Politicians focus on wrong part of health-care problem: Advisor

Key Points
  • Advisor Carolyn McClanahan says that when it comes to health care, politicians are focusing on payment when they should be concentrating on costs.
  • McClanahan is advocating for a network of nationalized community health centers to deliver primary care.
  • She says real-world health-care workers are being ignored by Washington political ideologues.
A financial advisor's plan to fix health care

It has not been easy keeping up with all the recent news coverage when it comes to health-care reform. To that point, there were seven different plans, a slew of edits tossed out and many more ideas thrown around.

For now, however, health-care reform has been placed on pause. While the House bill is dead, some in the GOP still hope that a successful push for tax reform would set the stage for a return to a renewed health-care effort — possibly one involving more compromise. That decision essentially punts health care down the road until the next budget season, around April, when the GOP can again try to pass it under the special reconciliation rules.

The bottom line is that Obamacare is still the law of the land.

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Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial planner and physician, believes there are some commonsense solutions to fixing the health-care system, and she feels the politicians are actually the problem and not the problem-solvers.

"With the health-care system being so complicated, one of the problems I have is that the politicians are focusing on the wrong things," said McClanahan, founder and director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners. "The No. 1 concern with health care right now is that we have a broken system and we need to fix the system.

"And politicians are unfortunately focusing on how we pay for health care and not focusing on the cost of health care."

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McClanahan will have an opportunity to make her case as an invited panel speaker next week at the Economists for Peace and Security symposium in Washington, D.C. Her panel is called the "Future of Healthcare: Medicare for all Pro and Con." McClanahan was invited to speak at the event by Professor Stephanie Kelton, a leading economist who served as Sen. Bernie Sanders' chief economic advisor.

"We need to fix health care in this country, and we could do that by creating a network of nationalized community health centers to deliver basic great primary care to everybody, and by creating that, we can create economic security, greater health in this country and we can make America great again," she explained.

The actual delivery of health care is key, said McClanahan, who began her career as a physician.

"It is fragmented; the people who work in health care hate the system," she said. "They want to take care of patients, but they are dealing more with bureaucracy and administrative stuff instead of actually providing good health care, so we need to fix that."

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McClanahan plans to use her time at the symposium to lay out plans to fix the primary-care system.

"We need to rebuild our primary-care system first, through a network of government funded, fully paid community health centers where anybody — not just poor people — where everybody could go for their primary care for free," she explained.

She feels that very clear message is getting lost with the powers that be in Washington.

"I think that problem in the Beltway is that both parties are so focused on their platform, and if anything does not fall into their platform, they tend to ignore it," McClanahan said. "So those of us in the real world, who are actually facing problems in this health-care system, are having to deal with people who are not willing to listen to anything outside of those party lines."