Posted by: arjaylee | June 15, 2009

Healthcare Reform, Will it Happen? Will it Help?

Okay, the Obama administration is going great guns on health care reform. That’s cool. That’s one of the reasons he got elected. It’s also been tried before. They’ve got the same slogan as Bill and Hill: “Reduce the cost of Health Care.” Not sure what that means these days. In the past, Reduce the Cost of Health Care was code for “Medicare is going to deny more and pay less.” Never reduced my costs any.
All I know is that without health insurance, I’d never be able to afford to go to the doctor. I had hernia surgery nine months ago. At the time, I was double insured between mine and my wifes benefits. If I had to have the surgery today, I couldn’t afford to pay 20% and that’s a simple in and out little hernia repair. I can’t imagine being in the situation of catastrophic illness only to find my insurance doesn’t cover the experimental treatment that may keep me alive. Or how about this? Do I sell the house and stay alive, or do we keep the house so the family still has a home when I croak without the treatment?
It is immoral that health care has become a luxury item.
We tend make the insurance industry the ultimate villain of the story. They certainly aren’t at the top of my list of people who make me feel warm and fuzzy. As much as I like to imagine horrible things happening to them, I can’t let them shoulder the blame alone.
I believe it’s more of an unholy triad that we’re dealing with here: Insurance System, Health Care System, Legal System. As much as I like to point at insurance, I also have to ask “Who says Health Care should charge so much?” I know there are overhead issues. A doctor’s office has to hire several people just to deal with the various insurance companies. I know that malpractice insurance costs an arm and a leg. Without malpractice insurance, the obscene award given for just one “pain and suffering” case could close an office. It’s a vicious cycle.
For years, insurance just paid without saying a word. This led to a culture of over treating, prescribing anything and everything, whether the patient needed it or not. After all, the patient wasn’t paying, so what the heck. Eventually, Insurance figured out that they needed to stop paying so much. About the same time, all sorts of medical offices ceased to be run by medical people, but by business people. Guess whose interests went down a peg? If you guessed the patients, you get a hearty handshake and a pat on the back. As a former member of the health care industry, I watched, as forms being filled out accurately become more important to the bean counters, than whether or not the patient got what they needed. Of course the office needed to get paid, or I would get no paycheck. It was sad though, that a larger percentage of the day was going toward paperwork and billing.
I believe in accountability, that a patient who has been a victim of malpractice has the right t satisfaction. Having said that, I also believe that there have been some severely irresponsible awards given. This drives up medical overhead. It makes the lawyers richer and costs me more for a doctor visit. Or it costs the insurance company more which makes my premium higher.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to be doing this. Or maybe I’d be getting paid for doing this.

I think it would be a good Idea if all insurance companies had to be non-profit organizations. Hospitals too. (Some of them are) It works for Credit Unions. I don’t know why my ten minutes in an MRI machine costs over $1000. Don’t get me started on how pharmaceutical companies can fleece us like they do. I don’t see how just making insurance available to everybody is going to help if most of us can’t afford it. If there isn’t an decrease of what is charged, the insurance companies will cut their cost by denying more, paying less, and increasing my premiums. If there isn’t some sort of limits placed on malpractice awards, doctors won’t be able to lower their overhead. If surgeons don’t charge exorbitant fees for 5 minutes of time… you see what I mean.
Mr President, You’ve got your work cut out for you on this one. I’m hopeful, but not optimistic. I’ll keep praying for you.

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Responses

  1. Side bar. Robert, why do you have this thing where I have to give my name and stuff. It asked for my website and I didn’t know it so I went through a lot of stuff to find it out only to find there was no red star by that box. Optional. Okay, you kind of sound like me only smarter. I have raised nine kids. I have had to scrounge around to get them the health care they needed. This includes dental care. For me, well the same thing but because I am an adult some things might not have gotten done.For Shelton NOTHING got done. This has been a constant source of stress. We were self-employed and proving our income was very difficult (another Oprah show) Jamison as you well know is Special needs. No one tells you what is available for Special needs kids. You fall into it. At 16 he was eligible (maybe before) for medical coupons. I went to a podiatrist (that would take coupons) he was so very disgusted with me that I had not come in before.He treated me like…well get the point. When Jamison’s Kidneys failed the Dr.informed me that with Jamison’s medical he would not be paid very much.To be honest I don’t even know if he ever touched J. He ordered tests and procedures and prescribed meds and follow up. He was paid by the hospital!
    Robert, no general practioner ever told me he needed a podiatrist and everything with Jamison was and still is new. When I hear of the plight of those who need health care and prescription coverage I cry. I know the fear and the effort it takes to find what you need. I wonder if it has gotten harder. A couple of the practioners were so mean. When you would call a Dr’s office the first thing they wanted to know was what was your medical. Finally I asked one of them. What if my kid was like dying? Is that your first question. I know two Dr’s who saw this coming. One of them moved to DC to try to make a difference. The other hated it. His right hand nurse warned me of the changes. I don’t know what needs to be done to fix it but it needs to get fixed. We don’t want the insurance companies deciding what services we are eligible for (they kind of do anyway) I know of people who have to fight to get the meds they need. We are not trying to have some luxurious lifestyle. We are just trying to live. We don’t want plastic surgery to make us look better..we have a cyst on our ovary. It’s not so very important to people until they are scrounging around and doing without. My God Robert, is America letting people die. Not allowing people to deal with their mental issues (this is huge, I can assure you.) This subject frustrates me. We have medical now. I kinda feel guilty. Things are a little tough for our business so I fear that the medical will go. Quick, get your mammorgram, eye appointment, dental check up….ad nauseum. I don’t know the answer but something is so very wrong. I am not smart enough to figure it out…okay. But our lawmakers? They must be smarter than me. Sorry for the long post. My oldest son is 33 it’s been a long battle. It’s been hard and thinking about it brings tears to my eyes even now. I’ve heard that medical care is a privilege. What’s wrong with us? (Uh, I mean our country?)

  2. Privilege. OK I guess our life is a privilege then. Who do we think we are? I remember in a small town in California, the Dr coming to our house when I had the measles. (Am I that old?)
    I’m too tired right now to delve any further.

    BTW, I don’t know about the name request, etc. I think I have to answer the same thing at blogspot.

  3. A doctor came to your house? Jamison’s neprologist did want to come over to see the home dialys set up. Home dyalise (so hard to spell) is really exciting for him. It seems as though just when you get comfortable with they leave.


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