Friday, August 21, 2009

Doing nothing is not an option

Just finished attending a virtual town hall on health care. With all the misinformation that's being bandied about by those opposed to reform in any form, it was interesting to learn these facts:

The health care system we have now is unsustainable, among other things:

  • Medicare will be running in the red in 8 years

  • Medicaid already pays physicians and hospitals less than the cost of services they provide and thus doctors are refusing Medicaid patients

  • Health insurance premiums are rising 3 times faster than wages and employers are increasingly limiting or dropping their employee plans

  • Americans pay 5 - 6 times more per person for health care than any other developed nation and we have lower quality outcomes

  • If we do nothing, health care spending will rise to $4.4 trillion by 2018; 20% of the economy
  • So doing nothing is not an option. Looking at what's being considered:

  • No health care reform bill being considered has any provision to provide health insurance to illegal aliens.

  • No health care reform bill being considered has any provision to provide federal coverage for abortions (actually, it's illegal to do so).

  • No health care reform bill being considered has any provision to require seniors to undergo "euthanasia" counseling (interestingly, end-of-life counseling was inserted in the Social Security Act of 1990 by then President George H.W. Bush, but without any provision to pay for it).

  • No health care reform bill being considered has the government "taking over health care" -- there is no universal single-payer system (like Canada's) being formulated. The public insurance option is just that, an option, but it will give private insurance companies a run for their money.
  • Overhaul of our health care system is essential, it's complicated, it deserves rationale thought and lively (not angry) debate. Don't be fooled, the only interests that want the status quo are special interests. Don't let them decide the matter for you.

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