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Reform unpopular with LTL's online readership

April 1, 2010
by Kevin Kolus
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This was pretty one-sided.

In response to last week’s poll question, Are you satisfied with the passage of healthcare reform?, our online audience was indisputably upset with Congress’ landmark decision. Whether calling it a big government power grab or an unfinished product headed in the right direction, you the readers voiced your opinions in one of the most heavily answered questions we’ve ever run. Below is what your peers had to say:

- I should have the right to decide who, what, when, where, and the type of treatment without the government dictating to me my rights and limitations on coverage. As a young female with a history of cancer already, I don’t want the government to decide for me at what age I can have testing and how extensive my treatment can be. This should always be up to me and my doctor not the insurance companies or the government!!

- They should have tried to improve drug costs, cap malpractice suites, and others to reduce unnecessary tests before taking on all people.

- It’s good for now. Not enough, but a step in the right direction, for sure.

- Higher taxes, diminished choices for all in regards to choosing healthcare options, hardship imposed on small businesses, and too much government involvement.

- If it’s so great for America why were most of the meetings held behind closed doors? If it’s so great why are Americans so upset about it? We wanted change in Washington, not business as usual. This whole process has been very disappointing.

- Too much uncertainty; just the size of the document and the speed with which it was ended leaves room for wonder...

- It’s a moral right that everyone in this country should have affordable access to healthcare, regardless of your politics, and not just the privileged or lucky.

- The American public spoke their opinion and it was ignored by our elected officials in Washington D.C.

- The bill is not perfect, but it is a start. The status quo is not acceptable. Something has to be done, and the obstructionists were not coming up with anything other than "just say no."

- Way too expensive, too much government. Who is going to control and what will our children and grandchildren being paying? We need more to fight fraud, which if done properly might pay for the whole package anyway.

- We as a nation need to look at internal policies of waste:

1. We are overburdened with regulations that keep nurses behind a computer and drive up costs.

2. Critical access swing beds get 3x more for a Medicare A stay with almost zero regs and paper work compared to an SNF—they don’t do an MDS and yet are paid hosp cost plus 1%!!

3. What I do like is leveling the payment better to primary care docs. They are underpaid and overworked.

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I think it is a testament to everybody's interest and research that you received so many comments about the health care bill. It is true that it is not what everyone wants. I don't know if it would be possible to write a bill that pleased everyone. We each have different political views and different ways of thinking about how healthcare should be handled. Those with pre-existing conditions have already suffered under the old system. Some patients have been told that they could no longer be treated with the same diagnosis. I know of at least one person who was willing to pay for her health care out of her own pocket just to be able to get it. I also realize that that is not an option for many.

I am old enough to remember when we paid the family doctor a little bit each time we saw him. The amount we paid was entered into a large ledger. We never felt like we were less because we were not paid in full.

My first large bill after being in the hospital for nine weeks in 1975 was $6,000, which was a lot of money then. Luckily, Medicare and my other insurance policy from previous employment paid all of it. Otherwise my parents would have been stuck with a bill.

My father had his own business. For many years we had no health insurance other than a hospitalization policy that paid eight dollars a day on the room fee. Today that is laughable! Later on we had a policy that paid 80% to 90% of covered charges. But my parents both had and they saved their money to pay for their health related expenses.

My father said it is not possible to save enough money to cover all catastrophes that can befall us during our lifetimes. He was a registered Democrat but he did not believe in big government. He believed in taking care of things himself which meant that at times the government did help out especially with me.

Personally, I think the government should issue us vouchers for medical care. I think it should be up to us to get the most health care for the least amount of money. But I doubt that that will happen any time soon.

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Kevin Kolus

Kevin Kolus

@longtermliving

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kevin-kolus

Kevin Kolus wrote for Long-Term Living when he was an editor. He left the brand in 2012...