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Healthcare Reform - Whats in a name?

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March 05, 2010 – Comments (9)

So I finally did it.  I held my nose and read the most recent version of the healthcare reform proposal. I was reading it in hopes that maybe, just maybe, this big bill that they are going to shove down our throats whether we like it or not may actually have some good proposals in it.  As I was reading I noticed one glaring fact.  This is not healthcare reform.  Its health insurance reform.  Every single proposal has to do with health insurance. Nothing addresses the actual healthcare.  Yet we call it healthcare reform. 

As I was reading through the document my eyes lit up when I saw a section called "Improve individual responsibility".  My skeptical expression returned when I saw that their version of improving individual responsibility means punishing people who choose to opt out of health insurance.  I thought this was the land of the free.

What really puzzles me about this whole reform is the liberal media spins opposition to the bill as if the "insurance lobbyists" are against the bill.  But when I read the actual proposals, it seems like the insurance companies will mostly benefit from this bill.  I would think making health insurance mandatory and adding 30+ million people to your customer base could only increase profits.  And the bill doesnt say that health insurance companies can't raise rates.  Its just rate increases can't be to honerous. Further, it looks like they will allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.  

There are a few downsides for insurance companies in this bill. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to put lifetime maximums on insurance policies, decline customers due to pre-existing conditions, or as mentioned earlier, jack up rates sky high.  

But this whole bill screams of more of a deal with the devil rather than actual healthcare reform.  In the meantime, theres no incentive for people to improve their lifestyles in order to lower healthcare costs on the consumer side.  If you want to smoke, drink, and eat and not exercise you are perfectly free to do so because you are covered by health insurance. If your doctor wants to prescribe 20 unneccesary tests just so that he's not on the recieving end of a multimillion dollar malpractice suit, he's free to do so because you have health insurance. If in the coming years I'm paying more for health insurance (I'm single) than I pay for all my utilities combined, its ok because I have health insurance.

Either way those are my thoughts on healthcare. Its good that I was able to confirm my suspicions about this bill. Yet I still have to deal with this uneasy feeling in my stomach as this bill comes closer to passing. Is that a pre-existing condition?

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 05, 2010 at 8:20 AM, lemoneater (77.43) wrote:

"Every single proposal has to do with health insurance" I was afraid that is how it would be. If we all are insured, but there aren't enough trained professionals, what then? Insurance doesn't equal health. If Neil Postman were still around, he could write a book entitled: Insuring Ourselves to Death. I wanted to see tort reform for malpractice suits, lower costs for entering medical school, increased emphasis on math and science skills beginning in elementary school all the way up (an early start on preparing for medical school would be good), and also a public fitness/health drive similar to what was done when tuberculosis and polio were public menaces. 

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#2) On March 05, 2010 at 8:43 AM, dudemonkey (37.14) wrote:

> "Every single proposal has to do with health insurance" I was afraid that is how it would be.

I was HOPING this was how it would be.  Our health care system itself, in terms of quality if care, is among the best in the world.  Our PRICES for that health care are not, and it's largely due to the high cost of health insurance.

This bill actually sounds like it gets right to the heart of the matter.  Even requiring people to have health insurance is a good idea, since one of the drains on the health care industry is the fact that hospitals are REQUIRED to treat anyone who shows up.  At least now they'll be covered and/or contributing.

This whole process sounds like most people made up their mind before they knew what was in the bill.  I had been on the fence until I read this.  Now I'm interested in reading through the bill because it's actually sounding like a solution to the problem.

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#3) On March 05, 2010 at 8:56 AM, dudemonkey (37.14) wrote:

And, for the record, that's just my opinion.  I haven't read the bill so I haven't really made up my mind.

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#4) On March 05, 2010 at 9:13 AM, Melaschasm (52.15) wrote:

Which bill did you read? 

So far I haven't seen anything in either the house or senate bill which would open insurance accross State lines.

dudemonkey, I agree that costs are high, but how do you lower costs without making any changes to the system? 

I can only come up with two ways to reduce insurance company costs without changing the system.  Either allow competition between states, so that competition forces the inefficient out of business, or ration care.

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#5) On March 05, 2010 at 9:24 AM, outoffocus (23.35) wrote:

So far I haven't seen anything in either the house or senate bill which would open insurance accross State lines 

I guess I misread this statement. : 

It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.

Overall the bill still sucks and I think it may end up hindering our economy even further.

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#6) On March 05, 2010 at 10:43 AM, Melaschasm (52.15) wrote:

outoffocus,

That is an interesting statement, but also one which points out the need for multiple smaller bills, rather than on big omnebus bill.  What does that statement mean, in relation to the rest of the bill?

'tens of millions' is only a small portion of the population. 

While I am an opponent of Obamacare, I am not totally freaked out about it.  These bills are just one more big step towards socialism.  It's not like our current system is anything like a free market for health insurance and/or healthcare.

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#7) On March 05, 2010 at 11:06 AM, outoffocus (23.35) wrote:

Melaschasm

Maybe I am so worried because I am of the younger generation.  All my life I've been raised on certain principles of capitalism, all to have that snatched from under me before I even get the opportunity to benefit from it.  That has me so frustrated that I don't even like to think on it too much.

 

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#8) On March 06, 2010 at 6:43 AM, dudemonkey (37.14) wrote:

I'm not sure I'm seeing how health care/insurance reform is destroying capitalism in any way. 

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#9) On March 06, 2010 at 6:44 AM, dudemonkey (37.14) wrote:

dudemonkey, I agree that costs are high, but how do you lower costs without making any changes to the system? 

I guess "make changes to the broken system" is the way to go then.

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