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Raising the Bar in Rehab

Health Care and Democrats

Published June 11, 2009 9:01 AM by Lisa West
All Americans should be required to carry health insurance?  Excuse me?  Government-run health care?  Hopefully you are all keeping yourselves updated with the latest news. 

As a health care provider, I agree that changes need to be made.  Being forthright with our patients is key- transparency of costs, knowledge of available options, and determining the best provider based on outcomes measures. 

The beauty of the United States is the free-will and constitutional right every citizen has to make individual decisions.  By putting requirements such as forcing citizens to carry health insurance, or a government-based health care system, we are taking away a small part of our rights as American citizens. 

If everyone has health insurance, what's the point?  A MRI scan should cost the same regardless of the person, regardless if they are in-network or out-of-network.  Common sense. 

For the average person, health insurance companies are complicated and difficult to work with.  Finding answers to questions nearly requires persistence in knowing which questions to ask and who to ask them to.   Simplifying this process should be a priority. 

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.  I'm glad I don't have the job of finding a solution that will work for an entire country. 

4 comments

First of all, health care is not a right under the constitution.  Despite what you may think, the democrats are planning a public option that will be in direct competition with private companies.  Something Obama and his supporters have voiced in the past.  As a matter of fact, many of the more leftist supporters would love it if the government ran all of the health care in this country.  Who pays for it? Well we all do, even YOU KNOW WHO, who does not have a job yet.  But worst of all is the cumbersome, lumbering bureaucracy that the government is. It has been 7 months since I restructured by business from an LLC to an S corp.  All the private insurers took as little as one phone call to two weeks to change my status with them.  Not Medicare.  One thing changed, the Federal EIN.  That means for Medicare, I have to re-enroll as if I never was a provider.  The application has options:  New enrollee, also Changes to your Medicare information, along with several other options that were not applicable.  So, here we are 7 months later and it is still not done.  They find a problem, kick it back out for not enough info, or too much info.  Resubmit, then there is yet another problem.  They email me to make corrections, fax that to them, an low and behold, wrong again.  I am beating my head against the wall.  but that is the state of government run health care.  Like a large rock rolling down a hill.  It cannot be stopped and it is a force of nature.  In health care, it has the potential to put private insurers out of business as either people or businesses opt for the government plan.  That means more unemployment, less private sector businesses less tax going into the coffers in DC, where will the government make up the difference?  The only place they can, from the people who work and pay taxes.  If you are paying for your own private healthcare coverage, you have the honor of paying for someone elses too.  As for the quality of care, it will be hurt.  I hope I misunderstood the YOU KNOW WHO.  I hope your quality of care is not tied to sitting and smiling at your patients.  While I think that it is important to develop relationships with my patients, I find quality of care has more to do with the clinical applications, nto the interpersonal relationships.  It has to do with outcomes, and getting people back to function as quickly and economically as possible.  Finally, my contribution to the health care situation in this country is to work with clinics in the local area and providing pro bono care to under- and uninsured people.  For a copay of $5.00 they receive the same level of care that anyone else gets from me.  

Carl, Physical Therapy - Owner July 15, 2009 9:33 AM

I posted the wrong link.

The link on the previous post was for the summary of the House bill.

Here is the link for the actual bill:

http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/DraftHealthCareReform-BillText.pdf

Wrong Link June 19, 2009 3:56 PM

This is just a quick addendum to my previous response.  Today, the House of Representatives introduced their version of the health care reform bill.  The link for the full text is below.  

The highlights are:

1.  Ta da... a government operated health insurance plan that would be in direct competition with private insuance companies.

2.  Mandatory health care coverage for all Americans.

3.  Coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Among others...

Check out the plan...

http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/DraftHealthCareReform-BillSummary.pdf

Me Again June 19, 2009 3:54 PM

Well, a few things...

First and foremost, this is quite possibly some of the best writing I have seen you produce.  Did you pay someone to do it?  Just kidding of course.  

Now I have the benefit of knowing that your view of the American health care system has been, shall we say, tainted by a certain professor of ours and her little red book.  If you would permit me now, however, to take you on a little journey I like to call "Fact:  A Story of Things Not of a False Nature" I believe we could clear a few things up.

Number one, the Constitution of the United States does not in any way, shape or form guarantee the citizens of this nation the right to free choice.  The Constitution is first a roadmap to forming the government, and the 27 ammendments are a statement of those choices of the citizens upon which the government cannot impede.  In other words, the Constitution states what the government can and cannot do.  No where in the Constitution does it mention health care, and if your arguement is that the government cannot force people to pay for health care, I want you to take a good look at your pay stub this week and see how much money the government said you have to pay in taxes. They can make you pay money, and they will.

It should be noted, that in the plan proposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy and from what I hear, the other plan proposed by the Senate Finance Committee, no where does it call for a plan to create a national health care plan that would be in direct competition with private insurance companies.  So let's all calm down for a little bit.  

You mentioned that "if everyone has health care, what's the point?"  I'm not entirely sure what you meant by that, but let's assume for a moment that you were talking about quality of care.  If everyone has health care and costs dropped, reimbursement would too.  So if you now had to see more patient's in less time to make quota, the quality of care would drop as well.  I think I mentioned in one of my last responses that any health care professional who decreases their quality of care based on what health insurance plan someone has (if any) or how much time they have with a patient, should be so ashamed of themselves, they should crawl under a rock and just stay there.  Quality of care is something that is not bound by time.  If I smile at my patients and listen to them and do my best in the time I have to treat their ailments; if I treat them with respect and dignity and never sacrafice the trust they have in me, then it doesn't matter if I had 60 minutes or 16 minutes.  The quality of care remains the same.

Now should everyone in America be required to have health insurance, tough to say.  I think I have had pataient's who didn't have health insurance and the hospital tried to rush them out the door, which is a pretty poor reflection on us as health care professionals.  I also think that the whole point of this debate isn't to determine if everyone has to have health care or not, it's to determine how to make health care accessible to everyone.  How many people don't come to the hospital, even when they are most in need of medical help, simply because they don't know how they can pay for it.  It's a shame in the country, the wealthiest on Earth, that someone has to make that decision.  

This weekend, since I don't have a job yet, I'll be reading the new plan proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat out of Montana and the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.  I think if you are interested in this subject, you should read his plan and Senator Kennedy's plan.  I've attached the web addresses below.  They are lengthy, and often written in a language only readible to that rare breed of the human species we call lawyers, but if you're a health care professional, it's your job to be informed.  It's your job to know what you are talking about.  It's your job to write to your congressmen and to the President and voice your opinion.  As PT's we have a Policital Action Committee established through the APTA, but this is a policy that first and foremost effects the people.  Wouldn't it be nice if it were the people weighing in, and not the lobbyists hired by the APTA?

Thanks.

Sen. Baucus Plan --

http://finance.senate.gov/healthreform2009/finalwhitepaper.pdf

Sen. Kennedy Bill --

http://help.senate.gov/BAI09A84_xml.pdf

You Know Who June 19, 2009 2:53 AM

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