Tuesday August 18, 2009 | Health Care Reform

August 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 5 Comments

The ongoing nationwide conversation about health care reform remains contentious with the legislation on reform still up in the air in the Senate. We’ll talk with people in the health care industry about what reform would mean for them, and we’ll go over who potential winners and losers might be if the current package passes.
Susan DeVore
– President and CEO of Premier, Inc.
Dr. Bill Brandon – Health Policy Expert, UNC Charlotte
John Graham – Director of Health Care Studies, Pacific Research Institute

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  1. An unspoken variable is that successful healthcare is not only dependent on the provider. It is very much dependent on the patient, as well. Incentives (other than astronomical cost)need to motivate healthcare consumers to take good care of themselves and to use resources efficiently. As a physician, I recognize that there are patients that are more costly to treat because there are barriers (social, occupational, financial, psychological)that get in the way of them efficiently moving through a course from prevention, to early diagnosis, to full treatment. If we are talking pay for performance, the provider (hospital or doctor) should not incur the burden for our inefficient healthcare system.

  2. We hear numbers like 1 trillion dollars over 10 years bantered about, but totally outside context. What is healthcare in this country costing us now? Not just co-pays and deductibles to individuals, but the cost employers pay to cover employees, and the cost hospitals must write off in uncollectible debt. We never hear these number. Besides, any number multiplied by 10 is a bigger number. This is being used simply to frighten people.
    The risk of illness in a given population is an actuarially calculated number, you can divide the risk by every member of the population covered, or you can divide it by a subset. If you use the subset, everyone in the subset will pay more. The only way to gain the efficiencies necessary to accomplish this goal is by momentous sweeping change. That is why we need to do this now. I have been working in health benefits field since 1985, and the problem has just gotten worse every year.
    Pundits, political and otherwise, have argued that a government run plan would be either so competitive that it would crowd out private insurance, or would be so inefficient that the cost would rise to a level that would send the plan into a death spiral (only sickest would continue to pay the high premium and therefore the costs keep rising and the plan eventually dies). It cannot be both, so clearly these arguments are specious.
    We need intelligent, calm discussion, not loud-mouthed idiots shouting down anyone who disagrees with them.

  3. Can any meaningful health care reform happen without tort reform?

  4. Re: the person who wondered why lobbyists get to run the country when they were not elected. Yes politicians stump for votes to get elected, but to do that they need the money from corporations and special interest groups. That is why the candidate with the most money wins most elections.

    After a politician is elected they are still stumping for votes. Corporations and groups once again spend dollars to sway public opinion, just look at the poll numbers re: healthcare reform and how they have changed over the last 6 months. So once again the politicians are pandering for voters, but its the money spent that has changed those middle ground voters opinions, the voters just don’t realize it! Hardcore voters on either end of an issue; their minds don’t change but many in the middle do.

    Not to mention the small detail that politicians will need the money from the groups behind the lobbyists in the next election…to once again sway voter opinions to their side. It is all consistent…they are going after votes…but are dependent on money to get them…and well…the big money comes from where?

  5. Gregg Smith is just the type to sue his hapless physician, so there.
    How’s those fingers, Buddy?

    A single not for profit pool of all citizens is the only solution. If this leads to “socialism” in other areas I’m all for it. (Hurry up on the light rail and trains, Charlotte, and forget the roads.Save gas with bike and walkways instead.) I’m so proud of Dr. Howard Dean for speaking up. Two years ago in Texas I was left to die because of no health insurance and am only here today because of a benevolent angel returning my lost baggage in the hospital. If she’d not had a wealthy husband and a doctor brother I’d have died in agony on a gurney in the hall.

    People in other countries are now calling capitalist suck-ups to account for their lies about various universal health care systems in other nations. Some of our Congress members have really soiled their pants in public. It’s a shame the public has been kept so ignorant by our media. If you refuse to pay less taxes than you are now paying in premiums to get better medicine for all you are nothing but an anti-social sadist. For such beasts it is no use being alive unless they are hurting someone else. (Death panels be damned, and the boogers who threaten the innocent with them also.)

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