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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thoughts on Health Care Reform

Oy Vey. I like politics. I really like to keep up with news. But when it comes to synthesizing that information to form an actual opinion, I am pitifully unable. My brain swims among all the opposing views. Just when I think I'm resolved on a certain point I hear another side and then I'm undecided again. Just to give you an example of how dramatically my views can vacillate, last election season I was torn between Ron Paul and Obama. (I really like Ron Paul and I find libertarian ideas intriguing but in the end I don't think they're realistic.) These are the reasons that I have not yet voted in an election. I just keep changing my mind!

I've been keeping up with the health care reform news because 1) I, like everyone, will need health care at some point and 2) as a doctor and a nurse, our lives and livelihoods are inextricably tied with the health care system.

Here are some disparate resources that I have found valuable/interesting in learning about the debate and forming the small fragments of opinion that I do have:

I think that there needs to be universal coverage. However, universal coverage does NOT necessarily mean socialized medicine (I am not in favor of a single-payer, government-run system- which doesn't seem to be what the legislation is proposing). A year or so ago, Peter and I watched a documentary on PBS called Sick Around the World. It opened my eyes to the fact that many countries that have universal coverage (and most developed countries do) have a combination of public and private options. If you click on the link you can watch the entire thing online.

I also like FactCheck.org. It's a nonpartisan group that tries to clarify or debunk popular myths. Like the myth that there's a clause in the current reform legislation requiring death panels to encourage the old and infirm to refuse treatments and die earlier.

One thing that concerns me is the amount of influence that special interest lobbies will have over this legislation. The NY Times has already reported on a deal that the Obama administration made with the big pharma lobby. This has made me think that I need to get more involved in local politics. Our politicians are supposed to answer to you and to me, not to big lobbies. When the President himself has to ask the Pharmaceutical Industry what it wants before any legislation is passed, that pretty much eclipses "we the people" out of the equation, does it not? It makes me angry to think that good legislation may not be passed if special interests don't stand behind it. Where have all the John Adams gone?? But, I suppose I can't complain because I have never voted. (But, I'm still going to complain. :o) )

Any thoughts???

1 comment:

Vanessa Rogers said...

What makes me so angry is all of the crazy fear mongering. Those who oppose health care reform are spreading ridiculous rumors and encouraging people to shout down their congresspersons in town hall DISCUSSIONS. Ok, so they don't agree with the plan, present a better one. The more ideas on the table the better, but they aren't, they are just trying to insure that the insurance companies don't have competition. It is so infuriating.