Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Care vs Health Insurance

I am increasingly frustrated with the debate in America today. And though nobody is going to read this, it feels good to get it off my chest. Maybe it'll pop up on someone's google search one day.

At first, the country and Obama was talking about Health Care reform.
Now, the argument sounds like we are talking about Health Insurance reform.

Let's get the facts straight here.
We have the highest cost of health care in the world. We are also the highest producers of new health technologies in the world, and the largest consumers of the "latest" health care technologies. This is why things cost so much.

Our health insurance goes up, as the cost of healthcare goes up. Now that we know the facts, lets get down to policy.

The country should currently be having 3 separate debates on this issue. (And it frustrates me to no end that we are not.)

1. Health Insurance Debate

We should be debating the merits of "prior conditions". That is, should people with prior health conditions ever be excluded from a plan, or should it be mandatory to accept all and any person to join any health insurance plan at the right cost?

We should be debating the merits of "insurance groups" vs "personal insurance". Do we think it is correct that employees of companies get special rates, or that the government should put us all into a pool, or that we should have co-ops VS, Should each individual person be responcible for thier own insurance, much like we do with Car insurance, Home insurance(when detached), and Life Insurance.

2. Health Care Debates

This one is more tricky and much harder for laymen like myself to debate. I'm not sure where the costs in health care are coming from, but I know they are increasing. Should the government be putting price floors and ceilings on health procedures and tests? Should there be more money put into preventive care which might lower our overall costs? Is there something we can be doing to reduce the actual cost (to the hopspital or doctor) which will make health care more affordable for people? There is something fishy going on with health care costs. Normally, the price of something goes down as the technology improves. But for some reason when it comes to the cost that the doctor or hospital must pay, things have only gotten more expensive as technology has improved.

3. Public Health Debates

This is an entirely different topic, which must be resolved. Is health care and public health something which should be in the realm of the government such as the Police, Fire Department, Military , or is this something which should remain private and out of the hands of the Government. Should we have governmental health industries which send out paramedics and give people surgeries when events happen? Or are these things the people need to be responcible for themselves about. Where should the line be drawn here? Is society or the government responcible for our own health?

In a perfect world, these would be 3 seperate bills, dealing with 3 major debates, and some sanity would be able to be put on the table.

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