Archive for January 2010

Healthcare Reform : Now What?   Leave a comment

 

Healthcare Reform : Now What?

Now that Scott Brown ® of Massachusetts has been elected to the senate, where does that leave the legislation for healthcare reform?   Some are saying that the fact that a Republican was elected is an indication (for the whole nation) that the voters don’t want any form of healthcare reform.   I am not so sure that is the case.   I believe that the majority of Americans realize that reform is necessary.   It’s just that they don’t like the legislation as it now stands.   To say that Americans are apposed to healthcare reform in any form is a stretch.

 I have been of the opinion that our nations’ healthcare has needed reform since Bill and Hilary Clinton attempted it.   I was very much encouraged when Barack Obama was elected.   I felt sure that healthcare reform would finally happen.

 As the legislative process unfolded I became more and more dissatisfied with the process.   While there is some debate as to how transparent or non-transparent the whole process has been, it has been far from a perfect process.   Their are aspects of both the house version and the senate version of the legislation that I like and that I don’t like.  In the final analysis however, neither version will be as transformative as it needs to be.   It is my belief that Medicare needs to be expanded so that all Americans will be provided their healthcare needs.   All the reasons and support for this opinion can be found in the articles that I have posted previously on this site.   I would also encourage anyone interested in really investigating this possibility to go to Physicians for a National Health Plan at www.pnhp.org    On their site they line out a detailed plan on how this could be implemented and how it would work.

 Most of the questionnaires that I have seen from the political parties, word the questions in such a way that it is obviously going to produce a biased result.   Therefore, I question many of the pole results that have been reported by the various forms of the media.

 I encourage you to learn all you can, on both sides of the issue, so that you can form your own opinion rather than simply repeating the sound bites and catch phrases that you hear on the airways.   We, the citizenry, need to step up and fulfill our democratic right and duty by sharing our views and perspectives with our elected officials.

 I believe that medical care it is a human right, not a privilege to be enjoyed only the those with the resources to purchase it.   Let’s all get involved and let Congress know how we feel.

Posted January 21, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Health Care

Healthcare Reform. Fer or Agin, and Why   Leave a comment

 

Healthcare Reform: Fer vs Agin and Why

 There seems to be no end to the opinions that are being expressed in regard to healthcare reform. With that in mind, I will continue to throw in my two cents worth. Depending on your perspective, you may feel that is an inflated value or a value that is far too low.

 Initially, it seems that there were two sides to the debate in regard to reforming our nation’s healthcare system. Fer and agin. Those fer reform argued that reform was necessary in order for our overall economy to recover and gain strength. It was the compassionate thing to do as more and more families were bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy due to their overwhelming medical expenses. Or because of the fact that healthcare costs have outpaced the rest of the economy for at least two decades and continue to do so. And on and on.

 Those agin reform have had their arguments too. It would be unconstitutional as the rights of the individual and the state would be trampled upon by the federal bureaucrats. The cost to the taxpayer would be too great. Why should one who is responsible and successful be forced to support those who are not so responsible. And on and on.

 Now that the house and the senate have passed some form of healthcare reform the lines of those fer and agin are beginning to blur. It seems that fewer and fewer are supporting the legislation that these two bodies of our legislative system have produced. It doesn’t seem to be that more people are opposed to healthcare reform, they just don’t like the legislation that is being developed. The polls, depending on how they are interpreted, seem to indicate that the majority of those polled are opposed to reform. I would say that, depending on how the questionnaire is worded, that the polls reflect a disappointment in the legislation that has been developed to this point.

 I have been following the healthcare reform issue since before the election. It is an issue that I am passionate about. Yet I find myself struggling with the legislation at this point. It, in my opinion, is too weak. It cow-tows too much to corporate America, especially the healthcare insurance industry. Being more aware of the legislative process than in the past, I see too clearly how both sides of the aisle wheel and deal in order to come up with the necessary votes to get just anything passed. I am not only disappointed in the healthcare legislation, but in the legislative process. This, I believe, is why there is less and less support for the provisions in the current legislation.

 So, am I now fer or agin healthcare reform? Of course, I am still fer it, but not so much in its current form. Will it improve once the congress convenes to merge the two bills? I am not holding my breath. I really feel that there is too much at stake as our legislators are so tied to corporate America. We pride ourselves as a nation on our democratic process of government. More and more it seems that corporate America influences our representatives so much more that their constituency. Our legislators depend so much on corporate dollars in order to be elected. They can not afford to lose those dollars by creating a reformed healthcare system that would cut off or even reduce that revenue.

 There are a couple of web sites that I would encourage anyone who is interested in any real healthcare reform. They are Physicians for a National Healthcare Program at www.pnhp.org and Mad As Hell Doctors at www.madashelldoctors.com These two organizations have the ideas and the plans that would help to create a new and better healthcare system for America, for all Americans. They address the cost issues, the access to care issues and so much more. I would encourage you to visit these sites. They have a link and/or a tab by which you can contact your representatives and let them know your views. I have made my contacts and I hope that you will too.

 As I have observed, listened, watched, and read all the arguments fer and agin reform I have come up with some ideas to consider. I have noticed that most, if not all, of those who oppose healthcare reform are in a position of being able to provide for themselves and their families. They have good insurance that they can afford or they have the financial strength to meet their medical needs or they are healthy and have no present medical needs. I don’t know of anyone who opposes healthcare reform that is struggling with medical expenses beyond their means, who is in danger of losing their home, or who is on the verge of bankruptcy due to their medical needs. Those who find themselves in such dire straits are usually not in a position to be able to voice their concerns. These are some of the most vulnerable of our society.

 As a nation and as a society we have become very proud of our individualism, our independence. Some of us who have our medical needs met don’t feel that we should be required to pay higher taxes to support those who are not so fortunate. This, I think, is another symptom of our me-me attitude. If everything is okay with me, then everyone else can be damned. It is a dog-eat-dog or the survival of the fittest mentality. For those who have little or no problem meeting their medical needs, there is no healthcare problem.

 What we forget is that those who have are already subsidizing, either directly or indirectly, those who don’t have. The costs of this are hidden and very difficult to uncover. But they are real. This type of system is also reactive rather than proactive. Costs could be kept lower if everyone had access to preventative care instead of waiting until becoming ill when the cost of care is greater.

 I hope that you will not sit quietly on the sideline on this issue. If you don’t voice your opinion, either fer or agin, then whatever we get will you will have to live with. This is an issue that will, sooner or later, affect each and every one of us. Even those who have the resources to meet their needs presently, of which I am one, could, at anytime, unexpectedly, find themselves in a very different place. Loss of job or if an employer decides to discontinue healthcare coverage, or an accident or unexpected illness…any one of these events could put almost any of us in the position of losing everything that we have worked so hard for. For those who don’t feel that they want to pay higher taxes for support the sick who do not have the resources to pay for their care, I would say to look at their increased taxes as a form of insurance. Insurance is designed to spread the risk among the populace so that no one or no small group is given too great a burden. People carry insurance, not because they think that they will need to use it, but to protect from greater loses in the event that something happens.

 So, are you fer or agin healthcare reform? Kind of depends on what the reform is, doesn’t it? Let’s work together to get the reform that we desperately need and want.

Posted January 5, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Health Care