Promise for health care reform elusive…

December 28, 2009
 
Still riding on the excuse that I’ve been away from immediate access to news for the past several months, kind of like when I began truck driving I just used the excuse I’m just a beginner, but after some 15 years that has kind of worn out, but you’ll have to give me a break on the new one about being behind on the news — somewhat.
But I thought health care reform held some promise. From an early age I had seen the need for some type of comprehensive health care system. Although my family was blessed with good health I know my father, and mother, were always concerned about the cost of health care and what a real medical emergency or major illness could do to a family’s resources.

Back then not everyone had health insurance through their work — and not everyone does now, of course (not everyone has work).

I honestly don’t know whether my folks ever had health insurance while I was growing up or not — I think not, except possibly when I was a teenager, although I’m not sure whether they had it even then.

Fortunately, when my wife and I raised our two girls, most of the time we had health insurance through work. For years it did not seem terribly expensive, even though at our jobs we had to pay part of the premium cost, unlike for some who did not even have to pay that. In later years the share we paid began to rise.

Years after my children had grown up I got a job where the company paid 100 percent of my health insurance premium and the insurance was good — it paid for a lot of my cancer treatment.

Well due to being out with cancer too long I no longer have that job. I am back at a previous job that has insurance, but it has (had) a higher deductible than before — that is the trend nowadays — it does make some economic sense. But no sooner had I got on the plan than I was told the company is going to a new plan because the old one’s premiums had gone up too high for the new year and was no longer a good value. I have not looked at the new plan options yet and I never really understand the insurance gobbledygook anyway. I don’t feel bad about saying that either. I have heard a lot of otherwise intelligent folks, much more so than I, admit they don’t get it either. Actually that is why our President Obama and all the others on Capitol Hill find themselves deferring to the industry on this health care reform thing. Well that is one big reason. Some of them, such as Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, are in their back pockets because of campaign donations and such (and I suppose a lot of his constituents work for the health care industry). Having the health care industry help do health care reform is akin to having the fox guard the hen house.

And let me stray from the central point here — the promise of health care reform — and note that the term health care insurance or the concept of health care insurance has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me. I understand the basic principles of insurance. The insurance company takes on a risk, that is betting that it can collect more money in premiums than it will have to pay out. If ever there was a riskier pool for insurance, it would seem health care would be one of them. Almost everyone gets sick. So many of us suffer terrible diseases, such as cancer, and unless we get get run over by a freight train (or truck) most of us are sure to get old and probably get some unfortunate medical condition related to age.

And I totally do not understand the concept of being able to get insurance once you are already sick or suffering from whatever you would want insurance for. Maybe I should be hired to make the arguments for the insurance industry.

But it is probably more of a problem of semantics or terminology. Not all health coverage, possibly, should be called “insurance”, really it’s just coverage, help for when you have medical expenses you otherwise could not afford.

Medicare, for example, is not really insurance in my way of understanding. No one who is otherwise eligible for it can be turned down because of pre-existing conditions, and most of its clientele are elderly — a risky group for health insurance indeed.

But back to the central point about the promise of health care reform. So for decades, long after doctors quit making house calls and quit taking chickens for payment, and long after medical technology had exploded and the costs along with it and long after medical professionals realized that this could be big business indeed, millions of folks went without any kind of health coverage because it was not offered through their work or because they did not have steady work or even because they did not have the foresight to realize that a medical emergency could devastate them financially. And buying medical insurance on the open market has always been prohibitive in cost for most.

But over time, more and more jobs offered insurance. At the same time, thanks to president Lyndon Johnson and others, a safety net of sorts was created for the elderly and the disabled and the chronically poor. It was not without holes, especially for the chronically poor and even the newly poor, but it was there.

And over time folks became somewhat comfortable in thinking, “well I have a job and I have insurance, and for those who do not the government will help them”.

But then the costs of even job-related insurance began to climb and due to economic crises, the current one in particular, people lost jobs and their insurance with it.

So, some called for the government to step in and make things right. Some may have envisioned a turn toward what used to be called “socialized medicine” but maybe called it “single payer” or “the public option” (yes, I know on that last one it is not really the same thing necessarily, but it is government involvement and really no one ever clearly defined the “public option”.

Others, perhaps, just thought something could be done to lower costs, say by offering more competition in the marketplace — trouble is some apparently really have the ulterior motive of reducing standards health insurers must abide by to create this competition.

Still others , Obama included, thought there could be some type of compromise, with a blend of public and private.

I was in a hospital bed when Obama was campaigning. So the need for health care coverage came home to me.

One of the most absurd things I witnessed while suffering from the effects of my cancer, which included uncontrolled tongue bleeding, was the fact that the emergency rooms are crowded with people who use them as their family doctor offices because they apparently cannot afford doctors and the law demands that they must be seen. I’m bleeding to death (almost literally, but I didn’t die) and someone ahead of me is being treated for the common cold or the effects of a drug or alcohol overdose.

I want to say here and now that I would not have made it through the last couple of years were it not for the help of family — and that may be the one insurance we should all think about.

And here is something I do not understand. I was in a cancer support group meeting and a woman beside me expressed gratitude that her husband was treated for his cancer free of charge by the hospital because they had no insurance — they ran some type of car repair business, I think she said. He was “self employed.”

Well I do not begrudge him getting help. And I hope that he has survived and is well or at least better off.

But for some reason, everyone who treated me wanted money. Again, if it were not for the help of family and the fact that I did have some job-related insurance, which eventually ran out after I lost that previous job, I would have been out of luck.

Because many use emergency rooms as their family doctor offices and because people without insurance are sometimes, certainly not always, given a lucky break, thanks to various programs and the good will of providers, the paying public has to pay that much larger premiums to make up for the lost revenue. And of course so many things add to the cost: the expectation that we can live on and on and that no treatment is too costly when it comes to saving ourselves or our loved ones, the fact that doctors expect to be paid well — after all that is a big draw to get into the profession in the first place — and the ever-expanding medical technology and the expansion in costs that go along with it.

The cost of medical malpractice lawsuits is also a factor, but would we want to prohibit people from seeking relief through the courts from terrible injustices and encourage the careless practice in medicine in the name of cutting costs? Undoubtedly reform is needed. I would think some control of punitive damages and better judgment by the courts as to whether to even accept many suits could go a long way towards reform.

Oh, and as I have blogged previously and more than once — the medical insurance bureaucracy and all the time it spends trying to figure out how NOT TO PAY CLAIMS is part of the problem.

Even so, I must give credit to the fact that medical insurance has paid an astounding amount of money to keep me and my wife alive and healthy.

One of my brothers told me one of the favorite sayings he has heard is “everyone wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die”.

I don’t know if that applies here, but I think it does if I even understand that saying. While many people complain about the cost and availability of health care, they decry any form of government control. They are afraid it will cost too much and bureaucrats will be making health care decisions doctors should make.

Well, private insurance company bureaucrats already are doing that on that last point, and as far as cost, no matter what you do it will cost. What many seem to want is a free ride.

And then there are the people who would deny others government help while they clutch onto their Medicare cards. I do not understand that one, and it’s probably not worth much comment. But I have a feeling that many health care reform or government option detractors would be the first in line to get in on any government help if and when they might be in need.

At any rate, at the top of this blog I pleaded that I was behind on the news. I have not followed the health care reform thing closely — mostly have heard the sound bites and caught some headlines and abbreviated accounts.

But from what I have gleaned so far, proposed legislation does not promise to do much for anyone soon, if ever, except Arianna Huffington and others say it is a boon for the insurance industry.

As I have wondered before, why didn’t Obama just seek to cover those who cannot get coverage now?

p.s.

Having some trouble getting type big enough to read on this blog — but of course you can use the “view” option on your computer and enlarge the type size — I’ll try to work this out.


Health care reform under protest — I give up

August 15, 2009

I don’t know whether to be proud of all those citizens showing up at the town hall meetings, many to voice their protest over proposed health care laws, or whether to be disgusted with all the demagoguery going on, such as that from those Republican lawmakers who voted for a provision in 2003 they now claim to be against and further claim is a measure promoting euthanasia.

I know there is legitimate concern over proposed revisions to our health care laws but there is so much lying on all sides concerned that it is depressing.

Facing my own health care insurance problems, I feel nearly helpless and hopeless – although not quite.

But I know I am not in a unique position, and that only further confuses me. Surely so many others must be facing the bewildering position of being between insurances and knowing that if you let one lapse a new plan may not accept pre-existing conditions. I might be going on Medicare if due to my medical condition (cancer) I cannot work, but that would put me into poverty,that is not being able to work,  but without help I can’t possibly pay private insurance on my own. And reading over all of the terms and restrictions of private insurance is bewildering. One would have to be the proverbial Philadelphia lawyer to understand it all, and even that would not help, unless one specialized in health care law.

While I fully appreciate anyone taking part in the protests if they know what they are talking about or at least have legitimate concerns based on some semblance of fact, I have nothing but contempt for the know-nothings who simply spout off FOX News or right-wing Republican talking (propaganda) points.

And I am not afraid to say something else about all of this: there is a lot of greed among the health care providers, to include doctors, and insurance companies.

It’s hard for me to criticize doctors because I have needed them so much and I know that taken as a group they do so much good for society and I know that to be a good doctor is a rare enough skill and talent that it has to be or should be well rewarded. But it also seems to me that doctors are the ones who could do more than most to help straighten out the health care crisis. But the doctors whom I have spoken with seem to feel they are too busy and someone else needs to handle reform and that in so doing whatever way it comes out they have to be compensated at the level to which they are accustomed. I have not had long and detailed discussions with doctors, but I have mentioned my concerns. And although they indicate concern and sympathy they also convey the attitude that they must be rather well compensated otherwise it is just not doable or worth the bother.

As to the issue of abuse in malpractice litigation adding to high medical costs, while I am sure there needs to be reform there, I imagine it is more of a red herring used by opponets of health care reform who prefer the status quo.

But at some point on an individual basis one has to face reality and go along with the program, such as it is.

And one more thing: I think a vast majority of the public wants FREE health care or at least health care that seems free, such as employer-provided. They do not want to think that they have to pay for it and they for sure do not want to be taxed for it. A big concern among many – and perhaps somewhat legitimate – is that their tax dollars will go to health care for others and not themselves.

It is true, I believe, that there is a class of people in our society who take public assistance for granted. They along with greedy drug companies and others in the health care industry are adding to the poison in the atmosphere against health care reform. Many are concerned that too much government involvement will throw us all into the government free clinic zoo. Many working people work simply to not have to live in that nether world of the “sick”, “lame” and lazy. They fear that Obamacare (and actually there is no identifiable program) would throw them into the community clinic.

And there most likely would have to be some type of health care rationing under a government program — how else to control the costs? There already is rationing in the private system anyway — it’s called cost, availability, exclusions and so on.

While President Obama may believe what he says, that he does not want to take away anyone’s insurance, I have to admit it does seem that a so-called government option would overpower what the marketplace could offer and would offer employers a way out of providing for their employees. And actually employer provided insurance is probably where we went wrong in the first place. When it really was free (to the patient) the medical community had a bonanza, they could and did, and heck, still do, charge anything they want. And they want a lot.

I give up already – I’ll go along with the program to the extent I can.


Hard to support a health care plan that is a “work in progress”…

July 21, 2009

Seems to me all this polling about how many voters support health care reform and how many don’t is skewed in that there is no coherent or identifiable plan out there.

I guess that’s called “transparency” ; you can see through it all because it’s not there.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Selbelius just said in a short interview on FOX News that there is no “it” (meaning plan), that it is a “work in progress”.

Kind of hard to answer the question whether you support a plan that is still in progress.

Nonetheless Fox glibly reads off the numbers – 50 percent approve of the Democrats’ or president’s plan and 40 disapprove (I guess 10 percent have no opinion – wise people since there is no one plan to have an opinion on). And maybe I got the numbers reversed, because in double checking what I thought I heard,  I found that on the Gallup Poll site for today it says 50 percent of those polled dissapprove of the president’s handling of the health care issue and 44 percent approve. And I suppose if you do not even know any details, you probably would be forced to be dubious of the whole thing.

I like how FOX News likes to play the devil’s advocate with its chums on the right. When a Republican congressman was lambasting the liberal Democrats for bloating the budget, the FOX host pretended to corner him by asking: “where were you when Bush passed all those spending bills and ran up the deficit?” (okay, not really the exact quote, but a good paraphrase).

I fell for it. I thought “ah hah!, got you there Mr. Two Face”. But the seemingly hard question was just a set up. The congressman answered that he voted no all the time and warned Bush that he was running up the deficit. Well some Republicans must have voted yes, especially for those many years that Bush had the majority in both houses.

(Despite its tag line, FOX is neither fair nor balanced in its coverage, but it is entertaining at times and it does in a way serve as a check on, say, CNN or MSNBC, but while the latter may at times seem to lean one way, the former is just one way. The problem is most of the news on cable is mixed with opinion, so you seldom if ever get the straight story.) 

Not much of a segue here – but even though some think partisan politics is a bad thing, at least if practiced correctly it might get something done. I thought the purpose of political parties was to form ideas around a set of beliefs and coalesce everything into proposed legislation.

But in American politics with our separation of powers, particularly between the legislative branch and the executive, and our emphasis on individual candidates and personalities and the power of special interests (via lobbyists and their money donations), parties are not effective as they are in nations that have a parliamentary form of government.

And that is why President Obama is apparently having such a hard time passing health care reform legislation. Even though he has a super majority in the congress, not everyone in his party is behind him and to make matters worse he does not even have his own plan that can be identified and studied.

I almost think he would have had a better chance of just pushing his own plan and calling it “socialized medicine” and proclaiming that it is the only way to guarantee health coverage to all and at the same time get a handle on costs.

Social Security is a sacred cow, so why couldn’t he just call it Social Health Security?

And now I hear one pundit say something to the effect that if we try to cover everyone the doctors will not be able to handle it so therefore we will have rationing. So I take it that he would prefer we not offer health care to everyone. (ADD 1: I realize now that was the creepy, but ever political insightful, Dick Morris.)

President Obama seems to be on the ropes with his health care reform initiative, but for all I know he knows what he is doing and will prevail. But from what I can gather it seems more likely that some type of Band Aid measure may make it through and although it will not really help, Obama will be forced to declare victory and move on.

I just happened to be listening to cable news gabbing when I should have been doing something more productive and felt compelled to get some observations down.

P.s.

I heard more on this current story of a woman in Canada who said through the government health care there she was put on hold for a life-saving procedure and wound up coming to the United States. She had to mortgage her house, I understand, but at least she got treated. She said that after getting some info from the U.S. she tried to go back to Canada on the U.S. doctors’ advice to get what she needed done via the system there because it would be cheaper. But she still ran into a brick wall there and got her procedure done in the U.S. after all. She also claimed that Canadians often do not admit that they get a lot of health care in the U.S. while claiming they have such a good health care system at home. I personally have no idea if this is all true or whether she is leaving something out. The bottom line is if you have the money, you can get medical care somewhere. The problem is so many of us do not have the fortune required to get medical care that we need. Sometimes I think not enough is said as to why medical care costs so much. I understand the cost of advanced technology and the fact that professionals will always demand high remuneration and the cost of research for drugs. Even so, are there not limits?


Health care: entrenched system hangs tough against change…

July 21, 2009

Soaking the rich for universal health care won’t fly. And it should not. Taxing existing health care plans via the employer deduction or through the employees’ individual income is counter productive and unfair, and borrowing more dollars from China is not wise, to say the least.

I’m not sure where that leaves things. But it seems that the cost of health care needs to be a shared thing, not left on the shoulders of just one group, because for one thing they will resist and for another they will get out of it, and soaking the rich is not really right anyway. If health care is to be provided universally then it should be paid for that way. Of course not everyone has equal means to pay.

And I should note here that there is a practical question as to whether there can be a system in which everyone gets identical care, that is everyone has the same level of care available. I personally have always assumed that those with means are going to have an advantage. They can pay cash and/or have better, more expensive, health plans.

And how much is too much to pay for health care? When it comes to your own life or that of a loved one, you can’t come to that ultimate figure, except by what you have available or can raise. But what if someone else is in dire need but has to get help from you through your taxes? As big a heart as you may or may not have, that is where one is liable to think a little more rationally (and ration, as in rationing, is part of that word).

This question becomes especially troublesome when we are only prolonging life for a limited amount of time.

And here’s a problem on a personal level. I’m weighing my options (if I have any) as to whether I can go back to work after being out on disability with cancer (that is not cured and cannot be). My COBRA plan (the federally-mandated program that allows one to keep group health insurance from a job by paying the full premium) is due to run out three or four months before I would be eligible for Medicare. I can extend my insurance beyond COBRA but it will not cover as much and it will cost more, my insurance carrier has told me (what a deal offered by private enterprise).

If I am able to go back to work, I can have a company-sponsored plan (not entirely free for me as in my last job that is no longer available) that will cost me less, but will my employer continue to offer the now tax deducible plan if my employer would have to pay taxes on it as some are proposing? Not likely, especially in this bad business climate. Will the government cover me then? And what hoops and how much waiting is involved in getting on a government plan? It’s two years for Medicare. Taxing health plans as one current Democratic plan seems to be calling for contradicts President Barack Obama’s campaign promise not to mess with anyone’s existing insurance plan while offering some type of government option.

I keep thinking that the point of this whole thing has to be availability and then cost, which sometimes amount to the same thing.

As much as I distrust and even resent at times the health care industry, I think messing up the current system where the majority of people have private or so-called group plans through their work is not the way to provide universal care, if for no other reason than the offering of a universally available plan from the government would probably wipe out private plans, especially if the government plan was free or at a much-reduced price to the consumer, even if it was more bureaucratic and not as good as private coverage (and I don’t mean private coverage is not bureaucratic – it is). Employers are not likely to offer health plans if they know everyone can be covered by the government.

The way to provide universal care – and here I go again – is to cover people who are not able (not just don’t want to bother) to buy their own insurance. While I would not be against in concept, say, a single-payer, government health care system, that seems unlikely when a different system is so entrenched and accepted by the majority.

Yes, Medicare is said to being going broke. But, it would seem the most cost effective and quickest way to extend coverage would be through Medicare, a system already in place.

And now we are being bombarded with the story that people in Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden and other places that have what is often called “socialized medicine” (provided through the government) have to wait for critical care or procedures for months or years or are flat out denied and sometimes resort to going to the U.S. to get care. That’s interesting. You still have to have the money to pay and if you have the money to pay, what’s the problem? The whole problem is people cannot afford medical care without health plans and health plans, whether they be privately run or run by the government, have to have some means of cost control or they would go broke. Waiting can be part of that cost control, as well as outright denial. I am not sure why just because some other country might have a plan that is not consumer friendly why the U.S. cannot improve upon that plan, but still offer universal coverage.

Medicare needs to be improved, to include offering broader coverage (vision, dental), and it needs more funding. Of course that will put a larger strain on the budget. But doing any improvement will necessitate spending more money. Improving an existing and quite workable program would seem to offer the most cost effective solution. 

We face two major needs: one is for everyone to be secure that he or she has health coverage. The other is for everyone to realize that he or she has a responsibility to help fund that coverage to his or her ability. As it is now, we who pay for health insurance share in the cost of health care for all in that we pay higher premiums to help medical providers help defray their mandated care of the indigent and others who do not pay and we are taxed for Medicare and the other public health programs. We need a simpler and more efficient and more equitable way to do all of this.

It’s estimated that current legislation on health care change going through congress could cost $1 trillion over a decade. Strange that it matches with the projected cost of the Iraq War. That war has been rightly called, I think, a war of choice. One wonders why the health of our citizenry was not considered the better choice. Our health care system is pricing people out of the market and people are losing coverage each day due to the current economic catastrophe. It’s estimated that as many as 14,000 people a day lose their insurance due to job cuts (from and article out of the Wall Street Journal online).

An oft cited figure for the uninsured is about 50,000, but a significant part of that is young people who earn enough money but don’t want to pay for insurance, figuring, I guess, that they are healthy. So when something bad happens the rest of us have to pay. We also pay for people who are in this country illegally. One study estimated that insurance ratepayers fork over some $1,000 extra per year to cover the expenses of the uninsured (from an article in the Wall Street Journal online).

Stories like the one I heard today on CNN do not help support the public option. It was revealed that Medicare pays at least one private company a thousand dollars to rent a wheel chair for a year when the same model can be bought for $300 or less from that same private company. That’s because when congress made the deal it was lobbied by the industry on price schedules and bidding procedures. So the same private industry that rails against public health care realizes when it is inevitable and profits from it.

I appreciate the president’s even handedness and willingness to negotiate, but sometimes leadership calls for putting together a workable plan and not letting it be diluted or emasculated by allowing the opposition (which likes the status quo) to get its hands on it, and then sticking to your guns to support your own plan (you have to have your own plan too).

One problem in all of this is that no one seems to identify exactly what the proposed plans supposedly being debated in congress would look like. And most people, quite understandably, do not want to lose what they have if they have it. Another problem that I see is that the president does not seem to offer an identifiable plan, other than in broad generalities, and his own party, the Democrats, have various plans afloat. The Republicans, as far as I can tell, are mostly pretending to be concerned or to want health care reform, but are primarily interested in carrying the water for the health insurance industry (to be fair, sadly many Democrats seem to be in the pocket of the health care industry lobbyists too).

Health care is such big business. There is so much money to be made. It is hard to fight the establishment, even for the yes we can man.

P.s.

Have you noticed that the Harry and Louise ads on health care from the 90s are back but this time that concerned upper middle class couple wants change? (Things have deteriorated somewhat in their formerly protected world, apparently.)


Health care: costs are a problem, access a bigger problem…

May 11, 2009

It’s become an old saw that if the government were to offer universal health care there would be health care rationing.

Probably.

But health care rationing already exists. It’s called how much and what kind of insurance do you have or how much money do you have.

The pool of those not covered by employer-sponsored group plans and not eligible for government plans already offered to the poor and elderly or disabled is getting bigger in this distressed economy.

It is also argued that government-sponsored universal health care is terribly expensive – and the current system isn’t???

Back when the economy was humming along and larger numbers of folks had employer-paid plans the costs were high (and getting higher), but the employers passed much of those costs along to the public through the prices they charged for products and services. So nearly everyone was affected by health care costs even though not all enjoyed the benefits.

And I don’t dismiss concerns about rationing or increased cost efficiencies that would not be as consumer friendly as people might want. Some time ago I went through a round of chemo therapy. I was fortunate enough to have insurance. And I was also fortunate that the doctor’s office where I received my chemo was about a five-minute drive from home. I could easily see that under a government plan (this is just theoretical) it might be decided that it was inefficient to have too many chemo centers and that folks would have to go to one central one. I might have to drive, say, to Sacramento, which is about three hours away.

I also had a CT scan, again about five or ten minutes from home. And I think there is more than one facility here in town that does this. Under government insurance it might be decided that such was inefficient, again, off to Sacramento??

So, you see, I understand the rationing argument or concept. I would hope that universal health care could be offered that would be consumer friendly. I think current costs and the fact that so many people are being priced out of the market might eventually lead to more efficiencies anyway.

The bottom line should be to provide the best possible health care we can to all. I have also always written that I realize that there is no free lunch, or no free health care I should say. In some way it has to be paid for.

Interestingly the health care industry is spooked enough it is trying to jump on the bandwagon for health care reform (well in rhetoric at least). Apparently they see that public mood and political power is arrayed in such a fashion that the industry might not be able to forever forestall reform (make no mistake, it does not want reform – too much profit is involved) so it is going forward with the strategy that if you can’t beat reform, join the reform movement. I’d be a little suspicious of this.

It’s kind of like letting the bankers run the government bank bailout program (as they seem to be doing with their man Geithner in place).

If true reform and universal health care can come out of all of this, I say fine.

But I think everyone is making things too complicated. I say continue with private insurance for those who are willing and able to pay, military benefits too, and offer Medicare to the rest. The program is already in place and quite popular. And folks still buy private supplements.

Yes it will cost. It already does. But we either pay lots of money so fewer are covered or we pay lots of money so all are covered.

The reason health care reform seems to be getting more attention now is that so many folks who thought they would never have to worry since they had jobs and group plans that went along with them now are worried because they have lost their jobs (or fear they will) or health care plans or both or are just being priced out of the market due to never-ending premium increases.

If private enterprise could truly offer workable and affordable plans that would be good. But it’s hard to cover people via private plans if those people do not have jobs or high enough paying jobs to pay the premiums. And as I have blogged before, so what happens when you lose your job and still need the insurance you can no longer afford to pay?

I have always had moral misgivings about health care for profit. The ambulance rolls up and the first thing they need to see is your insurance card, not your condition (I’m not saying that really happens, but that is the bottom line, isn’t it? I have seen that much effort and expense in doctor’s offices and hospitals is expended in the name of medical insurance).

But there is also a contention that the profit motive in health care and medicine in the USA makes this nation a leader in innovation because of the incentive of profits.

Nonetheless, I think that it is only right that we come up with a universal health care system and I criticize all congressmen and senators for dragging their feet for so many years.

There does seem to be some real movement under President Obama’s leadership. While I applaud him for getting help (if it is help) from the health care industry itself, I hope he does not let them steal the show.