"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Have you read it?

Have you read it? Have you read any of the 1,000+ page health care bill? If you haven't, why not? It is available on many sites online but I liked using the copy on PatientsUnitedNow because not only do they have the complete text but it is searchable.

I will agree with the proponents of this bill on one thing and one thing only. Our healthcare system does need to be reformed. It is criminal that malpractice insurance has gotten so prohibitively expensive that there is at least one state that is completely without a Trauma Center. It is criminal that malpractice insurance has gotten so out of control that that obstetricians are fleeing the business because because they can't afford the risk of delivering babies. How sad is that? Something MUST be done about the frivolous lawsuits that are driving malpractice costs through the roof. It is criminal that there are people in our nation that go without healthcare and our congress has such fabulous coverage.

That said, the bill that is currently being proposed scares the living shit out of me. This bill is being presented as a way to widen our choices but what it does is limit them. Many entry level jobs don't offer insurance and many people in their early twenties make the decision to not buy insurance because they decide they don't need it. Under this proposed plan, if your job does not offer insurance, you are suppose to buy from the government plan. If you don't buy from the government plan, the government fines you for not having insurance. And, each year you don't buy it, they fine you more until avoiding insurance becomes more expensive than buying it. That doesn't sound like a choice to me, does it? On top of that, many of the big name insurance companies would be limited as to how many people they could enroll, thereby forcing people towards the government plan.

This plan also makes it illegal to pay for medical care out of pocket. This forces people to buy health insurance and, if their job doesn't offer it, that means buying into the government program. That means, if you don't like the care options your insurance offers, you would NOT be able to go to another doctor and pay for it by yourself. Your doctor could be fined heavily if they did that. I have personally talked to many doctors who have said they will most likely retire early if this healthcare plan is pushed through.

Since 2003, Obama has said he was a proponent of single-payer, universal healthcare plan. Now, he is supporting this public plan option. Have you ever asked where most of the body of this healthcare plan came from? This bill is heavily based on a plan that was shopped around to all the Democratic candidates by a Yale professor, Jacob Hacker. And, Professor Hacker freely admits that this type of plan will have the long term affect of driving the private insurance providers out of business thereby leading to a single-p[layer, universal healthcare plan.. If you want to hear what has been said about plans like this, watch this video. The government has already had one attempt at running a healthcare plan. The government runs Medicare...and they have run it into the ground. Medicare is used and abused by many. Medicare is a government sponsored program that our elderly are FORCED into. It doesn't matter if you have healthcare or are independently wealthy, when you reach a certain age, you must enroll in Medicare. Can you imagine being Bill Gates and being told you MUST enroll in Medicare because you have reached that magical age? Medicare drastically underpays doctors and hospitals on many things and, as a result, the official price of things gets jacked up so the medical establishment can recoup a greater percentage of the real cost. This has driven up medical costs for EVERYBODY. Do you really want the government who has done this to our healthcare system already to be in charge of our insurance system?

Despite its flaws, the quality of care offered by the doctors and hospitals across our country is the envy of many worldwide. People come from all over the world to receive treatment here in the United States. You would be hard pressed to match the quality of care offered and the medical advances made in our nation. I am afraid the creativity that has led to these advances would be stifled under the regulations of this proposed healthcare bill. There are people from other countries who are beseeching us to not go down this road.

Governor Huckabee had an interesting suggestion for managing the insurance problems of our healthcare system. Currently, healthcare insurance is bound by state lines. Governor Huckabee pointed out that car insurance (not the same, I know) was dramatically more expensive when it was limited to companies within state lines and that the cost of car insurance dropped dramatically when insurance plans were no longer bound by state lines. Allowing health insurance plans to cross state lines might have the same effect. I'm not saying that is the solution. I'm saying it bears investigation. Yes, we need to fix healthcare. Yes, we need to control insurance costs. But, please dear God, don't turn this power over to the government. Our founding fathers limited government power for a reason. Don't hand over yet another rein of power to the government.


Jen said...

scary stuff

calliope said...

well you know I am all up in the mix of people hoping & praying for health care reform. That people would be mandated to have insurance doesn't scare me only because I have lived in several states that mandate that my car have insurance.

I just can't wait to be able to GET health care. I mean right now, because of pre-existing conditions I couldn't get individual coverage at almost all of the major insurance companies. And the one place that did cover me charged me more for having an above average BMI and then 6 months in more than doubled my monthly bill.

I know that there are a lot of things being debated right now and I am glad for that- we need the debate. I can't imagine anyone thinks our system is perfect as is!

Kristin said...

I totally agree that we need reform. I just don't like the current plan.

areyoukiddingme said...

Huh. I live near a state line, I work for state government, and get most of my health care in another state. I guess our insurance here is not bound by state lines. Maybe that's why my insurance seems so good in comparison to other plans I've heard of. Thanks for the summary of the plan...

MrsSpock said...

I work for the largest insurance company in the US. It is incredibly complex to follow the laws of every state as far as what is mandated in what can be covered, how to conducts business, how fast a claim must be processed, and how enrollees and providers are notified of outcomes.Uniform requirements would be great- but I can see states squabbling a lot over it, because the regional differences really are huge sometimes.

I also am someone with many preexisting conditions. If my husband lost his job, we'd never be able to afford insurance on our own, and I would be hosed in the future. My sister has a well-controlled mental illness, and has worked the same job for 8 years, but has been denied insurance because of her illness. She has to go to Planned Parenthood for well woman care, and pay out of pocket for everything- totally outside her means. She obtains her psych care and meds on a sliding scale through the county mental health board. I am so grateful for the levy that pays for those services.

I would love a public option, one that isn't crap like Medicaid- but I don't want to be forced into it. Medicaid and Medicare do pay diddly squat to providers. When I worked home health, the going rate for a nurse was $25/hr, not including benefits and administrative overhead. Medicaid only paid providers $17/hr, far, far below this. Taking Medicaid is usually a loss for providers.