Thursday, July 23, 2009

National Healthcare

Once again National Healthcare is in the forefront of topics on the news. I have not heard many good arguments from Republicans about why we should not have a national health system. They talk about preserving the right to choose your doctor. Today most health plans already have some control over who you can see from a PPO to the HMO's. They talk about quality care, well care is rationed right now. Go to any emergency room and tell them that you don't have insurance and see what kind of quality treatment that you will get. They talk about the government taking over healthcare and the doctors/hospitals will get cuts in reimbursment and taxes will go up. This is just what is happening with insurance companies right now they cut doctors reimbursments and raise premiums. They talk about the government prescribing treatments. Well that is occurring with private health insurance right now, in fact one of the worst examples is the Texas Workers Compensation System. The most recent rules were adopted by Republicans, and the system is the most bureaucratic, heavily paperworked system I have seen, all run through private insurance.

The only good argument against national healthcare is the cost. Americans have been unwilling to deal with the cost of healthcare for a long time. I believe that the reason is that the choices that we will have to make are very difficult. It will be easy to eliminate chiropractic coverage or dental or podiatric coverage but that is just playing around the edges of the cost. Chiropractic healthcare accounts for 0.5% of the total Medicare expenditures. The question becomes that if chiropractic care is eliminated where do patients go for back and neck pain? And is it more costly than chiropractic? But real cost drivers in the American Healthcare System are treatment of the very young (neonatal) and the treatment of the very old. We have yet to have the discussion on when is too much medical care for an individual. Until we have that discussion costs will continue to rise and healthcare spending will continue to sky rocket.

I pick on the Republicans on this issue, and I use to be one. I am an independent now because in my opinion the Republicans are too much in the pocket of insurance companies. And as you can probably tell I don't care very much for insurance companies and how they do business.