Friday, October 02, 2009


I appreciate all the emails regarding moi prior post on health care, including Michael Well's email which I also appreciated because I appreciate people who know their history. With his permission, I'm posting it:

An insightful look at the health care delivery system in America. And as for your peep whom you quoted "I am concerned that the insistence on getting some kind of health care bill done this year is the wrong thing to do because speed is not allowing for a rational debate. I’d rather it get done next year and some real thought go into it — [though] I realize I am one of the lucky ones who is not facing the loss of a loved one or a home because of lack of insurance so I have the luxury of not needing urgent action.... I would respond by saying this:

I have an above average insurance plan. Still we saw premiums rise 29% two years ago, 20% last year and they are negotiating this years plan as I write this and our human resources department tells us it will likely be a double digit percent increase again this year. And while these premiums rise, so do co-pays and there are each year changes in drug formularies that rise our out of pocket costs as well as other reductions in services, all at greater expense.

There is a great fear among many who have coverage that the changes will be something they don't like and therefor, let's take this slow. Yet the increasing costs are continually shedding the insured from the rolls of those covered/protected. Today's insure d at these rates are likely tomorrows uninsured or under-insured. President Harry S Truman took up the cause of health care reform in 1945. Sixty-four years later we are being choked by the costs of health care (to say nothing of the declining quality thereof) and some people believe we are acting too quickly. That we are simply making knee-jerk reactions to a problem. Sixty-four years is hardly knee-jerk.

There are two distinct groups of people out there who are opposed to changing our health care. One is made up of people for who the system is kind of working and the thought of change evokes the fear of the unknown. The other group is made up of people who fundamentally oppose anything that suggests that access to health care is a fundamental right. For this latter group, tomorrow is too soon. They are only interested in continuing this debate till tomorrow because it never comes.

Meanwhile tomorrow there will be fewer covered. Tomorrow, health care will be closer to a commodity that is available to only the privileged.

I realize my comments are largely directed at the issues of access, not quality of care. I don't believe you can have the debate about one without the other. Changes in our health care delivery system must address both in order to achieve meaningful reform.

Thanks for sharing the stories your mother and father because they illustrate core problems within the health care system.

Best wishes,