Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pondering the Health Care Debate

America is attempting to figure out the long and short of a care.  I've been sitting on the side line listening and watching.  It is difficult to hear above the roar of fear mongering.  Both the Democrats and the Republicans have much to lose.  Voices are rising.

One bit that was thrown about was the scenario that the Obama adminstration wanted to pull the plug on Grandma.  As a nurse I am bewildered and I am appalled that this played well to information overloaded and fact depleted Americans.  Do my countrymen not know that this thinly veiled social issue is being played out every day?  Large money making health care companies are making those decisions every single day.  There is no robust public debate in those hallways.  Someone in care management and their supervisors and corporate officers and CEOs make just that decision EVERY SINGLE DAY -  who gets treatment and who does not.  Fair does not enter into the decision - profit does.  Medicare has long been a cash cow for many companies that deliver all sorts of health care products.

Do I think the government will deliver a better system.  No, I do not.  I work in Long Term Care, I know how punitive the system can be in its heavy handed and biased attempts to determine if quality care has been delivered.  Government funded health care will mean more regulations and more government workers.  The thought makes me shudder.  But do I think this attempt to find a solution for the uninsured is some Hilter like plot to undo American society - I do not.

Americans do not know what health care costs.  But before we begin to itemize cancer treatments, pain medication, MRI and x-rays let's first find out what the wrist brace that a durable medical equipment company made for $14 dollars ( and what do you bet that it was not made in this country!) but charge it's Medicare patient $400 is all about.  While we are at it let's find out what the CEO of HMO's and other health insurance companies make and how their salaries are determined.  Just what are their incentives to make their companies profitable?  If companies are using our tax dollars to make a profit you should know where they stand in the fight against some kind of national health care that might protect currently uninsured people,  Let's take a closer look at the Pharmacuetical companies and hear how they decide on price for product.  How many of our tax dollars have kept them afloat in good and bad times?

Fear is a powerful tool.  It is being wielded with deadly force.  I have a deep and abiding Jeffersonian mistrust of   government.  I did not vote for anyone in the current administration but I am not fooled by the fear mongering.  Fascism?  Hitler?   This is about money and political power.  Period.  Who has it and who does not.  Who will control it and who will not.  It should be about Americans and access to health care.  Will there be inequality in health care delivery and systems.  Probably.  Unequal is far different from NONE for many.  Listen.  Listen to reason not fear.

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