It was Breaking News and “Stop The Presses” when the media announced earlier this week that the Democrats had enough votes to bring Healthcare Reform to the floor. It was said that they are poised to enact a sweeping healthcare reform bill. That might even be true, if was something to act upon.
The House patched together their bill, and pushed it through. Now the Senate gets to go through the process all over again; discuss the merits, hear propositions, alternatives, and yammer away in an Oscar-worthy performance intended to give us the impression that they have toiled, shed blood, sweat and tears to produce legislation for which we should be grateful and appreciative. They’ll go so far as to suggest it is unpatriotic not to appreciate their earnest efforts. Academy hopefuls take note.
As we head deeper into the abyss that some call Healthcare Reform, what emerges most clearly is a lack of clarity. There simply is no comprehensive scheme, no functional plan by which healthcare will become a universal reality. Both sides of the aisle blame the opposition for the inability to fire the magic bullet that solves all problems. The fallacy: There is no such projectile. Health care reform is going to be expensive. And we’re ALL going to pay for it, one way or another. If we don’t provide preventative care now, we’ll pay exponentially more when that person’s untreated condition worsens. If we don’t enact Tort Reform (and there is no evidence to suggest that legislators are even considering doing so,) then there can be no effective reform, Magic Bullet or not.
When someone harasses a physician (or his insurance) into paying an unwarranted medical malpractice claim, who do you think must pay? The doctor? His insurance? Would that it were so! We ALL pay for that fraud. Every one of us absorbs the costs, down to the penny.
When the bills mount and a doctor’s private practice nets that healer $20,000 a year, how long do you think it will be before that healer finds some other career to pursue? Perhaps s/he will be able to use that degree for a research scientist’s job. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to repay, there’s no real choice. And once again, we will all pay the price as we lose a capable, well-trained doctor just because the expenses have run that healer out of the business.
As the Senate prepares for the next Dog & Pony Show, get your word in. Get your friends to do the same. Make the message loud and clear that they MUST include Tort Reform in their version of Healthcare Reform. Tell them loudly and clearly that We The People will accept no less, because anything else simply will not work. No matter how it is phrased, any plan that does not take control of the runaway costs of malpractice insurance will inevitably fail.