I completely agree with those who said (a few years back) that our country needed healthcare reform. What we did NOT need was the hodge podge of ridiculousness that was hastily crammed down our throats to make a new president look good.
Since the passage of "Obamacare" my deductible has increased from $500.00/year to $1,250.00 /year. Our prescription co-pays (Thank God they still allow co-pays) from $20.00 to $40.00 for a month supply of name brand (non-generic) drugs. Items that used to be covered by our insurance (e.g labwork and tests like sonograms and MRIs) now must be paid for out of pocket until the deductible has been met. And yet, the insurance premium has continued to increase....for less coverage.
Let's try Health Care, NOT Financial Ruin. To do this I suggest the following:
Prohibit pharmaceutical companies from advertising prescription medications in the common media (e.g. television ads, magazine ads, etc). The money saved on advertising could be used to lower drug costs overall and/or be directed towards research for newer better medications. The average person who has not been to some sort of medical school should not be second-guessing the doctors all the time by asking if the drug he/she saw on television is right for him/her -- THAT is what the doctor is there for!!
Insurance companies should NOT be permitted to raise rates along with deductibles. "In the old days" it was common to save money on an insurance policy by increasing the deductible. If rates go up, deductibles should go down. Common sense.
Insurance companies should be prohibited from requiring pre-approval for testing, and from requiring a certain order of tests. Most of the ones doing the approving have most likely not been a doctor with a patient to know what is best for each patient. If they haven't been "on the floor" like most doctors and nurses, they have no business second-guessing the doctor's decision.
Insurance companies should be prohibited from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition. Period. There should be no waiting periods. Premium paid, coverage starts. Period.
I have asthma. My husband, of retirement age, worries about maintaining coverage for me once he takes the step into retirement. He should not have to worry about such things as to whether or not we can get coverage for me, let alone afford it.
I am a Victim. I sit here awake because of pain in my mouth. Pain I have experienced now for over two years. Long story short, my bite shifted. Braces are needed. We actually are blessed with great dental insurance through my husband's employer. Guess what? I'm "too old." I need to be under age 19. In Pennsylvania it is against the law to set age caps on medical procedures, but our insurance has written it into the policy. We have explained the law, and they have enforced that my husband's employer chose this policy so this is the hand we are dealt. I have attempted to find individual coverage on my own that my orthodontist accepts. Found a great company, but the plan I can purchase without a group isn't one of the ones he takes. I like my orthodontist and he is highly recommended. I shouldn't have to doctor hunt to suit an insurance company. Finally found a discount plan that merely caps what the orthodontist can charge me, so yesterday afternoon I wrote out the large downpayment and my bottom braces were applied. Eighteen months from now I hope the pain is gone. For now, I am awake and aching from the new appliances in my mouth, from the ongoing pain in my jaws, from anger that our medical system has only been further ruined by "Obamacare."
Our country does not need socialized medicine -- one only need observe the waiting lists in other countries that have tried such programs. Mind you, I am not blaming one specific person. I do not blame the President for the pain in my mouth, for my insurance costs, etc. I use the term "Obamacare" because he was a driving force in the "reform" that took place during his first year in office. I use the term because he stood behind it. I use the term because the media so nicknamed it. I blame a large group of people: the President, the Congress, the insurance company lobbyists, the pharmaceutical lobbyists, the American people.
Yes, I blame the American people. We have become a country of the "quick fix." Throw a band-aid on a gushing wound and it will still bleed, but that is what we do. We have quit looking at the long term. We look at the moment, live in the moment, and then cry tomorrow when the blood is all gone. We must not wait for tomorrow. We must not expect others to take care of us - we need to do it ourselves. Band-aids are great for the short-term, but for the long-term we need to suture and heal.
We need reform in three main venues: Pharmaceutical companies, Insurance companies, and the Complacent American. Period. Fix those and things will come around.