Monday, August 24, 2009

New York Times says seniors' concerns are real

I've been studying the pro's and con's of the proposed health care bill and it is confusing.

The most voiced fears are those of seniors who fear health care rationing, a restriction on expensive procedures to prolong life for a few years and limited access to specialists.

I have said since all the debating began that a financially sustainable single payer healthcare system MUST, in fact, include the above and even WITH including the above, did anyone add the price of covering "everyone"? No, I'm sure they didn't but no one has noticed that the income taxes in countries with single payer healthcare are THREE TIMES higher than they are in the USA.

And of course, the President has said several times that we would all have to sacrifice and that he did not agree with a knee replacement for his grandma etc.

And if we had any doubts of this, there is a well researched book by medical ethicist, Daniel Callahan called "FALSE HOPES" where after researching all the single payer, govt systems in the world, he states the same sobering facts (even though he states up front, he feels a single payer system is the way to go).

But many have listened blindly to the politicians telling us that these worries are a "myth". Those were the nice politicians. The nasty ones tell us that the concerns and questions (which were NOT answered in the so called "Town Halls") are a conspiracy by the Republicans and/or Conservatives and/or religionists or whatever.

But now, those of us who have had concerns have had a breakthrough. The New York Times printed a story which included a statement that these concerns of rationing, limited access to specialists and restricting of expensive procedures for the elderly are NOT unreasonable at all.

In fact the Medicare advisory committee, concerned that Medicare is going broke, this week, suggested .... rationing, limited access to specialists (GPs are just as good they say - which we know is a crock) and restriction of expensive procedures as a way to save Medicare!

And we all know that if the New York Times prints it, people will believe what we have been saying for a couple of months now. Because people believe the New York Times like it's the gospel.

Here is another statement in another story in the New York Times (Gospel again, right?). This comes from a story called "Tackling the Mystery of what it costs".

"Under health insurance reform, insurance plans will be required to give consumers much more information about what is covered and what is not. They will be expected to warn consumers that if they go out of network, they can be hit with some very high costs."

To someone not involved with one of the large insurance companies, this may not mean much but I, being thus involved myself, can attest to the fact that we HAD to go "out of network" because the IN network providers were not only "not too good" but absolutely horrendous - wrong diagnosis, unneeded surgeries, wrong treatment etc.

So I HAD to go out of network. And the idea of "high costs" is not a nice one to me.

And then, there are things like the place where you are supposed to get your blood work, looks kind of like you are going to catch something. That is, IF they can get the needle IN. Most always I've gone there, there is a new person just learning - on me. Hence, we finally are paying the doctor's assistant to do the draw!

The pundits tell us that the in network providers will have to be improved. Anyone holding their breath for this to happen?

Anyway, there are REAL concerns for seniors - you can believe it because the New York times printed it. :)

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