Sunday, January 03, 2010

Thoughts on Health Care Reform

We've all been watching what is going on in Washington, and frankly, I'm not impressed. President Obama's health care plan, while a good idea in principle, seems to be getting derailed and distorted out of proportion. I don't pretend to know a lot about it, as I haven't had much time to study it. What I have seen, however, is that the plan seems very confusing. I read stories about how employers may opt for a less comprehensive government plan, rather than the plans they have now, leaving the insured stuck with the bill for the rest. I've also read that it will provide coverage for those who do not have it. There are good and bad points to the whole thing, and it is very confusing. What worries me is that, with any plan made by the government, we the taxpayer usually lose, by paying more in taxes, premiums, and the like.

It seems to me that the problem with health care reform is that it doesn't address the real issue, the cost of health care. Doctors, hospitals, and insurers keep charging higher and higher fees. A visit to the emergency room can cost well in excess of $1000, and much more if you add in x-rays, etc. Hospitals and doctors have been raising fees for years, and even though most insurance plans say they are only going to pay them so much, the fees are still exorbitant. The costs must be controlled, and not by placing them on the backs of the consumer. How this can be done remains to be seen, as, IMHO, this has not been addressed.

Another way to get real health care reform would be to find cures for diseases such as diabetes. This is a drain upon the system, and a huge financial burden upon those who must battle it everyday. Testing supplies, doctor visits, blood work, and the like are very expensive, but very necessary for someone with diabetes. If a cure was found, say, for example, Type 2, which is not insulin dependent, millions of dollars could be saved every year, not to mention many lives. Type 1, which is insulin dependent, is even more costly, as the patient is forced to use insulin shots every day just to stay alive. Unfortunately, in this writer's view, it seems like there is more profit in treating it than curing it. This is where the reform must start. Take out the incentive for profiting from people's suffering, and find a cure. All of us, including the entire health care system, will benefit, and the quality of life would improve for millions. I can only hope that someday, we will see this.

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