Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You make it sound like a bad thing!

I had been waiting to see when the big bad almighty insurance industry would jump into the fray of the health care debate and proclaim their righteous indignation and hoot and holler about what a horrible plan it is and how it will never work. And now I know. It has arrived. I caught this article on msnbc.com - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31502468/ns/politics-white_house/ about how the president has to "line up" against them and their rhetoric and arguments against it. I love this quote he has though - "If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care ... then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business?" I love it! Personally, I don't care if the insurance industry does get run out of business. They certainly aren't helping anybody but themselves right now. They long ago forgot that the object of insurance is to spread the risk around, not avoid it completely, which is what they do when they cherry pick who they want to write a policy to, or implement "pre existing condition limitations" or go back and try to deny claims after they've paid them, or try to dictate over the heads of the doctors what medicines they can and can't prescribe for patients. In addition, the argument that the 2 cannot coexist together is nonsense. Britain has the NHS and they still have private health insurance. Canada has it's national health plan and private health plans as well. Granted, these are on a much smaller scale because the private health insurance industry is not nearly as big there as it is here. However, it does exist.

I hate the Republicans insistence on everybody keeping what they have now, and "preserving choice" - I don't think they really mean choice of health insurance, because frankly they're all pretty much the same. Bad customer service, bad claims service, runaround and red tape - you've dealt with one you've dealt with them all. I think they are worried that people won't get to go see the same doctors. I think that's really all people care about - can I see my doctor and will it cost me an arm and a leg? That's HEALTH CARE not HEALTH INSURANCE. We are getting the 2 things confused and we shouldn't. Someone I used to work with claimed that a national health care plan would not work because the doctors wouldn't be on board with it and would not see patients who had it. I beg to differ. If a government run plan has enough people on it that it is "running the insurance companies out of business" (which they all of a sudden are so afraid of) then the doctors will quickly realize that the only way to get any money at all is to accept patients on the government plan -whatever it may be. Sure they may make less money, but if they are only in it for the money maybe they shouldn't be in it at all.

I do recognize the argument that Medicaid is broken and if this ends up being an expansion of that then it will not be good because the reimbursement rates are so low. That's a problem with Medicaid I believe - any plan that responds to rising costs by shrinking reimbursement rates is profoundly screwed up. Do away with that and base it off the "usual and customary" rates that insurance companies are used to using and the problem goes away! Easy peasy nice and cheesy. I wish I could be consulted for things like this, I would have solved it ages ago. HAHA.

Also, I hate how Republicans emphasize personal responsibility because that does not even begin to encompass all the people in this country like my daughter who were born with chronic, severe, and highly complex and expensive medical conditions that no amount of healthy eating or exercise will erase. I don't want her to grow with this much uncertainty about her future. She should not be pigeonholed into a particular job or employer because it is one of the few that still offers comprehensive health insurance that will allow her to see her cardiologists, get her meds, and heaven help us, get a heart transplant if she needs it. No one knows how long kids can go with the Fontan circulation that she has, I hope it never happens but I would not be surprised if one day she ends up on that organ donation waiting list for a heart. How on earth is it fair to deny someone like her access to the care she needs to satisfy some company's bottom line? It's not!

Most of you will not understand this last bit, but those of you who are LDS will - many of you vote Republican and are against this. Many of you also spout off about "why should I help someone else when I have worked so hard for what I have and to provide for my own family". Think about this - that kind of attitude is precisely why there is no more United Order or Law of Consecration. What do you think those things were if not all of us pulling together for the greater good and helping out those who needed it more than us? I am a "have-not" but I work just as hard as many of the "haves", why should I and my family be left out in the cold because someone else thinks they shouldn't have to?