- A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process).
- The “Health Choices Commissioner” will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice.
- All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
- The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
- Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN).
- No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “judicial review” is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
- The American Medical Association sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
What if the Obama healthcare reform is enacted? The doctors ponder. The hard-pressed families wonder. The unemployed folks brood over.
Since December 2007 when recession was declared, more than 15 million people have lost their jobs. Many since then have changed careers, many taken huge pay cuts out of necessity. Many live in fear because they can no longer afford the costs of healthcare for their families.
Men who used to be breadwinners have lost three out of every four jobs cut anywhere. Women have become breadwinners while men are unemployed.
Now when you apply for a job, you face tremendous odds. Only few openings and a horde of applicants many of whom are more qualified than you. You used to make $100K a year. Now you make $50K and feel thankful for having a job just to make ends meet and, most important, restore your self-esteem.
If you don’t have a job, you’re joining 17 million people who are either unemployed like you, or have no healthcare coverage through their jobs, or are early retirees.
So everyone asks “What if?” What if the proposed reform becomes a done deal?
The reform will reportedly provide subsidy for those who cannot afford hospitalization; however, they still must buy insurance coverage. For those who buy their own insurance, in spite of the promised subsidy that will have them pay a premium of no higher than 9 percent of their income, they still must pay co-payments, deductibles. Swell. What about those who have had a history of preexisting medical conditions? These people face higher premiums and full deductibles. Insurers sometimes reject them. Can the reform protect them? Can the government restrain the insurers from jacking up prices? If not, many of us better hope that we would live till 65 and embrace Medicare. Or work till we drop dead.
Well, doctors don’t like the proposed healthcare reform partly because they will be banned from owning stock in healthcare companies. Also, the reform will aim to stop the doctors’ overtreatment of patients, which accounts for 20 to 30 cents of every healthcare dollar.
Yet, despite several provisions deemed good in the proposed healthcare reform, many of us keep asking ‘What if?’ What if any of the following provisions become true (source: www.FreeRepublic.com)?
Another ‘What if’: Will the reform support the thrifty walk-in medical clinics? These are run by
CVS, Wal-Mart, usually within a 10-minute drive from where you live. You don’t need appointments; you can walk in on weekends or evenings, and waiting time is short. You pay 30 to 40 percent lower in fees than at the doctors’ offices and 80 percent lower than at the emergency departments. So if the reform is to deliver improving value in healthcare, will these walk-in clinics fit the bill?
When is the healthcare reform to be voted on? In about a month.
Surely it will be the most ambitious healthcare reform in this century, if passed. Yet who has a handle on it? Not the doctors. Not us, the American citizens. Only the lobbyists, the special interest groups. Is it a disquieting fact to know that the most recent Gallup Poll showed that more, many more Americans still trust their doctors more than they trust the politicians?
All summer long, constituents have screamed and shouted at their congressmen, “Do you know why we aren’t on board?” Why? Because this impending reform will tamper with the holiest thing of our lives: our personal health. When it boils down to this, do you trust your politicians?
So, if we the Americans are kept in the dark in this healthcare reform crusade, we will keep asking ‘What if?’