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11th Hour Health Care Reform

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 5:36 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Health Care Reform, Uninsured, Underinsured, Accountable Care Organizations, Insurance, Obama, Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, Diet, Exercise

The president is taking heat from all sides concerning his efforts to reform health care, his only friend may be a dog.
President Obama and Bo, the family dog

Obama and Critics From All Sides

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IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ Obama and Bo, if you want a friend get a dog/ author: White House.gov

In recent weeks, President Obama has said that he still supports a “public option” that would offer government supported health insurance as a key to health care reform, but he has waivered on calling it essential element of health care reform.

For 70,000 of his supporters that isn’t good enough. Staffers, volunteers, and donors have added their name to a petition calling for real change.

"President Obama, please demand a strong public health insurance option in your speech to Congress. Letting the insurance companies win would not be change we can believe in."

The petition is circulated by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

The petitioners say abandoning the public option is not an option.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will pass a bill that includes a public option. But late this afternoon, Sen. Max Baucus (D- Mont) said he does not believe there are enough votes to support the public option, Fox News reports.

Not a single Republican has endorsed any of the plans approved so far by four House and Senate committees, reports AP.

The Hill newspaper reports that at least 60 members of Congress have committed to supporting a health care bill with a public option, and will not support a plan without one. That may be enough to kill the legislation.

In sort of a “prebuttal” to President Obama’s speech tonight, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is warning Republicans against agreeing to a ‘trigger” that will clear the way for a “government takeover” of health care, he says, reports Politico.

He is referring to an incremental approach that would allow for a gradual transition to a public plan, if private insurers don’t meet certain benchmark goals.

McConnell is speaking to the 40 Republicans in the Senate to oppose change. Not among them is Maine’s Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe said to support some form of a public option.

Sen. Baucus is negotiating with five other senators on a bipartisan compromise, said he would be moving ahead regardless of Republican support. Huffington Post reports that Max Baucus’s office has suggested that the public option is nowhere to be found in the president’s plan.

Fearing the plan would not pass the Senate, Baucus’ plan includes sweeping insurance market changes involving non-profit cooperatives to compete with insurance companies. About $6 billion a year would help pay for the reforms, coming from a new tax on insurance companies.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Insurance for everyone who falls outside of private insurance coverage was considered the key to reform, among them offering coverage on a guaranteed basis regardless of pre-existing conditions. Lifetime limits would be prohibited, and health insurance companies would be prohibited from rescinding health coverage, according to the outline worked on by Sen. Baucus as the framework for comprehensive health reform.

The Baucus plan would limit out-of-pocket expenses for patients, reports Reuters, and bar insurers from placing caps on benefits.

Sen. Charles Grassley says they’re still negotiating and “one of the rules of negotiating is that nothing’s final until everything’s final.”

Public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has leaped to 52 percent, according to Associated Press-GfK poll just released. Just 42 percent approve of the president's work on the high-profile health issue.

In July, 50 percent approved of his efforts to revise the nation’s $2.5 trillion-a-year medical system. #


3 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Suzanne McClain
Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:54 AM EST

I am of the opinion that health-care reform needs to begin with the Pharmaceutical companies, who play a large role in the abuse within our health-care system.

As I understand it, there are only two Countries in the world that allow Pharmaceutical companies to run ads on public TV, and the United States is one of them. In doing so, they are hyping various diseases, afflictions, etc... and as a result patients are self diagnosing, doctors are over prescribing, and citizens are being harmed as a result.

Many doctors are on board with this, because many of them receive gifts in the form of trips, tickets to shows, etc..., they “push” these new drugs and medical devices for the Pharmaceutical companies. Until we stop these kickbacks, in every State in our Union, medical fraud will continue, and our health-care costs will continue to soar.

People are being used as guinea pigs. Devices are being implanted within them, without doctors fully disclosing the number of adverse events on file with the FDA, or the fact that some medical devices are approved with no clinical trials what-so-ever; for instance surgical meshes for bladder repair and hernia repair.

This is a disgrace! Until the FDA is reformed, and the 510K process is banned for products that are to be implanted, people will continue to be used as “guinea pigs” with no prior knowledge of this fact, and without proper consent. The 510K process should be in place for topical medical supplies, such as band-aids, gauze or tongue depressors, not for implants.

We further need to ban medical professionals and their immediate families from owning any type of stock in any pharmaceutical company. It isn’t enough to ban them from only owning stock in Pharmaceutical companies that supply their practices, as that would leave the proverbial loop hole open, allowing for continued abuse of the health-care system.

If regulation of these entities, individuals, and Government Agencies were top priority, many health-care issues would begin to reform themselves.

Pharmaceutical companies would not have the need to continue to develop "new and improved" products to stay ahead of the recalls.

Doctors would not have the need to "push" these new medications on people in order to obtain kick-backs.

Insurance companies would not have the need to regulate what medications they will allow a patient to receive, second guessing a doctor who may be old school, and allow a patient to remain on older medications that work for them.

All of these things are done in the name of greed, and at the expense of the average Joe or average Jane who are suffering as a result.

I agree that health-care definitely needs to be reformed, but we need to start by reforming the issues at the top, before we can begin to see a positive change.

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:24 AM EST

Suzanne-

You are so right.

What does it cost us all when unproven and dangerous medical devices are repeatedly allowed on the market to be placed in unsuspecting patients? The economic and emoitional/physical toll is something not being talked about in the health care reform debate.

The administration recognizes there is a problem and has removed some individiuals involved in the medical device approval process. Does the public realize that some medical devices are approved for marketing only and do not go through a pre-market approval for safety?

These are devices placed inside patients!

See our series on synthetic surgical mesh to understand more.... thank you!

Suffering in Silence – Part One
LINK

Suffering in Silence - Part Two
LINK

Suffering in Silence – Part Three
LINK

Suffering in Silence – Part Four
LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by Suzanne McClain
Thursday, September 10, 2009 1:13 PM EST

I have noticed as of late that the FDA has become even less transparent than it was just six months ago.

Documents that I had been able to access are no longer available on their website, and anyone else trying to locate these documents would have to go through the Freedom of Information Act procedure just to access what was readily available in the not too distant past. This delay in obtaining information may take several weeks or months. This is unacceptable!

It is so frustrating trying to find anything on the FDA's non-uniform website, and our health care reform needs to begin with this government agency.

Comments for this article are closed.

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