Archive for November 2009

Healthcare Reform: Necessary for All   Leave a comment

Healthcare Reform: Necessary for All

This past week I received a packet in the mail.   It contained the information necessary in order for me to choose the benefits that I need, want and/or can afford for the coming year, 2010.   Just as in the past several years, the healthcare premiums are higher, and the benefits are different.   It is difficult to assess if the benefits are better or worse, just different.   Time and need will determine if they are better or worse.   This is not a government sponsored healthcare program that I am talking about.   This is a private company who offers its employees a healthcare benefit package.   We have come to expect such as this for we realize that healthcare costs have risen exponentially for two decades or more.

In The Examiner, the local newspaper for Independence and Blue Springs, Missouri, there was a letter to the editor entitled “Medicare Advantage hikes paying for health ‘reform’” submitted by Bob Baltzell of Independence, Missouri.   In this letter Mr Baltzell list all the ways in which the Medicare Advantage plan will be changing for the year 2010.   It does not paint a very pretty picture.   Mr Baltzell contributes these changes as follows: “These cost increases are the result of the various congressional bills that all propose to cut the funding for Medicare, specifically the Advantage plans, to finance these bills.”

Since there is no healthcare reform bill that has yet been enacted into law, I fail to see how any of these proposals would result in any changes for 2010.   In fact, no healthcare bill, should it be made into law, will go into effect until 2012 at the very earliest.

It is my contention and opinion that the reasons for these changes in Medicare, specifically the Advantage plans, are for the same reasons that the private insurance plans are offering less for higher premiums.   The rise in healthcare costs have the same detrimental effect on the public healthcare sector as it does on the private healthcare sector.   Medicare is being challenged in two ways.   There are more and more individuals becoming eligible for Medicare and healthcare costs are rising exponentially.   Yet we expect our benefits to remain as they are or get better.   At least in the private sector there is only one challenge, higher healthcare costs.   In the private sector the insurance industry can continue to cut out high risk clients in a number of ways.   Many of those ways have been highlighted in various blogs, articles and announcements.

The need for healthcare reform is obvious to me.   I wish that I could more effectively express what I see as a healthcare system soon to be in ruin.   How long before the healthcare system comprises one-fifth, one-fourth, one-third, etc of our nations total GNP?   Healthcare reform is not only a good thing, it is vital to preserve not only our healthcare system, but our overall economy.   It is necessary to save Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA healthcare system as well as the private system.

As I see it, it is either healthcare reform or we are at risk for a healthcare system failure which will make the recent financial market system failure look like a small bump in the road.   A healthcare system failure will have a huge negative effect on the entire economy.   These issues are not independent of one another.   They are interconnected and interdependent.   Healthcare reform is imperative.   We must move forward with great care in order to get it right.   We must preserve Medicare and the other government healthcare systems and we must insure as many legal Americans as possible.   It is my hope that we can come together in spite of our differences and share our concerns in a way that is non-confrontational.   May each one have their voice heard so that the best possible legislation can be made into law which will benefit all of us in the long run.

Posted November 13, 2009 by terryflowersblog in Health Care