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From the Archives: Healthcare Reform to Make You Ill

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 17, 2010 2:45 PM |

In light of the focus on this most important issue, I am reposting a commentary I had written in January very shortly after having spoken with a family member who just so happens to be a doctor in a small medical facility.

Additionally, hearing that the Democrats are thinking of using a process in which they ‘deem’ the legislation to have passed without actually voting on it would, in my opinion, take our country to a new low.

If Democrats ‘deem’ this reform to have passed, I have a hard time believing or understanding how that is not a direct assault on the Constitution of our country. The mere fact that it is even being considered is reviling.

LD  
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A loyal Sense on Cents reader asked me to comment on the dramatic rise in health-care premiums highlighted in an article, Soaring Health Premium Just Makes Me Feel Sick, from the Irish Independent. The author, Martina Devlin, writes of an individual in Ireland who just received her new health-care premium. Devlin offers:

I SERIOUSLY debated cancelling my private health insurance recently. When the renewal notice arrived in the post I did a double-take at the size of the bill, cross-checked the increase — which was almost 20pc — and gulped.

Value for money it wasn’t. In fact, it struck me as a hefty charge to cover what I regarded as an insubstantial risk. You can never discount the danger, but I’m still reasonably young and healthy (touch wood).

Reviewing the article immediately reminded me of a conversation that I had with my wife’s cousin, a doctor in a community hospital. I spoke with him over the holidays and asked him his take on the propsects for healthcare reform and legislation here in our country.

His take was as follows:
1. Insurance companies were bought off by the administration to support legislation without a public option.

2. Pharmaceutical companies were bought off by the administration.

3. 15 million uninsured (5 % of the American population) will clearly benefit.

4.  Those with pre-existing conditions will benefit.

5. The elderly will suffer as healthcare is rationed.

6. Doctors and others in the health field will pay in terms of lower compensation (bending the cost curve).

7. The American Medical Association (AMA), which came out in support of Obamacare, only represents approximately 17% of the physicians in this country.

8. Who really pays for the costs associated with the health reform plan? Largely, middle income American taxpayers who will be forced to pay higher premiums as highlighted in Ms. Devlin’s article.

Ultimately, the reform as drafted is a massive redistribution program.

In summary, he said that for this legislation to work it must have a public option to force the insurance companies to lower costs. Without that, it does not work. But to get the insurance companies to call off their lobby, the administration has to accede to legislation without the public option.

I am much more comfortable and familiar with Wall Street than I am the world of healthcare. That said, my wife’s cousin is a great guy and extremely trustworthy. I’ll tell you what. I felt ill about the proposed healthcare reform after speaking with him. I am not surprised that the American populace at large is also overwhelmingly opposed to this so-called reform.

All opinions, especially from those in the health care industry, encouraged and appreciated.

LD

  • Ted K

    Wow, you mean after all those bad things, the Catholic Hospitals still support the bill??? I wonder why…. ? This quote from an New York Times article this week:

    ‘The chief executive of the Catholic Health Association, Carol Keehan, wrote on the group’s Web site that although the legislation isn’t perfect, it represents a ”major first step” toward covering all Americans and would make ”great improvements” for millions of people.’

    You can read the entire article here:

    Catholic Hospitals Support Health Care Bill

    • LD

      She is entitled to her opinion, although I wonder how she reconciles that opinion with being Catholic. Perhaps a mere rationalization in her mind as to the greatest good for the greatest number. That tenet is very much a foundation of Christian teaching, but I wonder if she has incorporated the unborn and future unborn into her count.

      What do you think about including those in the count?

      • Ted K

        Well, you replied, so you deserve an honest answer. And I do appreciate the reply. But I’m going to be blunt with you sir.

        Honestly, I think 99% of those abortions will happen either way, so why not make sure the women get it in a healthy safe environment. I am personally (although I am not Catholic) against abortion. I think it is wrong except cases of rape or incest. But to think if you take it out of the healthcare bill that that will make any difference in the number of abortions is as naive as believing Pope Ratzinger cares for sexually abused children more than the Church’s reputation. Or frankly, that Ratzinger cares for them AT ALL.

        Abortions should be paid for with private money, or offered from private organizations. But either way it won’t make a difference in the number of abortions.

  • Mark G.

    Wow. A MD speaking truthfully about the
    public option, which is the only way to
    contain costs. Not sure if people with
    pre-existing conditions will actually be
    helped. Sure, insurance companies can’t
    deny them coverage but, how much will
    that coverage cost? And if you can’t
    afford that coverage, you will be fined
    by the IRS for no health insurance. So
    people with pre-existing conditions may
    be worse off if this becomes law.






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