Thursday, October 4, 2012
Healthcare at the Pres Debate
You knew that healthcare would take center stage at the debate. Healthcare being the signature plan of both candidates (same plan in fact). Mitt has staked the position of repeal, now repeal and replace. I guess the flat out repeal wasn't poling well. I thought that he had some amazing comments on the topic. First he said that he believes in the private sector. But, then he said if you don't like your company you can just switch. This is simply not true if you fall into any one of the following categories, pre-existing conditions, undergoing current treatment, or need a specific treatment. There is not an insurance company that is going to take people with those conditions. If your insurance is provided by an employer you can change once per year assuming that your company offers more than one plan (not that common). He also stated that he doesn't want an unelected panel making healthcare decisions for him. The problem with this statement is that it is not true, but lets assume that it is. How would that be different from an insurance company panel that we pay directly for? This is not uncommon, if you need a procedure that is not covered in your statement of benefits or is deemed experimental you can ask for it to be covered. A panel will decide if you need that procedure. Then they will decide if they will pay for it. You want to see a specialist that is outside the plan, the same system applies. A real example is right here in Dane county. I had spine surgery this spring. The surgeon follows up for 2 years. The problem my surgeon works for UW hospital, my insurance company is Physicians Plus. They no longer cover this. So I asked for a referral, I was granted 1 follow-up visit where no diagnostics can take place and I was directed to a list of orthopedic surgeons. The problem is that none of them specialize in spine surgery. Not a problem, I'll ask for a name. That was 2 weeks ago and I still haven't heard back. I'm so glad that the private sector is showing the way on healthcare! If you have to interact with the system you know that it is broken and you dislike it more than your cell phone company. Apparently if you are wealthy like Mitt Romney and you have a pre-existing condition like Ann Romney the system works but for the rest of us it sucks and it is getting worse every year as the insurers try to maximize profit.