By David Lubofsky
While I agree with the concept of the government of Guam self-insuring medical insurance, in a perfect world, it currently negates significant historical factors such as the ability or past record of the government of Guam to maintain financial integrity in our only public hospital. Guam Memorial Hospital owes millions to vendors who have or will hold back services. It’s so bad that GMH volunteers did a fundraiser to raise money to buy respiratory equipment for the GMH Respiratory Department. Where was the government of Guam?
While I agree with the overall premise of being self-insured, a government that can’t even protect us with an accredited hospital or with a maternity ward that doesn’t look like a war zone is hardly the organization that I would want in charge of my health care insurance.
It’s not just GMH, it’s government wide. Look at our schools, island infrastructure, maintenance of public tourist parks etc. Why is there no money to fix these things?
Do we, as manamko or the people of Guam, want to put trust in a system or government that has failed the people of Guam over and over again especially in our health care? When they stop paying the medical bills or delay them as they are famous for, clinics, hospitals and facilities especially off island will curtail medical services from the people of Guam, leading to deaths.
Case in point, the government of Guam is self pay for workers compensation injuries of its employees. Please ask them how many pharmacies on island or doctors will see these injured workers due to long waits to be paid by the government? It’s limited. The same as it will be predicted if they take over our health insurance bills.
The government self-pays under the Government Claims Act when people sue GovGuam due to negligent injury or death, but yet this fund has been underfunded for decades. They are not equipped to pay out multiple legitimate claims. Will they be able to pay out the huge medical bills of the people of Guam? Will cancer patients, as an example, have to wait for their bills to be paid for continued treatment?
There is no way in a million years that anyone can justify improved quality of medical services with the government of Guam running it or through this self-pay initiative based on their history. It will only put more money with our premiums into the government coffers that can also be raided and used for other things, especially during health emergencies.
PEOPLE WILL DIE WITH THIS PLAN.
I guess another red flag is why would the medical community get behind such an initiative when they may have to wait years to get paid?
David Lubofsky is a government of Guam retiree and a resident of Tamuning.