I love all the letters to the editor, the newspaper articles, the discussion & debate and ultimately the fact we are publicly addressing a “broken” national program – the US healthcare system.
Three themes seem to dominate the discussion.
Change is scary.
While I would like to believe there is such heated debate over healthcare because people would like to do what is right, I tend to believe a lot of the rhetoric surrounds fear of change. Within all the discussion there is certainly a strong thread of “I don’t know what it should look like but I know what I don’t want it to look like.”
Sometimes that type of discussion freezes people into inaction.
I am certainly not proposing being hasty or thoughtless (and if anyone truly believes the policy isn’t being discussed seriously and well thought out…well…they are crazy) but at some point we need to stop talking and start doing. The current system is flawed. Any system we end up putting in place will have some flaws (just less than the one we have, one should believe) but…does it have to be perfect? Absolutely not. I realize perfection is impractical (if we want to fix the current state at least within the next millennium).
Senator Jay Rockefeller D-WVa “the insurance companies in my judgment are determined to protect their profits.” I have seen or heard derivations of this thought throughout the healthcare debate – from the public as well as the government. Okay people.
First. They are a business. In a competitive marketplace. Their purpose is to make a profit (or a not for profit company). Unless mandated otherwise they are permitted to make a profit (and people can elect a different choice if they don’t like it). Okay. I know I made a sweeping point with a lot of debatable aspects but since when has a business in a competitive marketplace been restricted on profitability? Second. Anyone who knows anything about healthcare finances and managing “risk to insure everyone receives coverage in the event of a catastrophe” is a tricky proposition. Suffice it to say I would rather they make some money rather than not have enough money if a catastrophe happens.
Third. Re-investing profits back into the business. Interestingly most healthcare companies have excellent programs developed and available. And if people used these programs the company may actually be a little less profitable, charge less and, best of all, there would be a healthier population.