October 26th, 2009


Classmates Health Care Forum

Tripped across this in Classmates: A discussion group.

Common Sense Health Reform
Bryan Wilson
Started: Oct 24 2009 10:42am PST

It seems like everyone on capitol hill is looking at reforming insurance. Until the cost of care is lowered, we don't have a chance of any insurance decrease.
Tort reform will lower doctors malpractice premiums. The panels currently being discussed will save medicare and medicaid 54 billion. What would this save private insurance companies and self funded companies?
Eliminate waiting periods for new hires. This will cover many current uninsured.
Require all full time employees to carry insurance. Many young people don't carry it, making the average rated age higher. The younger ones will lower the average ages, therefore lowering rates.
Make higher copays for emergency room visits for non emergency treatment. Emergency rooms charge extremely higher rates than clinics.
Require medicaid patients to go to clinics instead of the emergency rooms.
With the government insurance option, the providers will all get reimbursed at medicare rates. They will be unable to stay in business if that is all they are paid. Eventually all of our hospitals and doctors will be government run. We WILL lose many of our precious providers. They will retire, or go into other businesses. Just ask your own doctor what they would do if 100% of their income is paid by medicare next year. See what they tell you, then reply. Let's work on reducing cost in a common sense way that we all will win in this needed reform. By the way. Health Insurance Companies average 3% profit currently. Many of them are non profit carriers. Pleasee urge your congress men and women, and senators of your state to use bi-partisan common sense, and get a health cost bill passed.

my reply

Wow! Are you the perfect setup! Hi there. I'm a doctor. Been one since 1962. Still practice.

I've been unsuccessfully involved in health care reform since 1958. I was one of those nephrologists who was deferred from the Viet Nam War because more people were dying from kidney failure in California than were dying of kidney failure in the war. Because we didn't have enough trained doctors and nurses and artificial kidney machines, I was rationing medical care to the lucky few with insurance, or lack of complications, and people were dying right and left. It was no fun being a nephrologist and having to play god.

In 1973, Medicare singled out a disease entity, End Stage Renal Disease, and put this category into Medicare. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are alive because of Medicare.

"With the government insurance option, the providers will all get reimbursed at medicare rates. They will be unable to stay in business if that is all they are paid." There's a germ of truth in this. It's no way to get rich, and no way to pay back your medical school loans, but, there are some of us who became doctors because we believed in medicine as a profession, not as a profit center!

You ignore the first question that must be asked: "Is health care a human right?" Every other industrialized nation has answered that question in the affirmative. And they all have better health care, for all, at less cost. Try reading T.R. Reid: "The Healing of America."