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Current Health Care Overhaul Legislation

President Obama ran on a campaign that America has a broken health care system and that it was time to fix it. His motivation for doing so was based on the experiences he had with his grandmother and the trouble she had with the insurance companies. This is a great motivation for driving one to make changes in the country. On the other hand, it’s quite realistic that Barack wasn’t let in on all of the details about the type of insurance plan that his grandmother actually had. But I don’t have details around that, and regardless of the truth it’s still his motivation.

The way that President Obama sold the need for health care reform to enough of the American people to make change (and their representatives) was by saying that health care costs are out of control and that they are only going to get going higher. Personally this motivates me enough to want something to be done about it.

I listened to the Presidents speech last September about health care reform and what his plan is. The primary point that made me acceptable to changes in the system is that he said that health care reform must not cost the American people anything. Do acheive this he said that the reform would include reducing waste in medicare. I found his solution to providing more health care to the public to be a little odd because removing money from medicare means that somebody who was receiving goods and services from medicare will now receive less goods and services. His whole motivation behind health care reform is to provide more goods and services to people, not less.

Over the past year I kept on hearing the stat that according to the polls that the American people don’t want health care reform, but when asked specifically about certain points of health care reform that people do like the points. This is the dumbest statistic and needs to stop being a talking point. Of course people like the idea of more people receiving goods and services. The part they don’t like is the cost associated in doing so. By doing so, that politicians are trying to remove the cost of the change out of the equation.

One point that liberal minded people like to make is over how every other first world country has socialized medicine. Well, c’mon, you also like how there needs to be diversity among people. Isn’t this one more way of being diverse? But in more seriousness, I don’t know of Americans flocking to the other countries to receive better health care. Nor do I regularly hear of medical innovations coming from other countries. Do medical innovations happen in other countries, of course. But I must admit, the majority of them that I know about come from the US. It also seems like all of the major drug companies are head quartered in the US. Plus, I do hear about citizens of those other first world countries coming to the US to receive medical care. Complain about the health care system all you want, but it really does seem like most of the innovation in advancing health care comes from the US. The system must be doing something right.

So now here we are with health care reform about to be passed by the United States Congress. To get it through the Democratically controlled Congress though, they had to negotiate away the Presidents primary point about reform not causing an increase in taxes. The current plan is going to cost the Federal government over a Trillion dollars in the first ten years. A Trillion. How on earth is this cost supposed to be preventing the people from achieving the financial ruin this health care reform was initially created to prevent? This is maddening. The primary reason is that this bill has gone from health care reform to health insurance reform.

The reason why the current bill has focused more on the health insurers than other parts of the health care economy is because President Obama has been attacking the insurers. The reason why he can do that is because the people interact with the insurers. Not too many people interact with the hospitals when dealing with the price of their health care; most people interact with their insurer. It’s not that difficult to make people dislike an organization which is sending them bills. As a result President Obama has vilified a group of companies who have been providing goods and services which the people have been voluntarily been paying for. So the reform pitch thus far has been that health care is too expensive and the health insurance companies are to blame. If they are to blame, why not just make them illegal? So the insurance companies must be a huge cost to our health care system. Actually, in dividing up the cost of a health care visit only %3 of the cost goes to the insurance companies. The hospitals and doctors offices get the other %97.

The reason why President Obama doesn’t want to make the insurance companies illegal is that he knows that they redistribute goods and services to people who wouldn’t have received those goods and services if the insurance companies hadn’t existed. He might not have seen that at the beginning of his political carrier, but he knows that now.

Also, if the insurance companies were the source of the increase of health care costs than the biggest to blame would be the biggest insurer. But the Democrats can’t attack that organization because it’s medicare and Democrats can’t do anything but pour more money into medicare.

Insurance companies try to reduce the cost of health care. If they increased the cost, accounts would leave them and go to other insurance companies. Insurance companies did a great job of keeping costs under control with the HMO’s of the ‘90’s. What they did was the HMO’s would look at the doctors diagnosis and approve or deny the doctors recommendation, based on the statistically likely hood of the recommendation matching the patients symptoms. People hated the HMO’s because they felt that they were denying them, goods and services that they deserved. So the insurance companies said “Fine, we’ll give you everything you want, and charge you for it.” Ever since that happened in the early 2000’s, the cost of health care insurance has increased dramatically. The original bill had language for doing the same sort of evidence based medicine, but it was removed in favor of spending more money on health care.

One of the arguments for giving the Federal government more control over health care in America is that it’s costing Americans too much and the free market place is making it happen. The problem is that it’s not exactly a free market place; there’s so much regulation in the health care system. During all of the debates I learned that insurance companies can have monopolies over states. You want a free market, make it illegal for a single insurance company to have more than %60 of the population of a state as accounts. Also, the other big monopoly is the American Medical Association. The AMA was created with the idea that all doctors need to meet a certain standard. Great idea, but in the pursuit of perfect doctors it has made the cost of receiving AMA certification very high. What should be done is to allow the market place to create a few certification boards and doctors can get approved by the different boards. The doctors who get the more difficult certificates can charge their patients more. That way patients can feel that if a doctor costs too much, they can go to a more economical one. This would drive down costs as doctors would compete for patients.

The percentage of our resources spent on health care is increasing. The source of that problem is that the ones who are generating demand for health care (the patients), are getting farther and farther separated from the cost of health care. As a result the patients are demanding more goods and services. So a solution would be to have patients feel the cost of health care goods and services they are receiving. But the legislation doesn’t want people to feel the cost of health care. One example is heat waves. Every summer, some city in the US goes through a heat wave. When they do there are always stories in the news of elderly people who died from heat exhaustion, who didn’t have air conditioning, who had tons of money literally under their mattresses. These people didn’t feel that it was worth it to spend their money and get AC, and died as a result of it. They knew what the cost of their health care was ($100) and didn’t go for it. Knowing this, the Democrats are trying to separate the cost of health care from the people. Anytime that happens, prices increase.

The current bill in the American Congress is not going to reduce the cost of health care to the American people. It is going to increase the cost, by driving up demand because it separates everyone from the cost of health care.

Categories: News and politics
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