Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getting it Off my Chest

Frankly, I'm just as sick of listening to the now-finally-dwindling coverage of health care reform as you all are, but I received two pieces of mail that made me cringe - one, a solicitation from the hospital where I recently gave birth to my son, asking for a 'donation' for the hard-working doctors and nurses on staff (which they are, mind you); and two, an invoice from an internist I saw all of once, two years ago, to pay an office administrative fee, because of the costs associated with being a primary care physician. Seriously, is this the future of health care - additional bills and 'donations' (I truly do not believe for a second that any donated funds are going to the nurses' vacation fund) in addition to the ridiculous amounts we are paying for premiums and co-pays - or is this an overreaction to the legislation? Either way, I'm dismayed.

Gregg Easterbrook (yes, the random ESPN dude, but his brother is the 7th Circuit judge) pretty well elaborates on my feelings regarding health care. To summarize, we should treat our health insurance like our car insurance. Granted, our human bodies are little more complex than vehicles, but is 'insurance' not intended for the unlikely? Why can we not let the market drive the prices of routine procedures and save health insurance for those catastrophic events that we hope to avoid? Doctor visits = oil changes; massive coronary = massive collision (i.e., the type of event insurance is intended for); lower premiums for gym memberships, healthy eating habits, staying within weight goals = lower premiums for lack of accidents, speeding tickets, and use of 'the club'; and finally (and this one is for anyone who has also faced the problem that is the major shortage of internists in DC), local family doctor = local mechanic (i.e., it's hard to find a good one, but at least there are plenty of choices in the market).

Before we enact provisions to supplant an industry that controls the quality of care we receive, how about we throw out the cause of these systemic problems? Before we enact "Robin Hood" clauses (see footnote below because this is a whole separate rant), let's make sure that the 'care' being administered is worth subsidizing. We need to start treating our bodies like our cars, act with personal responsibility, and as a wise woman recently posted on facebook, have a little more charity in our hearts, because if we did, we wouldn't be forced to pay for the government's crap version of it (paraphrased). Stop yelling at one another, get over it, and get on with it. That's about it folks. I promise, I'm done.

footnote - For those Joe Bidens (granted, he's talking about taxes generally in this interview, not specifically the increased withholding tax assessed per the health care reform bill) amongst us who want to term the provisions of the health care reform bill 'only fair', in whatever form those provisions may be at this stage, I'm inclined to remind them of just how the "Robin Hood" tale went down. I mean folks, at least watch the Kevin Costner version for reference (or the new Russell Crowe movie that looks rather fun). You see, in the original tale, the King was robbing the lower class hard-working folks of their earnings to pay his 'taxes', and the character of Robin Hood responded by stealing these amounts back to refund to the people who had actually earned the money. Does this sound familiar? Maybe, just maybe, we kind of are off track with the 'Robin Hood' labels here...just a thought. Throwing it out there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! from the woman who has earned her wisdom in the health care trenches