I've been involved in medicine, professionally, as a "coding and billing entity," since 1980. Do any of you remember the first thing you saw upon entering a doctor’s office? It was a sign that said: ”Payment is expected at time of service.” Then, shortly after that, those of us who worked the front desk heard: "Oh, my insurance will pay that, " and it probably did; and then there was "I forgot my checkbook, I’ll mail my payment in, " and, well, you get the point. Those were the days when there wasn’t much to worry about, like medical services being approved so you could have that surgery or treatment to get your health back. And the ratio of covered to non-covered patients was not as noticeable, so it was no big deal. If you were really poor, you had Medicaid, and even though they paid less than most payers at the time, it was still paid. Now, Medicaid sometimes pays more than the other payers, so what does that say about those other companies?
So now we have this “Historic Health Care Bill 2010” that has probably solved a few things, (while discriminating against women, but we won’t go there, I just had to get a dig in), but still permits the problem to keep on going just like the Energizer Bunny. This bill didn’t forget to make sure those FOR-PROFIT entities can keep doing what they do best, and that is screw the American public, all under the guise that this bill is going to protect the patients like they haven't ever been before (that's for sure). The only thing the bill protects is the continued existence of these two (2) groups, with their continued FOR-PROFIT margins. It also makes their PROFITS LEGAL!!! If you are not aware of the two (2) groups, you have been living under a rock: they are the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.
In an attempt to hope that we, the American Public, will not notice, a few little tidbits were included in this bill, to make it seem like everything is okay. One of these forbids discrimination by non-coverage of patients with pre-existing-conditions, nice, thank you very much! But, please be aware that the insurance companies still get to negotiate contracts and collect those premiums! Oh, did I mention that this FOR-PROFIT is guaranteed business and MORE PROFIT because there is a penalty levied on the American people who fail to sign up for health insurance by 2014? So that is the healthcare that is going to be provided by the United States of America for it's citizens?
And, the pharmaceutical companies are still going to make sure that their over-priced drugs, that can be purchased cheaper everywhere else but the USA, are still going to be available. The particular windfall for the pharmaceutical companies came through a deal with the White House, by which OUR administration blocked provisions that would give the government more power to negotiate drug prices, and by that, gave the name brand drug makers 12 years of marketing monopoly against competition from generic competition on biologic drugs, including cancer treatments.
How did all of this happen? The fact is that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies have the two (2) biggest lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, so it sure looks like that came in handy this time!!!
We were the laughing stock of the World with all of Bush's embarrassing antics, and it appears that we will remain so with this blatant law that only manages to keep health care a FOR-PROFIT enterprise. I voted for Obama, but I am disappointed. Did he really do the best he could do, because it appears that he has been sucked in by the two (2) most powerful lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, and, with all due respect, I didn't think that was possible. I am certain, by all that I believe in, that if we took the FOR-PROFIT out of the equation for these two (2) groups, and cut them down to size, that the healthcare system would have more than a good start on being what we need it to be. We would have to be taxed, like they are in other countries, but if you have Medicare, or are going to have it, you are already used to paying something towards it anyway.
Medical services aren't free anywhere, they can't be, but in most of the rest of the World, healthcare is 1) without all of the political FOR-PROFIT haggling and crap, and, is 2) available to everyone. Yes, I am for Socialized Medicine which involves a single-payer-system like Medicare, which is controlled by "a government," but I am not sure our government is capable of handling such a broad concept at this point...maybe we can bring in the French to show us how it works!
President Obama, are you really listening? Quite frankly, I think you missed the point.