Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care

Obama signed the health care overhaul! I'm excited, but it makes me uneasy how there are still so many people who oppose it. I should really figure out what the bill actually said. At any rate, MA already has mandatory health insurance, and the federal overhaul was modeled after MA's overhaul, so things aren't going to change that much in MA.

Here's President Obama's remarks in Iowa City.

He claims

But we have built into law all sorts of measures that in the years to come, health care inflation, which has been rising about three times as fast as people’s wages, is finally going to start slowing down. We’ll start reducing the waste in the system, from unnecessary tests to unwarranted insurance subsidies.

And once this reform is implemented, then health insurance exchanges are going to be created. This is the core -- the core aspect of this bill that is going to be so important to Americans who are looking for coverage. Basically, we set up a competitive marketplace where people without insurance, small businesses, people who were having to pay through the teeth because they’re just buying insurance on their own, maybe you’re self-employed -- you’re finally going to be able to purchase quality, affordable, health insurance because you’re going to be part of a big pool -- by the way, with members of Congress. So you will be able to get the same good deal that they’re getting, because if you’re paying their salary, you should have health insurance that’s at least as good as theirs.

Here's an article about More Doctors Taking Salaried Positions vs private practice. It could be generally good for patients as their records can pass through the system more easily, but could be letting Big Medicine more easily set high health care costs. However, "The process feeds on itself because doctors who remain in private practice worry that as their peers sell out, their own options become more limited and the prices for their own practices fall," implying that insurance companies are paying doctors less so I'm kind of confused about which is it.

“We wouldn’t go back,” he said, “now that we’ve seen the value of improved patient care and improved communication with primary care physicians.”

Michael Packnett, the president of Parkview and Dr. Mirro’s new boss, said that his organization was growing rapidly, while the number of independent hospital and doctor practices in northeast Indiana shrank. A key reason, Mr. Packnett said, is that many doctors have decided that the challenges of running their own businesses are simply too great.

“Now they get to refocus on practicing medicine,” Mr. Packnett said.

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