Sunday, September 13, 2009

Health Care Reform?

"Why rush this decision without proper debate on options, cost, etc., especially with a huge deficit our grandchildren will have to pay eventually?", says my friend Dr. Rida W. Boulos in an "In the Spotlight" article in the JS on 9/6/09. Dr. Boulos had just visited his hospitalized mother-in-law in Canada. Dr. Boulos says there is not enough space on this page to explain how unacceptable the quality of care is in Quebec. Nothing is free. Canadians pay high taxes. You never see an American going to Canada to get treatments. He says. "many Canadians are worried we will get a socialized health care system here and they will not be able to come here for quality health care."

Dr. Boulos points out that Obama is not talking about tort reform which costs at least an $100 billion a year for "defensive" medicine. In a single-payer system, there will need be rationing, especially for seniors. (I'm a senior and both my wife soon will be and we both have 'quality of life' agreements) My quote.

Dr.Boulos believes we have high quality, expensive health care and not available to many. He writes we should do the following:

Require every state to do health care reform on its own. Massachusetts has done this; it is gradually taking hold, but with escalating costs. Require every state to determine if its uninsured are eligible for public aid. If so, they should be enrolled. People who earn at least $75,000 a year who have elected not to buy insurance should be required to buy it. Make sure any health insurance is portable, and that preexisting conditions are not an obstacle to coverage. Look at hospital costs. Why does hip replacement cost $50,000 in Peoria and only $25,000 in Europe? Physicians fees in some areas are extremely high; we should find out why. Completely overhaul the legal system to allow physicians to practice without spending billions in defensive medicine.

Health care will account for 20 per cent of the economy.

Well, said my friend. Why a massive bill now that only the tort attorneys and the politicians who accept large large amounts of money to fund their campaigns know what we are doing in a hurry after being aware for more than a decade that they current system needs an overhaul. We should have had tort reform two decades ago.

We should have so much so long ago. Now it appears we are going to do something few really agree on or understand.

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