Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remarks on Health Care

Random image: Geranium, wintered over.

Regarding my thoughts on health care, I can remember when the interaction was a simple exchange between patient and doctor. Somewhere along the line, the insurance companies altered the relationship drastically by arbiting both what care a patient might get and what compensation a health care professional might receive.

That is the crux of my opposition to the current set-up. Now the key person is not the doctor or patient, but the investor in insurance companies, who expects a good return.

Out of this altered relationship grew the dependence of employees on health care plans and the fear of changing jobs lest benefits be lost. Employees also became aware of the hazard of so-called "pre-existing conditions" as defined by the insurer and other ploys designed to slight the policy holder and enrich the insurance provider.

The nation became so obsessed with health care plans after a while that nobody registered the extreme disconnect between the promise and the delivery of treatment.

Our new President Barack Obama seems to be willing to sort out the options and to include real people in deciding the future direction of health care policy. Click here to see his concerns.

Although a commenter called my views "socialist," I am only looking for equity for both patients and practitioners and for fewer layers of bureaucracy and added charges from insurance companies. Feel free to comment again, now that I have clarified my viewpoint.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break with the "socialist" crap! The insurance-based health care system is inefficient and wasteful, AND exclusive of those who really need coverage. The NYT just ran a very sad story of a family facing the loss of insurance of a son in remission from cancer, due to job layoffs. No employer = nearly impossible to get health insurance. See article here: This is not about a business making a profit for providing legitimate services, this is about a business that often makes money by denying services. Try working in medical billing sometime if you want a "socializing" - or radicalizing - POV on this.

9:40 PM  
Blogger olddoc said...

You are right that the insurance companies have corrupted medical care. However despite what the socialists tell us everywhere there is government regulated medical care the doctors are overwhelmed by bureaucratic regulations and treatment restrictions.Today's paperwork in the office is not totally due to the Insurers but the overwhelming state and federal mandates that only a dreamer believes increases good patient care. I wrote a while back a few posts on Government systems in various countries. The closing of Muhlenberg is a good example of what happens when a government regulates medical care. If I get angry enough I will blog this again

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernice, if you are looking for efficiencies and less bureaucracy, you can't seriously consider the government as the answer, can you? Doc is right about the overwhelming state and federal mandates..they are onerous and costly....

12:31 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

I don't pretend to have the solution to health care. There are too many aspects to it, ranging from personal wellness and prevention to who gets care when they need it. I look forward to Olddoc's input on this subject from his very well-informed perspective. I just feel the doctor-patient relationship that I once knew has been corrupted in many ways. There is a doctor in Seattle who gives a discount to patients who forego the rigamarole of insurance claims and such in favor of a straightforward, one-on-one patient/doctor relationship. Isn't there any way to get back to that model?

5:37 PM  

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