Finance & Enjoyment Blog

Healthcare Reform, or Health Insurance Reform as it is currently being called, is the hottest topic on many people's minds right now.  The House has passed a complex bill that is over 1,000 pages long; there are many, many provisions in this bill, and I doubt anyone can say that they know what it all means.  Democratic senators and congressmen rely on advisors who are guided by Mr. Obama's team for a political script for their public communications.  I wonder if any one of them has read the entire bill.

There are provisions within the bill that are highly questionable, such as the section that will kill private insurance.  The sections defining government involvement in end-of-life decisions also needs more discussion and thought before it is passed.  One east-coast physician who read the bill said on National Public Radio that much of the language is very similar to Medicaid language.  I'm not able to verify the truth of that assertion, but it makes sense that writing this original composition would take a great deal of time and thought if it is truly ready for all of us to live with day to day.  The more likely strategy would have been to pull language from some existing source documents to draft this enormous bill in such a short length of time.  The Medicaid system uses a high degree of government-based regulation in treatment decision-making rather than patient-based decisions, and is still an adequate reimbursement system.  We all know that the overall physician payment system in the United States has serious flaws.  The American Medical Association has issued statements that seem to support the bill, but outright support is still missing.  Five key points are their basis for a reformed system.  You can read the AMA statement at www.ama-assn.org/go/reform.  They are all valid statements, but the AMA doesn't really say that this proposed approach to reform satisfies any of them.  Likewise, AARP supports healthcare reform but does not openly support this bill.  A Wall Street Journal article dated August 14, 2009, page A12 says "It's striking that even the AARP - which is run by liberals who favor national healthcare - has been backing away from support for Mr. Obama's version."

The long-term result of this bill is obvious, and the intent is also obvious.  This is a huge leap down the path of government control of our personal healthcare, and establishment of a single-payer system.  The President and supporters won't openly say this, but this direction is consistent with Mr. Obama's history and statements he has made over the last several years.  In future years this single-payer system will gobble up more and more taxpayer dollars and will likely increase control over the physicians.  Anyone that thinks this burden won't fall on the middle class in America is just fooling themselves.  My fear is that this bill will create a monster the American people can't afford, and that will be impossible to reverse once it is implemented.  I also support healthcare reform but strongly believe this bill must not be passed in its current form.


Posted in Rules and Regulations »



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