Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Coming Full Circle in the Health Care Reform Efforts

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

-Alanis Morissette, "Ironic"

Isn't it ironic that here, months and months after starting the health care reform efforts to correct the fiscal insolvency of Medicare, a system that has proven itself incapable of reining in health care costs, that Congress is now in discussions to expand that same program to people ages 55-65
Negotiators Monday were considering a proposal that would open Medicare to people ages 55 to 64 if they couldn't find coverage elsewhere. The proposal would allow them to buy insurance coverage at subsidized rates under Medicare, though the subsidies wouldn't be as great as those for people 65 and over, said congressional aides and lawmakers.
How much money have we spent to get to this point?

I'm seeing a health care cost savings, aren't you?



Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

How much $$ have we spend so far? Not nearly as much as we will in the years ahead. We're not close to hitting bottom. If this all goes through, then the country will experience what Massachusetts did in recent years. They promised medical utopia, but instead ran out of money, cut folks loose from insurance coverage and had too few primary care physicians to accomodate the newly insured. Pray for good health.

Anonymous said...

Since you guys keep repeating the same old stories, I hope you will allow me an often repeated argument.

Greatest country in the world and The Only western developed country without universal health care. And the health stats are none too good either. Are you really content with this?

Dr. Kirsch, want to bet there are, right now, about 35 - 45 million folks who are praying they don't get sick?

DrWes said...

Anony 10:19 PM-

None of us disagree that people should have health care. How that is acheived is where the differences exist.

This morning we find the Senate 10 have agreed behind closed doors that expanding Medicare, a ship that is already sinking, to people ages 55-64 will be the way our legislative leaders will propose to expand coverage to another 2-3 million folks. For the life of me I cannot see how this provides any modicum of serious health care reform to our country. How can more people on the government Medicare dole do anything but deplete funds faster from that program.

Can't wait to see the CBO estimates of how much this will reduce our debt burden.

What we need are sustainable solutions to the health care crisis. By definition, anything sustainable will have to be fiscally responsible - a concept that, so far, few of our politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to understand.

What good will "health care for all" be if all the government can afford to give their future beneficiaries are bandaids?

DayOwl said...

It's beginning to feel like another legislated bailout for a poorly managed industry (medical funding)...using the insurance companies as tax collectors.

I'm torn on this issue. I have an aunt, 61 years old, geriatric RN, who cannot work full time due to health issues. BCBS discontinued her policy due to her age and history. The only plan available (state insurance exchange) costs 90% of her monthly income and has a $5k deductable. Being able to get Medicare could literally be a life saver for her.

I also have worked with people in their 50's who were terminated from good jobs following and illness. It would appear that the insurance industry is dictating who can work. Making Medicare available to 55-64 year-olds could improve their employability significantly.

Soooo...they've given up the Public Option, and are replacing with a public option, and will devise a clever way to pretend to pay for it later.