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Relieving something that is ill

I'm still trying to get my head around this "health care reform."

Because of work, I've been reading up a lot on it - pretty much an all day love affair with articles, updates, and comments. I haven't decided where I stand on it yet, but here are my concerns:


  • Essentially, there will be no "savings" with health insurance reform. What was once paid for my individuals will now be paid for by taxpayers. There's no way tax rates won't go up, and continue to go up as people enter the system.

  • How does the government intend to handle a sudden influx of patients, and not enough doctors to treat them? There aren't enough to primary care physicians to treat everyone, so long lines and wait times will be a given. They could incentivize schooling, but that could take years to see results from.

  • Right now, the problem with government health care is as there are more patients, the payouts get less and less. Take Medicare, for instance. Medicare pays very, very little to doctors and hospitals, so that doctors are starting to refuse to take patients. The patients then go to hospitals, who don't make enough to recoup the costs of treating the patients, and must pass on the cost to patients with insurance, driving up costs and insurance premiums. How does Congress plan to keep this from happening?

  • Tort reform hasn't even been on the table, and it's one aspect of the rising costs. Medical malpractice fears cause physicians to practice defensively, ordering needless tests and procedures to cover themselves from any liability. How does the government intend to stop them from doing this?

  • Will patients with private insurance be treated with better care, since they can pay more than those with a government-subsidized program? For instance, in Great Britain, a wait time for tests can be up to 4 months, but with private insurance, it can be done the next day.

  • Preventative medicine (testing, counseling, etc.) doesn't cost less than actual primary care. In fact, in the long run it costs more.

  • How does the government intend to tell people living unhealthy lifestyles (such as the 30%+ people who are morbidly obese), that they can't receive the same health care a healthier person might, without being discriminatory?

  • Along those same lines, since health insurance is a right paid for by tax payers, how does the government intend to treat people living here illegally, without being discriminatory? How can physicians, who took an oath to do no harm, tell someone they won't treat them because they are not legal citizens? And lastly...

  • Why haven't any of the congresspeople read the proposals?



I feel like bloated health insurance costs are only a symptom of the multifaceted problem the US faces. I'm not sure reforming it will solve the problems this country has.

Comments

( 3 [.a]lienations — [.a]lienate me )
thatblackchick
Aug. 19th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
At least you did some homework and asked legit questions, instead if many other people who just scream that the current idea of health care reform is just evil. If more people could simply ask the kind of questions you did, there could maybe be a better dialogue and we could get answers to the questions you posed.

You need to go to a town hall meeting with this list! ;)
audiate
Aug. 24th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
You have some valid questions.

I wish you would be at those townhall meetings calmly asking questions, instead of the needlessly-yelling folks I've seen footage of.
kynik
Sep. 1st, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Frontline
I'd recommend watching Frontline: Sick Around the World for a take on what other countries' health care systems look like. Very very relevant. It's freely viewable online.
( 3 [.a]lienations — [.a]lienate me )

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