Health Care Reform

So I don’t want to get too much into health care reform. I suspect we all have our positions and are unlikely to dramatically change them based upon someone else’s opinion.

But before you let your opinions solidify completely, we should all read this:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care
Because this seems to have a great deal of objective information.

Much of this matches, BTW, my own health care experience as an IT provider. The antipathy towards IT in the health-care industry is fascinating.

Oh, and both of my remaining grandparents died in 1999 because of illnesses contracted while at the hospital.

My response is that I will start asking how much everything costs in total dollars and not simply allow myself to remain ignorant.

11 thoughts on “Health Care Reform”

  1. As a Canadian, I am confused by your health care system. I’ve only recently been interested in the workings of it and it fascinates me, but in a vaguely horrified way. I find the whole idea of health care as a business disturbing and a sign that American society has lost it’s ability to care for all of her people equally.

    I have to ask- is it really as bad as the propagandists would like us to think? Do people die from lack of care due to financial status or lack of insurance? I watched that Michael Moore movie, ‘Sicko’ and can’t get my head around the idea that people would be turned away from a hospital because they didn’t have insurance, or sent across town to a charity hospital with terminally children on public transit. It opens with a scene where a guy has to decide which finger to have re-attached because he can’t afford to do both. That is a joke, right?

    1. I work in a for-profit hospital run by an evil corporation.
      I have never known, in the six years I have worked in this facility, of anyone being denied cared in an emergency situation, no matter what their financial situation or immigration status, even if they are “self pay” (without insurance). Having fingers reattached qualifies as an “emergency” situation.
      Are there things that can be done better? Yes.

      1. I don’t think any system is perfect! I’ve heard a lot of horror stories and I’d hate to think that any of my American friends could be at risk because of their finances. Glad to hear that there’s a load of hype here!

    2. Umm… it’s Michael Moore and you cannot believe anything that he says or shows in his movie. He says he is doing “documentaries” but in fact he is not.

      Hospitals have to take in patients in emergency rooms with or without the ability to pay. Suggesting that emergency care would not be provided is a myth pushed to support increased control over the system. Control, by the way, of a system which is already over-regulated and mis-run.

      I have not done the research that the guy who wrote the article I linked to did, but I can tell you that it is certainly the case that hospitals and insurance companies obfuscate the price and it is also the case that for-profit companies tend to be more efficient than not-for-profit companies, especially those guaranteed money from the government.

      My biggest frustration in this whole debate has been the fact that people such as myself who do not believe in Obama’s plan have been characterized as people who don’t care if other people live or die or that everyone has access to health care. That is absolutely not the case with vast majority of people who oppose the current plans.

      What the question really is: how do we ensure that everyone gets to go to the hospital in such a way as to not have the other 85% of America see a drastic drop in health care coverage or a significant increase in their coverage. Obama has said that people would not see any coverage reduction, nor any significant interest, and has also said that his plan would not add to the federal deficit.

      To which, I respond: TANSTAAFL

      1. Yeah, the thing I take away from it is that there is no plan- Obama would really like things his way, but has no idea where to get the cash from. Kind of a dumb way to govern, really.

        It’s all well and good to say ‘the government will pay for everything’, but can the American system change? How realistic is it to make the kind of sweeping changes he wants without bankrupting the nation? It’d be interesting to see the actual cost of things, wouldn’t it?

        Socialized medicine works for us, but we’re a Socialist country. You guys are Capitalists, with everything that entails. I think we’re much further apart than people realize, even though we hold so much in common.

        Without a massive restructuring at the most fundamental levels of governance, you’re going to have stick with what you’ve got.

        Obama is no Tommy Douglas, eh!

    3. There seems to be a theme here. The fears you mention sound like the exact same ones I keep hearing about as the inevitable result of socialized healthcare, except that it’s people getting drastically ill for things that would have been minor if they hadn’t had to wait months to see a doctor.

      I think the system we currently have in the US is pretty busted, but also know that I don’t really understand the issue well enough to see a good solution. This would of course be one of the reasons why *I* am not running for public office.

      1. Socialized healthcare works just fine for us Snowbacks- we don’t wait any longer in Canada than in the US, England or elsewhere. Problem is, America can’t handle Socialism- your economy isn’t built for it. Most people don’t seem to want it, either.

        I agree with Rhodri’s wishes to see the numbers.

        1. I actually am not sure that socialized medicine is working fine for you. As I understand it, doctors in your system are both claiming the system is broken and I also seem to recall you have a huge problem retaining doctors because they don’t get paid enough.

          1. Well, the doctors complaining about the system being broken are the same ones who don’t think they don’t get paid enough. I read an article recently about it and they quoted some statistics speaking to that. The satisfaction level of doctors was generally very high as was the level of patients who felt things went fine for them. Of course, I don’t trust the newspapers, but sometimes they tell the truth.

            I think you’re always going to find that the government can’t ever spend enough to keep everyone happy. The same thing happens in my field.

            I think overall, our system works for us. You can’t please everyone, but by and large, we’re satisfied with the level of service we receive.

            It’s pretty insulting to be given the courtesy of the truth from your President. Tell people how much and let them decide for themselves!

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