Saturday, January 22, 2011

Socialized Healthcare?

Many of your average working class folks really don’t understand the new Healthcare Bill. Terms like “socialized healthcare” get thrown around and most people really don’t have a clue what that means or how it will affect them in the future. The bill basically over time drives us all into a government run healthcare exchange, our government is getting into the insurance business!

The way that we will be driven into the plan is quite simple actually. Your employer will pay a fine if they do not provide you with health insurance, the fine will be so much less than the actual cost to insure you that they would be silly if they just didn’t pay the fine and save big bucks. Everyone that has an employer that is opting to not cover their employees can join the “government run insurance exchange”. Now if you are self employed like me or you simply like to have a say in your healthcare coverage options and cost, the requirement to cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions will drive the cost of it so high you will have to let it go and join the much more reasonably priced “government run insurance exchange”. So as you can see as time goes by and more and more employers find it more acceptable to not insure their employees, and the more and more people get priced out of private health plans, we will all eventually be a part of a massive “government run healthcare exchange” insurance plan.

With the changes made to Medicare coverage this past year we will all be faced with some level of "cost sharing", that's a polite way of saying co-pays and deductibles. Also people entering nursing homes on Medicaid often are told where there is an available bed, taking away their options to choose a better or closer nursing home. There would be no reason to think that your choices in doctors or hospitals in this new government plan will be any better.

Even the doctors will be faced with many uncertainties. Doctors will be required to be wired into a national data base, that we will all be a part of, which will guide them and limit them as to what their options are to treat each patient. The cost to maintain the network, computers, and staff falls on the back of every physician treating patients out of a private office. Having their ability to decide for each patient the proper course of action for their care and having to shoulder even more mandated expenses is already driving many doctors close to retirement out of business and changing the minds of many med students to choose a different career path.

What kinds of co-pays, deductibles, networks, and personal choices we will be faced with are not completely known yet as we will be paying for this plan for four years before the first benefit is ever paid. If I had to pay for a car for four years before I got to drive it, or pay four years on a new flat screen TV before getting to watch it, I’d say the salesman was crazy, says a lot about how intelligent our government feels we are? One more scary thought, isn't the current government run healthcare plan, called Medicare, about to go under according to them?

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