Now that health care reform is making its way towards implementation, I do have some thoughts on the issue. I have been staying out of the discussion because this isn't a political blog. But I do think:
- something needed to be done with a system which was bankrupting patients who are diagnosed with a serious medical condition or has a life changing event. How is it right that you pay insurance premiums for years and then when diagnosed with cancer, your policy goes up and your claims are denied and you end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt?
- low income or financially strapped people are entitled to health care, and in the long run, this could save millions of dollars and thousands of lives by preventing medical issues before they become serious. On one of my cancer message boards a woman posted that she was married with four children and she had no health insurance - but the rest of her family was covered and she was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She was horrified that the bills would bankrupt them.
- the national healthcare systems of England and Canada should show us some lessons in what works, but more importantly, of what doesn't work and should be avoided. From what I have seen of both systems, I would prefer not to have to deal with anything that resembles either of them. I used to travel a lot to the UK and would hear horror stories from co-workers and on the news of delayed care, until the point of death, or poor care. I have heard from friends in Canada that while care is good, it can take weeks or months to get an appointment.
All that being said, I think the legislation is a step in the right direction to lessen the gap between haves and have-nots in the medical sense here in the US but still there is a lot to be done.