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Nationalized Healthcare Reform?

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  Tags: politics   health   law   health reform   healthcare   insurance


Background

Should the United States implement some type of nationalized healthcare reform?

This debate is specifically regarding the United States. There is also a separate debate on socialized healthcare in general as well as a debate on healthcare in Canada. There is also a separate debate on the proposed HR 3200.

No subject ranks higher in the minds of Americans right now then healthcare reform. By nature, the issue is complex yet extremely important for the future of ourselves and our children. The one size fits all system won't truly fit everyone's individual needs. If the system is too specialized or convoluted, the system will be ineffective. With each presidency, healthcare has always proved to be a top ranking issue for the people. With the new president in the office we have a new proposal.

Current Reform Plans

A central point of the president's plan is to create a government sponsored health insurance program that would be an option for all Americans, similar to how Medicare is now (an option for Americans over age 65).

Let's look at the key points to this plan.

The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
Invest in prevention and wellness
Improve patient safety and quality of care
Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions[2]

How Much Will the Plan Cost?

The president said he's already identified hundreds of billions of dollars worth of savings in the federal budget that could help finance healthcare reform such as rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid and he also proposed reducing tax deductions for high income Americans.[4]

An employer pay or play provision that would require an employer to either provide health insurance or contribute toward the cost of a public plan. Obama would provide premium subsidies to individuals and families who are not eligible for employer-based care or a government program. [6]
 

Arguments For

Yes, the United States should implement some type of healthcare reform.

Benefits of Health Care Reform

Reduce costs and save a typical American family up to $2500 as reforms phase-in
Lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programs, and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market.
Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data.
Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and their employees.
Reform the insurance market to increase competition by taking on anticompetitive activity that drives up prices without improving quality of care.
It Will include coverage of preventive services, including cancer screenings, and increased state and local preparedness for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Access to Health Care

Access to health services for people of all ages is critical for any sustainable healthcare system. Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down as much as $2500 per year. If you don't have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options. Patients will be able to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of being blocked by insurance company bureaucrats.[5]

Why we need health care reform

Our nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America and over the past few weeks much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices but we haven't heard the voices of millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health insurance companies than it does for them.[1]

In 45 States across the Country, insurance companies can discriminate against people based on their pre-existing conditions when they try to purchase health insurance directly from insurance companies in the individual insurance market. Insurers can deny them coverage, charge higher premiums, and/or refuse to cover that particular medical condition. Insurance discrimination based on pre-existing condition makes adequate health insurance unavailable to millions of Americans.

Medicare has provided a needed service to the nation's senior citizens and certain individuals with disabilities. However, rising health care costs, persisting gaps in the use of recommended services, and the threat of Medicare insolvency all undermine the health care seniors receive. Health insurance reform will serve to strengthen the health care that our seniors receive and deserve.[9]

If you already receive high-quality health insurance from your employer this proposed plan would not affect one's private insurance plan.

The driving force behind the erosion of health coverage among small businesses is cost. Small businesses that could not afford health coverage for their employees cited high premiums as the main reason. Among small businesses that offer coverage, 40% report spending more than 10% of their payroll on health care costs. 3 This only deters small companies from offering coverage to their employees. Individual plans not partially or fully subsidized by the employer are typically expensive for the individual consumer. Under the new proposal, companies would be required to provide at least a government-backed health care plan.

Most US doctors would back a public health option.[11]

Arguments Against

No, the United States should NOT implement healthcare reform.

Freedom to choose what's in your plan

Qualified plans offered by healthcare exchanges would be set up in each state. Many states require a standardized benefits package. Every group, from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, to lobbying to get included. Adding to a list of benefits would require the Department of Health and human services to add any additional services and coverage based on recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans therefore, wouldn't even know what's in their plans and what they're required to pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bill becomes law.

Freedom to Choose High-Deductible Coverage

Hundreds of Companies Now Offer Health Savings Accounts (HSA)To about 5 Million Employees. Those Workers Deposit Tax-Free Money in the Accounts And Get a Matching Contribution from Their Employer. They Can Use the Funds to Buy A High Deductible Plan Say for Major Medical Cost over $12,000. By Requiring Minimum Packages, They Would Prevent Patients from Choosing Stripped-down Plans To Cover Only Major Medical Expenses. The Government Could Set Extremely Low Deductibles That Would Eliminate HSA's.

Freedom to choose your doctors

The Senate bill requires that Americans eyeing through the exchanges must get their care for something called medical home. Medical home is similar to an HMO. You are signing a primary care doctor, and the doctors controls access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologist orthopedist. Under the proposals, gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago.[7]

Under the various proposals now on the table, the IRS would become the main agency for determining who has an acceptable health insurance plan; for finding and punishing those who don't have such a plan; for subsidizing individual health insurance costs through the issuance of tax credits; and for enforcing the rules on those who tend to opt out, abuse, or game the system. A substantial portion of H.R. 3200, The House Care Bill, Is Devoted to Amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 In Order to Give the IRS the Authority to Perform These New Duties.[8]

Lobbying that helps companies, not patients.

Support from the AMA for health care reform is a reversal of their previous position, after receiving a windfall of $228 billion through elimination of planned Medicare cuts.[10] The plan is in the best interest of profit, and not in the best interest of any patient's health.

Large portion of doctors against the plan

45% of doctors would consider quitting if the health care plan passes.[12]

Sources


 1  Why We Need Healthcare Reform: What People Are Saying Aug 15, 2009 Health Reform.gov
 2  Healthcare Guiding Principles Sep 3, 2009 The White House Washington D. C.
 3  Helping the Bottom Line; Health Reform And Small Business Sept 3, 2009 Health Reform.gov
 4  What You Need to Know about Health Care Reform: The Empowered Patient Sep 3, 2009 CNN Health.com
 5  Pres. Obama Health Care Reform News Obama Agenda on Health Care March 18, 2009 Obama-Healthcare-Reform.com
 6  A Review of the Obama Campaign Health Plan Healthcare Policy And Marketplace Review June 10, 2008 Health Policy and Market Blog
 7  5 freedoms you'd loose in healthcare reform Yahoo Finance July 27, 2009 Kelly, S
 8  Healthcare Reform Means More Power for the IRS Washington Examiner Sep 2, 2009 York,B.
 9  Coverage Denied Reports on Health Reform Sep 3, 2009 Health Reform.gov
 10  How Did the AMA Get Such a Sweet Deal in Health Reform? Sept 15, 2009 Unknown Author (Slate.com)
 11  Most US doctors back public health option: Poll Sept 14, 2009 Unknown Author (RawStory.com)
 12  45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Healthcare Overhaul Sept 15, 2009 Jones, Terry (Investor's Business Daily)

Related Debates

HR 3200 America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
Medical Tort Reform
Medicaid
Medicare
Socialized Healthcare

User Comments & Opinion

 
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4 Voted Yes

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#politics I think reform is necessary. What type, is still uncertain. I am somewhat more for tort reform than for socialized medicine. - thorie (twitter) 0
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my grandma needs health insurance now. she can't pay for it and she doesn't quality for medicare. don't know what to do. obama needs to help us because that's why we voted him - jennyhooah (twitter) 0

6 Voted No

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I NEED INSURANCE - stonecoldvt (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
 
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