Monday, May 14, 2012

The Battle over Health Care


Now that we have “Obama Care:” we have a proposal that indicates Americans do want a major health system revision. 

If one reviews the long term evolution of how this played out in Congress, Democrats were intent on getting ‘anything’ passed for the political expediency and gain, while Republican’s cool reception seemed to be more of a “we can get a better bill”, and were reticent to pass a global sweeping law that despite it’s voluminous size missed major key points to control costs.

eJanardan Prasad Singh, and Rosemary Gibson in “ The Battle over Health Care” continue on the theme of their previous book, “Wall of Silence” which was critically acclaimed.

Each of these books are available in electronic form. I read parts of Wall of Silence and found it emotionally draining, even after 40 years of treating patients. Equanimity and imperturbability only go so far.

The battle (s) over health care is by no means over. Passage of Obamacare sets the framework from which hopefully better solutions will arise.

According to Gibson the conundrum resides in the fabric of the American economy, corporate attitudes, profit margins, durable medical device manufacturers, and an insurance industry that has a firm lock on health care.

Gibson and Singh take a broader perspective on health care reform not as a single issue but as part of the economic life of the nation. The national debate unfolded while the banking and financial system teetered on the brink of collapse. The authors trace uncanny similarities between the health care industry and the unfettered banking and financial sector. They argue that a fast-changing global economy will have profound implications for the country’s economic security and the jobs and health care benefits that come with it, and they predict that global competition will shape the future of employer-provided insurance more than the health care reform law.

The judicial review serves as an interlude or recess in the process while the Supreme Court is faced with unlocking the myriad details of the law including but not limited to the ‘individual mandate”

One could say that politics should play no role in your healthcare, however the basic underlying relationships between the free enterprise system, insurers, providers, and patients has evolved into near anarchy….thus the government steps in.

Gibson and Singh provide the stage on which we are players, however they do not propose a solution.

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