Thursday, October 1, 2009

More thoughts about health insurance and health care reform

The other night, my wife and I were discussing some of the issues surrounding health care reform. She's a family physician and she works in private practice. The topic of discussion was: what do we do about all the uninsured?

So many people don't have health insurance. Among the young adult population who lack health insurance, some of them may choose to spend a few hundred dollars per month so they can afford cable TV and a nice large plasma TV. Others may have large cell phone bills. To many, they don't see health insurance as a high priority. After all, they tend to be relatively healthy and they don't want to spend money on expensive health insurance plans.

It's a sad reality, but many commercial health insurance plans are simply too expensive for many people. At the same time, many uninsured don't qualify for Medicaid. But then again, what good is Medicaid if you can't find a healthcare provider who accepts Medicaid? Will the public option suffer a similar fate as Medicaid? Will physicians refuse to accept the public option? (that may also mean that they have to give up Medicaid and Medicare, but some won't mind) What about all those docs out there who aren't accepting any new patients? How many people will have a difficult time scheduling an appointment with a healthcare provider?

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