Saturday, January 22, 2011

USA reform: H.R. 3962 Affordable Healthcare - the myths abound

I'm afraid that I agree with President Obama's changes to healthcare.
I live in Canada, and our system is working pretty well. While taxpayers insist on tax cuts, we are guaranteed healthcare.
I publish a regular Ontario Seniors healthcare blog, and my American readers asked I explain our system.
It works.

Canadian Health Care System - part 1

I was asked to write about our system in Canada, as there is much misinformation in American news about our weird ways.

Seniors and Canadian Health Care - part 2

This is a follow-up to my post on our Canadian system. Seniors, and people on welfare have extra services. In addition to free medical services, my parents, for example, would only be required to pay $2.00 for new prescriptions filled.
We truly believe that it is our responsibility to care for one another.
I do not believe that a judge is the right person to comment on healthcare reform. He is well able to purchase services. 

As is the way, lobbyists are sending around email designed to garner an uproar. In fact, I like it. I believe that North America is not the place where people must buy healthcare services. Both Canada, and the UK depend upon universal healthcare. It only seems right. Why not help your fellow human, if they are unable to purchase healthcare services. The US system, with insurance providers that use and abuse their clients, deny reimbursement, and drop those with 'pre-existing conditions'.

For-profit hospitals cannot be for the good. Just as we've seen elder abuse in for-profit long-term care homes, we cannot trust that those interested in profits can manage the health of those most at risk.
Many are circulating false information about this bill.
In fact, the final bill is called 3962, here is an updated link, and the circulating email is based on the original bill (3200).

This is the current email circulating around the comments (my resume), as a senior healthcare advocate, interjected.



Honorable David Kithil
                   Marble Falls,  Texas

** Page 50/section 152:  The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally. 

If you're going to hire migrant workers, shouldn't a country provide healthcare for them? Otherwise, pay the going rate for American workers, and include healthcare. Cheap labour is not a value to which I uphold, and outsourcing is a means by which big box stores, like Cheap-Mart, get away with providing goods, poorly made, undercut, that put a family-owned business out of business.

** Page 241 and 253:  Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees. 

Perhaps someone can explain why Geriatric Specialists are scarce and the most underpaid, yet most important of specialities. Seniors have complicated comorbidities and complications. Many have more than one chronic condition, as well as facing the ravages of old age.

** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration care according to the patient's age. 

Not quite what it says. It says that if one hospital has much higher expenditures than another, then its books will be examined.

** Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception. 

If communities cannot have some input, who should? I believe in local decision-making. Local taxpayers are the best ones to lobby local politicians to determine needs and to make said politicians accountable.

** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations.  Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..) 

Hospice Palliative Care practices are sadly lacking in North America. Many myths abound, with some physicians reluctant to give adequate pain killers. In this day and age no one should be in pain. Doctors should be writing up Pain Management Kits for all palliative clients, for family members to keep on hand in a 2:30 a.m. emergency. Many do not do so. This type of planning is crucial in order for palliative clients to be kept comfortable and safe in their own homes, and to avoid emergency trips to hospital.

** Page 429,  line 13-25:  The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order. 
Not true:
Who is publicly commenting on healthcare reform?

Organizations Opposing H.R.3962

Organizations Supporting H.R.3962

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