I woke up a little stiff, sore, and cranky after working in the yard all day yesterday, so I'm in the right frame of mind and body to ask a few questions and make a few comments on the subject of the health care overhaul debate. Here's what comes immediately to mind...
Why is it so hard to get straight, unbiased, information about the true cost of health care and the implications of various options? Insurance companies, the AMA, the pharmaceutical industry, and every group representing a demographic slice (age, religion, sex, etc) of the population has its own view reflecting its own interests...and which takes no account of the legitimate interests of anyone else. Who is providing us the bottom-line information that will help us decide whether or not a particular reform bill is any good? (Hint: this is a trick question...the answer is nobody. The closest thing you'll find is at FactCheck.org)
Why do we tie health insurance to employment? Aren't unemployed people allowed to get sick?
Why do we pay for medical and dental insurance separately?
Why do you pay medical insurance premiums, and a deductible, and a co-pay for each visit to the doctor? Your auto collision insurance has premiums and a deductible...but you don't have a co-pay each time you go to the body shop. I guess if your body is made of metal and fiberglass, different economic rules apply.
Insurance companies are not in business to pay for your health care. They are in business to make money. Your good health is incidental to that.
Why do we file so many lawsuits about medical malpractice, which lead to such enormous jury awards? While I'm sure there are cases of true and egregious malpractice, one can't ignore the enormous cost of malpractice insurance premiums to doctors as a factor in the cost of health care. Should there be a cap on malpractice suit awards?
When I had a hernia repaired a few years ago, the total out-of-pocket cost to me - the surgery and prescriptions - was less than $100. The root canal and follow-up crown that I had done this year cost almost $1200 out-of-pocket. Why is there such an enormous disparity in the costs of medical and dental care? And oh-by-the-way - if I hadn't had a good job that provided insurance coverage, I'd likely still be walking around with a hernia and an insanely painful dead tooth (see question #2 above).
Those are just a few of the questions and observations that come to mind as I ponder the issue of health care reform. And when the shouting blowhards at Faux News thunder that "the American people don't want health care reform," they didn't ask me. Despite what those morons would have you believe, I am an American. I want affordable health care. And I want answers a guy like me can understand so that I can make an informed decision.
That's it for now. I'm feeling cranky...but I'd really like someone to answer those questions for me.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.