The numbers are clear, 10% of the seriously ill Medicare patients consume two-thirds of Medicare spending. Over the past fifty years, care has shifted from the family care-giving model to sending critically ill or disabled individuals to facilities and treatment centers outside the home. This shift is creating gaps in service and is exhausting the healthcare system in the U.S. How to fix the expensive revolving door created by insurance companies, government, and lawyers (who in some cases benefit from the medical, legal and paperwork quagmire) is unclear. As consumers, it is important to become educated on the issues faced by the chronically or critically ill. Here are some sources of information that we have utilized
Robert Pear’s stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal Health Blog are excellent sources of information. The healthreform.gov website at the White House is a popular resource to utilize for research purposes. Town Hall meetings and the other types of news media are also informative.
If these sources are not informative enough, read some of the proposed bills circulating throughout the House of Representatives and the Senate. Like many of the members of Congress, I have only read portions of proposed bills. One such rendition in a House bill suggests the capping of a government sponsored plan. Specifically it caps individual expenses at 5K per year . In this plan, family expenses are capped at 10K annually.
As I view the many proposed options, I wonder if members of Congress would mind it if their families are refused treatment, after spending a rationed 10K of care per year, would they be O.K. with this option. The bills are just proposed bills. It is my hope that after reading all the options, our law-makers are able to make intelligent and thoughtful choices. I hope that they sign-up for the plans that they support.
Our government is founded on the concept of equality and respect . In this tumultuous time of heated debate, we should include all people in the healthcare reform process regardless of party affiliation, color, age and status. Seniors and children, government workers, businesspersons, union and non-union employees should all benefit from equal protection under any new healthcare law.