Many of my more liberal friends (whom I love and respect, truly I do!) have said that making sure that every one in this country should have access to healthcare and that they are willing to pay higher taxes to make sure that happens. They say it is the morally right thing to do. And when you think about it with emotions and in the terms of "little Sally with lukemia" who can't get the treatments she needs because her parents can't afford them yada yada yada, I agree it would be the morally right thing to do. But this current bill isn't about making sure that "little Sally" gets treatment. It is about undermining the private insurance industry. It is about more government control and more government regulation. It is about someone other that me being allowed to make decisions about what is the "evidenced based" care that I should recieve. So if there isn't a study that shows that treatment A is better than treatment B, and treatment B works for the "majority" of patients, then I won't have access to treatment A unless I pay out of my pocket. Someone please tell me how that is any different that what insurance companies do now?
An example of this are the prescription drug formularies that most insurance companies have now. They are a list of drugs that are "approved" for coverage. When Austin first started on allergy medications, our current insurance didn't have Zyrtec on its formulary, then alternative was Allegra. Allegra gives me migraines. Up to this point Austin's reactions to drugs, food, allergins, etc had been EXACTLY like mine. There was no way I was going to give my 2 year old a medication that gave me severe headaches. BUT because it was the "approved" drug on the formulary, I had only one other choice. I had to pay for the Zyrtec out of pocket (it was not OTC at that point) which ended up being almost $90 a month. So much for evidence based care lowering people's health care costs.
I have serious doubts about the consequences of the government being involved in life and death decisions. I still get to make those for my children and myself, despite having insurance. I honestly don't think nationalized insurance is going solve our problems. I doubt it will actually fix the access/cost of care issues. Add to that the fact that the historically it costs the government more to do anything that the private sector can do. How is that going to save us money on our health care? In fact in a recent "Time Magazine" poll the respondents believed the "legislation is likely to raise health-care costs in the long run (62%), make everything about health care more complicated (65%) and offer less freedom to choose doctors and coverage (56%)" How is this going to be better than what we have today?
People all over the political spectrum have said that Insurance is part of the problem. The way insurance is handled will never bring costs down. Costs only come down by choice by the provider (yeah right), government regulations (didn't work for energy, which is why it was de-regulated), or free market correction. With the exception of adjustments for inflation, the free market historically is a much better way to cost correct. The problem is that our health care isn't a free market. Because of heath insurance we don't really pay for the actual care we use, we pay a set amount on a monthly basis. We may have a higher co-pay from time to time, but we don't feel the pinch of real medical costs (we being the majority of Americans who have the typical hmo/ppo type plan through their employer). If people paid cash for their medical care that would change drastically! Not that I want that to happen trust me. But this leads me to another point. If soooo many people out there were having to pay out of pocket for medical care that was too expensive then why hasn't the market corrected? Perhaps because the actual number of people in this position is a lot smaller than we are lead to believe? Just a thought.
Fixing the problems with medical liability(so we can have more practicing doctors who make decisions based on what is best for the patient NOT because it will keep them from getting sued), funding clinics (to provide immediate access), and regulating prices for drugs and procedures (making care affordable) is what I have seen to be our biggest issues. (more on that later)
If you read through the basic points of the bills before the house and senate, it is all about health INSURANCE reform and not very much about health CARE reform. I want reform, but the right reform in the right way. OH and btw it is my constitutional RIGHT to have this opinion. I respect every American citizen's right to his or her own opinion, but I don't have to agree. Remember this one? Dissent is the highest form of patriotism! It is important for our Republic to continue to succeed that EVERYONE has their voice heard. Not just the popular opinion. It it equally important that when the majority of people let their views be known to our government representatives that those representatives actually listen. IF this particular health care bill gets discarded or changed to fit what "We the people" want which is fix what's broken and leave what isn't the hell alone, then I will have faith that our system is still working. If this thing passes as is, then I will have my belief that we as a country are broken reinforced. It has been broken for a long freakin' time. "We the people" will have ceased to matter and the Washington elite will have won.