This post starts a string of posts about healthcare, lack of it, the government’s role or responsibility, our responsibility, societal responsibility, the decline in the number of doctors and the impending overwhelming of the healthcare system. At this point I have no idea how many posts it will take to get this off my chest but I ask that you bare with me. This is solely my opinion: which I feel I have a right to have and you certainly have a right to disagree or not as you please. Please give what I have to say a chance,; if nothing else it may make you look at things in a different light. Comments pro or con are certainly welcome. Obama Care being a hot topic, that is where I will start.
Most of us are familiar with Obama Care or more correctly called the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) . Whether we wanted it or not; most of us either love it or hate it, there is not much middle ground. Congress pasted the act without even having any good idea whether it was a good thing or even what was in the bill. We still don’t really know the ramifications of what it is going to do to or for the healthcare system. President Obama said it would save money and at the same time allow millions of people who could not afford or get health insurance to be covered. The full implementation of Obama Care will not happen until 2014 but we are already seeing massive cost increases for health insurance coverage. This is caused by the government mandates as to what must be covered in the policies. We are all different and have different needs; it is like the government requiring us to get leather, a moon roof and a $2,000 music system if we want to buy a new car, whether that is what we want or not. The cost savings is to come from cuts by medicare in how much they reimburse doctors. Medicare already has such a low reimbursement rate that many doctors refuse to see medicare patients and certainly more doctors will decide to do that after their payments are further reduced. The population is getting older and we seniors already have more need for healthcare care and the number of doctors who are there to treat us is declining as we speak.
Obama Care is slated to add some 30 million new people to the roles of the insured when it is fully implemented and according to a report on NBC News recently, we already have a doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges says there is a shortage of up to 20,000 doctors now and that could grow to 100,000 over the next ten years. The doctor population as well as the population in general is getting older and a large number of current doctors are nearing retirement age.
Since 2000 medical schools have increased enrollment by16.6% and will be graduating 5,000 more per year by 2019. The limiting factor that is slowing the training of new doctors is that the healthcare industry relies on the government to provide funding for residency programs that all doctors must have before they can practice on their own. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and Congressman Aaron Schock have sponsored a bill that would fund 15,000 new residency slots over the next 5 years. This certainly shows the fallacy of waiting for the government to provide us with something. You would think that with what the healthcare industry charges they would be eager to reinvest in the system and not have to wait for the government. I guess a lot of businesses are like a lot of us, they want someone else to pay the bill.
Whether Obama Care is here to stay, is ultimately repealed or is modified to eliminate some already obvious flaws, we have challenges ahead. It doesn’t matter if everyone is covered by a great insurance policy if we don’t have the doctors and other medical personnel to treat us when we need it. Medical care could be free but would be of no benefit if there was no one to provide it.
Personally I don’t believe that it is government’s responsibility to provide us with healthcare or to mandate what kind of insurance coverage we must have or even if we must have it. Nor is it government’s job to train our doctors, or plumbers or any others except for those in our military and those who need specialized training to do their government jobs. It is getting so that there are so many depending on Mama government to take care of them that it leaves too few of us left to support the government. The government is taking from a program that I have paid for ( Medicare and Social Security ) to support something I didn’t want and something I think has little chance of succeeding.
Obama Care aside, next I will be talking about our personal responsibility in all this.
Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day. David Johnson