Can I get a Holla for Health Care Reform??


HOLLA!!!

With every page I read, I think I become a little more insane ;)

 wedding

Since I don’t have time to breath, let alone take pleasure in the joys of blogging, I was wondering if I could combine the two…  Would you guys be interested in some health care reform updates on the blog?  If it would be completely boring then I won’t…just let me know!!  Here is a little taste:

  • Health care reform is something that is going to effect every American,whether uninsured or insured, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, young or old.  Currently our nation spends 16% of our gross domestic product (GDP) on health care… That comes out to:

                    $2,500,000,000,000/year (trillions)

                       $208,000,000,000/month (billions)

                           $6,800,000,000/day (billions)

                                $285,000,000/hr (millions)

                                  $4,800,000/min (millions)

                                       $79,300/sec  (tens of thousands)

 

  • There are currently 4 health care reform bills in Congress.  The one I’m reading is HR 3200 (House of Representatives Bill #3200).  I can guarantee you that the majority of the Congress men and women voting on these bills have NOT READ THEM!

 

  • Most of the bills aim to cover all of America’s uninsured citizens, and some have questionable guidelines when it comes to illegal aliens.  That comes out to around 47 million people.  Most of the bills also claim to be budget neutral.  Now, I’m no economist, but I have a hard time believing that you can insure 47 million people who were previously uninsured and remain budget neutral. 

 

  • One of the ideas floating around on how to keep reform budget neutral is to cut government funding for Medicare Advantage.  Medicare advantage comes out of Medicare Part C (Part A is hospital services, B is doctor services, and D is prescription drugs).  Medicare Advantage is supplemental insurance coverage that enrollees can purchase in addition to basic Medicare.  Most enrollees choose to do so; however, most enrollees in Medicare are seniors, and cutting this program would make them very angry.  Since seniors have the highest voter turnout of any other age group, many politicians are hesitant to alter this program, especially since re-elections are coming up!

 

  • Speaking of Medicare, many people oppose health care reform because they think universal health care is socialism and it would cause a big government.  However, Medicare is a socialized, government-run health care program, and people love it!

 

  • One final note for today…it is a misconception that the greed of doctors and other providers is why sick patients go untreated and why out-of-pocket care is so expensive….

If your boss told you that you weren’t getting paid for your hard work today, would you still go?  If your answer is yes, for how long?  A day?  A week?  A month?  Chances are, at some point, you would start looking for a new job.  You have bills to pay and responsibilities that require a steady pay check.  Doctors are no different.  By law, hospitals and physicians are required to perform a certain amount of charity care.  But at some point, they need to get paid, too.  The reason why out-of-pocket spending (for uninsured or underinsured patients) is so high is because large third-party payers (think Medicare and Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc) pay doctors and hospitals an amount that is under cost.   For example, say a procedure costs $1000, including labor, time, materials, etc.  The insurance company may pay that doctor a set fee of $800, based on a DRG or APC (set payment systems based on the average costs of specific procedures).  Or Medicare may pay the doctor 80% of the charge, or $800.  That means the doctor would have to (in order to have a profit margin for things like paychecks, overhead, etc) raise the costs to out-of-pocket payers to not be in the red.  Make sense?

 

I hope you guys like this review…If you want more, let me know!  It is important to be educated on the happenings in Congress.  It is a very exciting time for health care right now, and I can assure you that these changes will affect everyone, including YOU!!

 

Leave a Comment: Do you have an opinion on health care reform?  Questions?  Comments?

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7 Responses to “Can I get a Holla for Health Care Reform??”

  1. valerie Says:

    Thanks so much for that review! It was really well written and easy to understand. Plus it seemed to be unbiased, as opposed to what you hear in a lot of the media. Thanks! I would love for you to continue writing about these issues!

  2. Julie @savvyeats Says:

    I like this post; you make it so easy to understand!

  3. J Says:

    Truthfully, I will more than likely unsubscribe from your blog if you begin to do that. I subscribe to fitness blogs, because I care about fitness and want to get points of view on that. I don’t read political blogs, and that’s what yours would essentially become with those types of updates. I can understand the reasoning, because it has to do with health care, but it is just too political-based for my liking. Though, it does seem like the two readers that have commented before me like the idea, so I might be alone on this. I appreciate the fair warning, and I hope you appreciate my honest opinion. :)

  4. Shari B. Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I liked your post on the reform, only because I think it’s nice to get the thoughts of someone ‘real’ who is reading it (as I know I won’t be reading all those pages) and it’s hard to know what’s real out of what we are told via the news. I don’t feel that your post was political or even politically motivated, and as such don’t feel that this would change your blog from fitness to politics in any way.

    It’s what you study, so I think if it’s something you feel strongly about you should blog about it. I’ll read what you write, either way!

  5. Sara Says:

    love it! please do more blog posts like this!

  6. Rachel Says:

    As someone tangentially working on health reform (I’m not that important) I have a few comments:

    1. Medicare Advantage may be popular, but the problem with is it is that the government is basically subsidizing private insurance companies to poach healthier seniors from fee for service Medicare. The way the bidding system works ensures insurance company profits.

    2. None of the bills will actually insure all 47 million people. Even with a mandate some people will remain uninsured and will just pay the fine. The important thing is that everyone has the ability to be insured and that almost everyone is insured (getting healthy people into the pool is crucial). If you’re curious about the finances, read the CBO scores of each bill. That breaks down how each bill intends to pay for itself.

    • fittipexchange Says:

      Rachel,

      Thank you for your comments! Where do you work in health care reform?

      I actually have to read the CBO scores for the HR 3200 bill for an assignment (for my finance class I have to read HR 3200 and write a paper analyzing the top negative financial effects of the bill).

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