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Inarticulate Thoughts on Health Care Reform

July 23, 2009

First, my rambling thoughts on health care reform in general, without a lot of polish or editing or critique of specifics of the existing proposed bill. Suffice it to say that having seen my parents struggle to find affordable health insurance after my dad’s workplace shut down (and having pre-existing conditions get excluded), and watching other people I know suffer because of a lack of insurance and lack of money for healthcare, I think something has to be done. The current system is seriously broken for an awful lot of people, and way too many people are one lost job away from peril. I think if the private insurers were *going* to make it more workable for people, they could have already done it, but they have no incentive to do so. I think that those private insurers put barriers to care and medical decision-making in place right now in the form of deciding what not to cover and how much to cover and all of the other controls they already have over who can access what care from where. I think that comparative effectiveness research is absolutely vital, and that anyone who thinks that more information about what works better and more cost-effectively will limit the options people have needs to realize that options are already limited. You can’t get purple crayon magic sparkle therapy for cancer paid for by insurers now, and you won’t get it with a public option, because it’s not effective. I don’t see a big difference between the two there, except that more people will have access to the actually effective care. I think that having the dominant model of health coverage so tied to individual employers and employment is unworkable, and that many people are finding out just how true this is now that unemployment has risen. Looking at how much of my check health insurance takes right now, and how much it has increased just in my relatively short working life, I can’t imagine what it will look like if we just keep going how things are. Something has to happen.

First, some resources on the health care reform debate:
-The text of the legislation: HR3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
Amendments and whatnot via the House Energy & Commerce committee
Obama’s remarks last night
HealthReform.gov

Now, a few blog posts worth a read:
-Christine at Our Bodies Our Blog has Political Diagnosis: More on Abortion and Health Care Reform and “Third Way” Pregnancy Prevention Legislation
-At RH Reality Check, several posts tagged “health reform”
-Raising Women’s Voices has a bunch of relevant posts

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 8:52 pm

    You know, I can’t decide whether to pay attention to every single detail about this or bury my sand until all the crap has settled. I’m so frustrated. I have (and have ALWAYS had) pretty incredible insurance thanks to either my employers or my husbands’ employers. That being said, I hate feeling OBLIGATED to hold onto jobs at major companies just because they can negotiate big deals with insurance companies or spread the risk and be self-insured. You shouldn’t HAVE to be employed by a big major company. Don’t most people work for small companies? Why should they miss out on coverage?

    Sorry to rant…I think I had pent up frustration. I would gladly give up some of my current expansive insurance if it meant that everyone had long-term, sustainable, affordable, and comprehensive coverage…regardless of the stupid blips in life (layoffs, pre-existing crap, pregnancy).

    • July 24, 2009 7:05 am

      Exactly, re: the jobs and insurance. I have an acquaintance who is self-employed and just had a major medical incident that I estimate will generate bills in the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars – she’s likely to recover from the medical situation much, much sooner than she’ll recover from the financial hit.

  2. Freaky Weasel permalink
    July 23, 2009 11:12 pm

    Sweet, I almost DM’d you earlier today to ask for some links. Thanks.

    • July 24, 2009 7:06 am

      The blog links are kind of women’s health/repro-focused – let me know if there are any specific parts or other aspects you’d like me to find links on and I’d be happy to take a look.

  3. Jackie Durkee permalink
    July 24, 2009 11:36 am

    I’m so glad that you are making people aware of the healthcare bill.
    On my blog, I’m detailing what the House bill (h.r.3200) actually says.
    http://www.FaithfulinPrayer.wordpress.com
    Come Join the Journey!

  4. raisingwomensvoices08 permalink
    July 27, 2009 8:36 am

    Thanks so much for mentioning us here at Raising Women’s Voices, Rachel. Emily, our summer intern from CLPP, has been doing a fantastic job keeping it rolling. And serendipitously we have just launched our new website and blog so please update your blogroll with this new url

    And thanks again for all your support!

    http://www.raisingwomensvoices.net/raisingwomensvoices-blog/

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