Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Musing: Some things needed in health care regulation

I am all for affordable health care. I've got some good health care benefits where I work, and in the years I've been with my current employer, I've had three knee surgeries, which has included a total knee replacement. I also have access to coaches and advice nurses in the network.

I have noticed over the years that my co pays have gone upward. Some of this is necessary to cut down on abuse of the system I would guess. The cost of the insurance itself both to the employer and employee has gone up and the quality of the total package has gone down.

One of the major reasons that health care costs more and gives less is the cost of malpractice insurance to the doctors. One of the reasons for that is frivolous lawsuits from those looking for an easy dollar. The frivolous suits make it difficult for those who have legitimate complaints. Only real winners in these situations are attorneys.

I believe that doctors should give you the care you pay for and I also think that doctors are deserving of top pay. A doctor spends a good chunk of his, or her, life in schooling and have to keep up with their studies on a constant basis. I'm sure some are guilty of gross carelessness and deserve some punishment, but the high cost of malpractice insurance is a case of the majority paying the price for the transgressions of a few.

I also think that we all should pay more heed to the doctors' advice. Maybe walk more and eat less. Or maybe eat better and healthier. Spend more time away from television and our computers. And we need to educate ourselves about health maintenance.

Before we can expect our employers, or the government, to take care of our health care needs, we have to start taking care of ourselves and practice common sense all around.


Shelley said...

Well said Wixy!!!

david5258 said...

excellent post. you are blessed that you have a good med plan at work.

in addition, we are individually responsible for our health and diet choices. they DO play a major factor in how we maintain our health.

when my daughter, eleanor told me last year that she couldn't hug me because i was too big for her to wrap her arms around, i decided to do something about it. last summer, i put 40 pounds ON between jun1 and october 1. beginning october 15th, i began working with my pastor on weight watchers to learn how to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and pay attention to what i eat thru daily diary. since then, i have taken OFF 53.5 pounds. i eat less, don't feel hungry and my knees are stronger than they used to be.

as a member of the financial services community, i work with many employers to enhance their employee benefit programs. in addition, i work with individuals to take care of specialized needs for medical, life and disability income.

i have read the proposed legislation on line for "health care reform" and the restrictions they put on employer AND employee choice are disturbing. for example, it will become ILLEGAL for small business people to purchase their own , individual privately funded medical insurance.

do health care costs go up? yes. much of that is due to new technology, new medical protocols for treatment, government reimbursement changes(medicare/medicaid), as well as frivolous lawsuits.

do we need to make it better? yes--but NOT at the expense of the patient, the employee, OR the the employer.

keep up the good work cliff.

Margaret said...

I sooooo agree with you on tort reform. I find it troubling that the current healthcare reform bill has ignored this very vital part of the picture. I am on the front lines of this issue, being a Billing Administrator for gastroenterologists and surgeons. It's a crime that they have to pay so much in malpractice insurance.

I also agree that we need to follow good health guidelines. But I do not want the government mandating it.

clean and crazy said...

wow you hit a nerve with this one. i agree we need health care reform but i disagree that the current bill will make it illegal for employers to buy their own insurance, i also disagree with the opinion that the bill ignores the lawsuits. i have a copy of the bill on my computer and none of that is true. what i have read is that there are some things that are going to be cut, but those are things that do not work well and there are other parts that are going to be continued to be used, and that is "keeping what works"
ooh, i hate the television media because they let lies be published it makes me mad when fox news is on spewing nothing but fear. gosh i hate that. why can't people look up the truth and believe that. why is it so easy to let a politician twist what is written to fit his or her agenda and just take their word for gospel.
i don't listen to the crap on fox news because 99 percent of it is lies. i don't like to be lied to. i am very passionate about health care but i am not just going to be an armchair, monday morning quarter back. i have read up on the policy and i will continue to fact check, because it is a very, very slow read. i need a dictionary too. but i am going to help with workshops and educating people on the facts of the bill. because what i see is big insurance not wanting this to go through as well as the drug manufacturers because they will have to charge less for medication and they will not be able to restrict generics from being made.
a big part of this bill too will help stop the "NEED" for emergency room visits for non emergencies. a HUGE reason costs go up is because, i know this because i used to do it, a lot of people only go to the emergency room to be seen because they won't turn you away if you don't have insurance. and then they don't pay those bills. it sucks but it is true, today i have paid my bills and now i want to help with this bill because i think it has potential.

74WIXYgrad said...

I may have hit a nerve, but I have also gotten some dialogue going. One thing that I am blessed with are people from both sides of the issue weighing in on this.

Neat thing about blogging is anyone who wants to participate can and will be able to communicate with the others who come here.

Some call it universal health care, others call it socialized medicine. My point is whatever you call it, we need to see some personal responsibility in our seeking of health care.

Pat Jenkins said...

this bill's debate has energized the spirit's of individuals, and that may mean our nation's democracy has never been in better health!!... good post wixy!!

Ben said...

You served up a dose of good common sense, WIXY. We need to take better care of ourselves. I also understand that with lawsuits being threatened all the time, doctors tend to order up more tests and scans, as a defensive measure, than should be needed. Not their fault; they are just protecting themselves. Seems like the issue is complicated enough that it should be studied a bit longer than the leaders seem willing to do.