The medisave and medical insurance must allow for flexibility and choice. Otherwise, there is no need for all the supertalents if a simple straight jacket solution is all that the ministry can come out with.

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