Thursday, October 8, 2009

Some Excellent Reads on Health Care

The Current Health Care debate elicits passionate feelings and responses from all those involved. The two sides have vastly different ideas on what Health Care Reform should look like. The Left leans toward a Public Government Run Option or Increased Governmental Regulation in Health Care while the Right argues for a incentive-based system and market reforms to create a freer exchange of Health Care. Both sides want to expand Health Care, a moral good in the eyes of the Church, yet, have radically different solutions.

What is of note is that the U.S. Catholic Bishops oppose the current Health Care Reform Bills. Despite assurances from the writers of the Bills, neither Health Care Bill protects the Freedom of Conscience of Medical Professionals nor do the bills gaurantee that abortion will not become a fundamental health care right. The Bishops wrote: "So far, the health-reform bills considered in committee … have not met President Obama’s challenge of barring use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws,” the USCCB wrote in its Sept. 30 letter to members of the Senate. “These deficiencies must be corrected.” However, many on the Left are beholden to Planned Parenthood and the Abortion lobby and are loathe to do anything that might be perceived as not fully supportive of Abortion.

The Current Bills also to various degrees attempt to utilize price controls to control Health Care Costs. Price Controls HAVE NEVER worked and ultimately have inflationary impacts on the economy. Peter Suderman in the Wall Street Journal analyzes past attempts at Reform utilizing price (premium) controls and increased regulation. His verdict: "Like participants in a national science fair, state governments have tested variants on most of the major components of the health-care reform plans currently being considered in Congress. The results have been dramatically increased premiums in the individual market, spiraling public health-care costs, and reduced access to care. In other words: The reforms have failed."

Albert Einstein defined insanity as attempting to do the same thing again and again expecting a different result.

Another point on the reform is "Cutting" Costs in Medicare. This actually will consist of reimbursing doctors less for their work than they already are under Medicare. By slashing this even more, they have created "Savings" which can be used to increase coverage for more people. However, they are now compensating hospitals and doctors less for the procedures they conduct. Drs Palmisano, Plested, and Johnson write in the Wall Street Journal: "Today, Medicare already reimburses doctors less than what many of their treatments cost to provide. Now the government is saying that additional Medicare cuts are coming—thus forcing doctors to try and make up the difference in volume, by seeing more patients. If you ask patients about this, they understand that more volume means less time with the doctor. That's something that all patients and doctors should oppose. In time, it will be difficult to find a physician." More lines akin to the Canadian system is not what Americans desire.

Part of what makes the American Health Care system superior is our access to Specialists and Specialized procedures. However, these treatments and experts are expensive. In another attempt to control costs, the Health Care Bills will punish these experts and their specialized treatments because they are too expensive. It will result in savings, but will it result in better care? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes: "Take a provision in the Baucus bill that would punish any physician whose "resource use" is considered too high. Beginning in 2015, Medicare would rank doctors against their peers based on how much they cost the program—and then automatically cut all payments by 5% to anyone who falls into the 90th percentile or above. In practice, this rule will only apply to specialists." Does that make any sense?

The Current Health Care Bills aren't reform. They are revolution. They are not designed to give better care, but to essentially nationalize 17% of the US Economy. Shouldn't Health Care Reform be about BETTER Care, not less care?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My nephew was Spc. Charles Dusty Parrish, I was also a second mother to him, I remember our last conversation when he was on that mission... saving lives. He always sends me signs as he promised. I was so compelled to answer his call... He assured me he was going to be ok! That was to make me happy! He knew in his heart I believe.
He said he would always be my angel watching over me! Here and the hereafter, I know he's in a beautiful place laughing, free and chasing the sun! Heaven!
I shall see him on another beautiful day! Gratitude for remembering him!
He was a Christian .... Christ like!
May we all stay well and good ! As he would want all humanity!
I miss him everyday, but I know he is always with us standing guard with our king on high!
Lily M