Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Healthcare Act

I work in healthcare.  I may not be as much on the front lines as someone working in a hospital, but it is what I see day to day.  There was a bill introduced into the House of Representatives on July 14, 2009 that I am very apprehensive about.  The idea sounds good:

"To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes."

Though I admit to having a low level of trust of government and anything that smacks of loopholes or what I would refer to as "lawyer speak".  Therefore, the first thing I'm thinking is WHAT other purposes??

The short title of the Act is: 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009'.

Affordable?  So far I'm hearing some pretty high price tags, and the funny thing is that the government doesn't have any money.  As a taxpayer, I'm thinking that if this bill is enacted I may be able to afford healthcare, but not rent, groceries or to pay off my school loans.

I started skimming through the bill (actually more the introduction and definitions).  I wish I could study it in more depth, but 

1) It would probably take a good month.  Less if I could devote all my time to that and didn't have to do frivolous things like show up to work.
2) I seem to have left my law degree in a different life, and don't understand all of what is being said.

I plan on trying to read more, especially some areas that were highlighted here. But so far, I will say that I agree that healthcare reform needs to be done.  I agree that something needs to be done to cover the gap of the uninsured.  If the government can offer a plan for those that don't have insurance, that would be great, if it was one of many options.

Here's the problem.  Their current reform is going to make it mandatory to lower premiums and raise coverage.  They're going to make it such that insurance companies can't turn down people based on previous conditions.  I know you think it sounds good, but it will force insurance companies out of business.  Unlike the government, businesses can't continue to operate on a deficit by incurring a greater deficit.  Real life doesn't work that way.   Therefore, government coverage will become the way it's done, not one option among many.

There are some good ideas in the bill (I like the idea of no co-pays for preventative care) and it definitely addresses an area of need.  I just don't think that the current bill is going to be the answer.  It's like driving recklessly because you're late to work... better to drive more safely and get to work on time than get in an accident and not make it at all.

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