I learned a valuable lesson while getting my Political Science degree – don’t talk about politics with your family or at work. I do my best to keep politics separate
from all things work related, however, the topic of healthcare reform
is such an important and closely related issue I feel the need to weigh
Let me first start by saying that, no matter who’s in the
White House, I’m not a fan of the government or government run programs. However, I’m less of a fan of
unchecked corporate control. I would love to believe in
the theory that free market Capitalism will take care of everything. Unfortunately, I think our free markets surrendered to large corporations
years ago and the result of this has produced our current economy
and poor healthcare delivery system. Therefore, I think some government intervention is past due.
Personally, I’ve been without health insurance several
times in my life and it’s a very scary feeling. Now, having children, the thought of being unemployed
and being without insurance is overwhelming.
The negative hype against healthcare reform is disturbing to say the least and only shows that most people don’t understand
how healthcare is delivered in this country. I can only hope that these obvious scare tactics designed to keep the current healthcare system in place (one beholden to the insurance companies) don’t take root in the minds of too many.
There are some very good reasons for hoping that our
healthcare system is reformed.
Some of them even benefit the healthcare staffing industry such as:
Fewer patients will be turned
Guaranteed coverage will mean that more people will
receive the care they need. Doctors, hospitals, and other providers won’t
have the dilemma of dealing with patients who need care but don’t have
coverage. Organizations that spend endless amounts of time battling issues with private providers will benefit greatly.
The increase in the amount of insured people will subsequently increase the demand for care. This will undoubtedly increase the need for and exacerbate the
shortage of healthcare professionals. Most likely, this sudden increase in demand will create a difficult period of
adjustment. However, we should trust that measures will be taken to meet the demand and that all the challenges we face in this area will be worth it in the end. The increased demand for healthcare will present a significant increase in opportunities for
healthcare professionals, those looking to get into the field and those that
assist healthcare professionals in finding jobs – both permanent and temporary.
quality of care
A large focus of healthcare reform is on improving the quality of care provided. Time spent on preventative treatments and better management
of chronic conditions will be reimbursed. Incentives will be given for getting things right the first time and not reimbursing poor care delivery at the same amount. In addition, consumers will now have at least (not
be limited to) one payer that provides a choice of providers. Consumers will no longer have to deal
with billing or claim hassles, making their overall healthcare experience a
Promotion of Technology
Promotion of Technology
The reform will also emphasize and
promote the use of technology which will dramatically improve efficiencies and
cut down on errors for healthcare delivery organizations. The greater adoption of technology will
also mean better information for providers and consumers, and less
paperwork. Business transactions within the industry will also become more streamlined. The reform will present
vast opportunities to technology providers in the healthcare industry.
Aside from all of these positive benefits, here are my personal reasons for supporting healthcare reform:
- The U.S. is the only industrialized country without
healthcare for its citizens. It’s unclear to me why taking care of those in need is not a basic right of every country.
- 47 million Americans are without health
insurance, 8.7 million are children.
- There is widespread support for healthcare reform from nurses and nursing
associations across the country.
- It’s the right thing to do. Most people without coverage are unemployed and come from
poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Greater
equity in access to care will help eliminate the disparities in health
- Finally, I think most of us live with the delusion that we are covered for anything we want and that we have access to the best care on the planet. The truth is you have no idea what you’re actually covered for because it’s ultimately up to your insurance company to determine if they will cover you or not. Further, just because the care is there doesn’t mean you can afford it. Even if you are covered, most likely your insurance will only pay a portion of the full amount. Do you know if you can afford the balance? Personally, I don’t want myself or anyone I know to be on the wrong end of an insurance claim denial or unable to afford the treatment I need. Do you?
Of course this issue is the newest political football
where one side feels it’s a moral obligation of humanity and the other worries
it’s part of the socialist takeover of our country. As a political scientist, let me assure you – our country is
far from being socialist. Calmly allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to be spent on wars while almost starting riots at the notion of providing healthcare to our citizens actually suggest the opposite is true. If you’re really so upset about government spending focus your complaints where they are most needed.
Do the right thing – support the reform of this country’s healthcare