Start with ERs, Medicare and Drug Companies
Our current system has many fine qualities which we often forget.
First of all, what is the hurry to pass legislation that hasn't even been explained to the public or read by our legislators? The cost is out of the ballpark and would bankrupt this nation. I believe much can be done if the government uses oversight and enforces rules for the various factions of the system: insurance companies, drugs companies and hospitals. Please, just don't let the government run it. I believe we need change we can all have faith in that makes sense. This is an enormous risk we are taking and can build on the current system with restrictions enforced.
The emergency rooms in this country are filled with people who don't belong there and are displaying flagrant abuse of the system. I have seen mothers bring in children -- as many as five of them on one occasion with runny noses -- in the middle of the night. One has to ask, why aren't they at home and in bed and why don't they wait until morning and see their own doctor? If they don't have one, there are public health clinics and urgent care centers for non-emergency care. The other outstanding abuse of ERs is the repetitious visits by drug addicts to get drugs. If you don't think it happens, just ask an ER doctor or nurse. That abuse makes it difficult for those of us who have chronic illness because we are doubted and questioned when we have genuine, severe pain and need the medications. It creates an atmosphere of suspicion in physicians and one can hardly blame them.
There is widespread Medicare abuse and fraud. This must be investigated, and in many cases prosecuted. I, also, believe there should be caps on lawsuits to discourage those lawyers who are profiting from this supposed malpractice.
We can't leave the drug companies out of this equation. The costs of drugs is way out of line. Why should a new medication cost hundreds of dollars when an older drug would accomplish the same results? I have a relative who has pulmonary hypertension and has to pay $50,000 a year for the one drug they say will save her life. Thank God they were able to obtain a grant. This is indecent.
JCAH (Joint commission of accreditation of hospitals) needs to bear part of the blame for rising health-care costs. I have seen them concentrate, during their inspections, on some very stupid aspects of hospital care. One year it was the importance of bulletins placed on a board having a pushpin placed on all four corners of the paper. Really. This past year the emphasis was on hand washing, which I grant you, is important but so are many areas of the hospital which they did not even seemed concerned about.
Lastly, it would help if communities stopped being so competitive with their neighboring communities. For instance, why do you need to have three MRI machines all within a 10 miles radius? None of them get enough business and the consumer takes the hit. Perfectly good equipment is often replaced simply for status purposes at a great expense. Duplication of services is not always good or cost effective.
I would like to see a health-care plan we can believe in that makes sense.
I have asked the readers of my blog to chime in with their opinions. They are a great group of individuals who live difficult lives with daily chronic pain. They have experienced our health-care system up close and personal.
Sue Falkner Wood
July 21, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
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Posted by: jimorsue | July 25, 2009 9:07 PM
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