ave other work to do but still take time to discuss this vital issue.
The systems in Europe differ a bit and so too do the systems in Asia, they have their problems as well, but they work. In America it is broken. During his election campaign, Obama called for drastic health care reform at a time when the nation knew it was only feeling the first effects of a crashing economy. This is what the people voted for. What I don't understand is the constant back and forth among the parties jockeying for position in the next election. I am greatly dissapointed with both sides! Is it no longer possible to call on our brightest intellectuals, most brillant doctors/scientists and other experts in economics and operations/processes to find the best solution for Americans?
I don't know exactly how this new plan should look. John, you mentioned that there should be a private option for everyone and I agree, partly. Just like with social security, everyone should pay into the system and if you want the extra niceties (private room etc.) you can purchase additional coverage; however, if people are allowed to opt out it will create a two tiered system where the "haves" continue to pay outrageous costs to private insurance companies, and the "have nots" are supported only by a system with little funds.
Many countries thoughout the world have systems with a few common threads:
- No one is denied coverage
- Pre-existing conditions don't exist when it comes to the care offered
- Private insurance companies/ hospitals are not allowed to profit from basic care, they must compete to offer something better for their customers
- Costs are fixed by the govt (state or fed? I'm not sure on this one since it's a huge country)
- And lastly, there is no such thing as medical bankruptcy
Models built around these basics have been shown to work well. And GP's even get a financial bonus if they, for example, can get their patients off medication by losing weight, stopping smoking, etc. What we have now is doctors (and their families) who are flown to Hawaii by drug companies to attend "conferences" if they continue to support the biz by prescribing medication that in many cases was not made for certain diseases/disorders and often causes serious side effects that warrent another med to keep those in check!
There are reasons why neccessities should not be deregulated. Look what happened with California when Enron was allowed to create energy shortages! The price of electricity shot up 800% (mostly in the winter) California lost billions and Grey Davis lost his job. In America we have more rights than in many many countries throughout the world, yet the right to health at a resonable price isn't one of them. Currently (well at least recently) the pharma industry almost dictates legislation ensuring an unhealthy population that needs them.
In addition to exceedingly high drug costs, Americans also have to foot the bill for for adminstration costs of 22% (compared to 5-9% in Europe and as low as 3% in Taiwan) because of intransparency, claim denials and a system with too many erroneous, superfluous, rusty parts. The sad part of all of this is that the US is becoming ever more unhealthy: the percenatge of maternal deaths has risen drastically in the last 20 years, infant mortality too is on the rise (ranked somewhere around 25-32nd depending on your source). How can this be?
Well, sorry about the rant, but I've got to sign off for now, that stack of essays won't grade itself :)