Healthcare & Health Insurance Reform

September 9, 2009

Healthcare and Health Insurance Reform: I have several issues with the bills being bandied about in Congress.  A major overhaul of the entire healthcare industry is not the best approach to fix what ails it.  The law of unintended consequences always rears its ugly head when Congress enacts one-size fits all laws.  Just look at what is happening with the lead paint issue with children’s toys.  What they saw as a reasonable approach to the Chinese lead paint problem has impacted businesses and individuals across the country.  I know lead paint causes serious illnesses when ingested by children, but when was the last time you saw a toddler sucking on painted shocks or frame of a small motorcycle?

If Congress would address insurance portability and outlaw the practice of having to look for new insurance every time you move to a new state, costs could be significantly reduced.  Congress could also address denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions within portability legislation.  That would significantly reduce the cost for everyone because risks would be spread throughout a much larger coverage pool.

How about tort reform?  I am NOT talking about eliminating redress of real problems patients encounter through misdiagnosis or carelessness.  I am talking about ambulance chasers who hire people, doctors and specialists to fake illness and diagnoses.  You’ve seen the ads on TV.  I was so pleased when a Texas Judge sanctioned a large law firm when she saw that plaintiffs and experts were being recycled on multiple lawsuits. The majority of doctors greatly care about the welfare of their patients and would never purposely harm them.  These same doctors are paying through the nose for outrageous malpractice coverage.

The same goes for pharmaceutical companies.  Do you really believe these companies develop new drugs with the intent to injure patients?  They are for profit businesses and they understand bad press resulting from unsavory reactions or deaths from their products is not good for business.  Yes, drugs are expensive.  It costs a lot to research, develop, and test new drugs for all the nasty health problems that haven’t been cured yet – sometimes decades to get a drug out that is fit for human consumption.  Their insurance is also incredibly expensive.  Couple that with frivolous lawsuits designed to encourage out-of-court settlements and BINGO!  Major bucks that could be used more efficiently are flying out the door.  By the time lawyers pay all their expenses and take their fee how much is left for the victims?

I do not trust our Federal Government with six plus percent of our GDP.  The Federal Government is much too large as it is.  Can you imagine the size of the agency and the near immediate backlog of treatment approvals that will only get worse?  No, I don’t believe “death panels” and all that garbage would be a part of our healthcare system.  I do believe; however, rationing of care would become the norm and people would die waiting for treatment.  Look at the stats for prostate cancer in England, if you’d like an example.   Canada nor any other country with a socialized health system is much better.  Yes, I said the “S” word.  What else can you call it if the government runs it, pays for it and approves it?

I don’t know what the President is going to say tonight about this.  I am DVRing his speech so I can pause or rewind as necessary to better comprehend what is being offered.

Bruce

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