Posted by: michelle @ books my kids read | July 25, 2009

health care reform

For a long time, I’ve had problems with the way health care in this country is managed. As someone with pre-existing conditions, I understand the notion of being denied coverage. Also, with PPD, I am seen as a less than desirable client. Hasn’t been a problem because I’ve always been employed or able to cover the obscene COBRA costs.  And yet, I see that even insurance premiums while I’m employed are constantly on the rise and the options we’ve been given with my husband’s new job have us shelling out $1000 a month to insure the family. Ouch!

So then in comes President Obama who is taking on the health care industry and trying to make some reforms. I know that a lot of people in my position – the wife of a doctor – look at the idea of health reform and don’t like it at all. They fear that they won’t be bringing in the same amount of money. Well, you know what, doctors are supposed to have become doctors to help others, not to find ways to screw the system and pick the procedures that bring more money to their pockets.

Back in May I wrote this post about the medical industry and the price of the services we get. One of the things that Atul Gawande had mentioned in his New Yorker article was the idea of salaried doctors instead of fee based. This is what the Mayo clinic and Kaiser Permanente. Well, the New York Times just published a similar piece saying salaries and not fees will bring the most hospital savings. Managed care doesn’t mean that we don’t get good care. As the article says,

“Our proposals would change incentives so that doctors and nurses finally are free to give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care,”

In addition, we need to look at the whole person rather than the individual ailment.  While my husband was against the Kaiser model, what makes me really like it is that in addition to allowing their physicians to have lives, they also recognize that preventative care is the best way to reduce costs – nutritionists to cut back on obesity and all of its ailments, programs to help stop smoking, headache clinics with biofeedback, etc.

A friend of mine who is opposed to the current notions of health care reform mentioned that she doesn’t want to be spending more money to pay to insure people who are in this country illegally. What amazes me is that she doesn’t seem to get that this is exactly what we are doing now. Part of the reason that our premiums are so high are because there are a ton of people who utilize the ER as their primary care. There is an editorial in this weekend’s NY Times called Health Care Reform and You and I thought that this quote summed it up:

“Many Americans reflexively reject the idea of any new taxes — especially to pay for others’ health insurance. They should remember that if this reform effort fails, there is little hope of reining in the relentless rise of health care costs. That means their own premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses will continue to soar faster than their wages. And they will end up paying higher taxes anyway, to cover a swelling federal deficit driven by escalating Medicare and Medicaid costs.”

I’m still relatively new to being political at all, but we have to find a way to get a handle on medical costs.

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Responses

  1. “Well, you know what, doctors are supposed to have become doctors to help others, not to find ways to screw the system and pick the procedures that bring more money to their pockets.”

    yes, yes and yes.
    thank you for your post.

  2. thank you Terra for reading my post 🙂

  3. I am so proud of you!


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