Monday, August 07, 2006

Health Care for Everyone!

San Francisco is poised to offer health care coverage to 82,000 residents, but the plan only fiddles around the edges of a failing system. What we need is a federally funded, comprehensive program of vouchers that provides basic health coverage for everyone.

Federally funded.

No such thing.

The correct term is TAXPAYER funded.

Ideally, every person in America would have personal health care coverage from childhood, through school and a career, and into retirement. Coverage would no longer depend on employment or pre-existing conditions. Basic health care would be free, and additions to standard coverage would be available for a price

The operative word here is “ideally”.

It's going to be expensive to provide basic health care to everyone, but it makes sense, not just as a matter of social justice but because we can prevent more-expensive care later.

It IS true that many maladies are preventable but there is little to show that there is a SIGNIFICANT increase on the overall health of those who have ready access to routine care.

People who have insurance still are obese which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, increased risk of stroke and a host of medical problems.

Doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies would have to give up their distorted system of payments in which economic incentives reward those who do the most testing, prescribe the most drugs and overtreat patients who are in fee-for-service plans now

Many times more testing is done as a defensive practice. Fail to order enough tests and the treatment may not be covered by insurance. Even worse, you may be subject to litigation for malpractice if your testing fails to rule out every conceivable illness.

Doc’s make nothing by prescribing two pills when one (or none) will work. However, with direct to consumer advertising if the doc fails to write a script, or fails to prescribe the medication the patient asked for, that patient may simply shop for a new doc that will give them what they want . . . whether they need it or not.

If doctors are ROUTINELY “over-treating” their patients, I have yet to see anything to support such an accusation. Perhaps the author of this article has access to information I have not seen.

Government should set a basic health care benefit required in every private health plan. It should also compel the health insurance industry to be accountable and reliable

More government intrusion.

Every time the government passes a new mandate the cost of health insurance goes up not down.

And government must finance the system

Here we go again.

The government doesn’t have their own money.

But let's be honest: There would probably need to be some increase in taxes.

Ahh, now we see the truth. Higher taxes.

How much higher?

No one knows.

Every health plan would be free to offer upgrades beyond the government-paid basic plan

OK, I jumped the gun a bit. Now he is back to referring to it as a government paid plan. Seems he forgot the part about increasing taxes.

Must be a short term memory lapse. Wonder if that is covered as a “basic” benefit or one of those additional benefits paid for by the folks who have the funds to “buy up” to the better plan.

Oops! This is sounding like a class system where the “rich” have access to better health care.

Maybe the author can remedy that as well.
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