Summer Sunshine Loving
It’s hard to write a blog about healthcare in the news when it’s consistently changing. While I sit here and type out these words, I am watching a Senate “vote-a-rama” as the news media is calling it. It’s a live video stream watching the Senate as they debate and discuss healthcare in America. There are still many questions about what is happening with our health care system. But here is what we do know.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to debate the repeal of Obamacare. The Senate was split down the middle, but the deciding vote came from Vice President Mike Pence as he voted in the affirmative to pursue the debate. This would start the discussion of what legislation the Senate would vote on. Those options being a Repeal and Replace Obamacare option, a Repeal Only option or the Skinny Bill. Almost immediately the Senate voted no on the Repeal and Replace as well as the Repeal only options. Leaving us with the possibility of passing the Skinny Bill.
But what is the Skinny Bill? The Skinny Bill takes away some of the most unpopular aspects of Obamacare. Namely, it would take away the mandates that state that every American have health insurance as well as the mandate that business owners with over 50 employees must provide health benefits for their employees. It would also take away the tax on medical equipment. The idea of this pared down bill is that they can convince more Republicans to vote on this bill and pass it so that they can then bring it to the House where it can be more clearly laid out and shape the health care system. As of today, we have very few definitive answers. But we will be keeping you informed.
If you have not read our previous blog, please see part 1 to read more about the logistics of single payer healthcare. As stated previously, in an ideal world everyone would love to see every person receive the health care that they need at no cost to them. But to play this idea out in the real world, there are some very real concerns that we have. Some of the cons to single payer healthcare are:
Because health care is available to all, it also means that there is more access to prescription drugs which is the fastest growing avenue for substance abuse. There are also many that will abuse the system because they do not see the value. They will go to the doctor any time that they feel a slight itch or discomfort. This wastes doctor’s time and makes more severe cases need to wait even longer for care.
One of the ways to pay for this type of healthcare is to impose new taxes. Taxes like these can come out of your income and be bases upon the level of what you are bringing home. For those that make more money that means that they are paying more but will receive no extra benefits.
Because everyone is getting paid the same rate there are less financial incentives to create, research and develop new treatments or new technologies. This can come at a big cost to us as this lowers the quality of care, not only for Americans but for the world we are are forerunners in many innovative practices.
For families that have unique health issuescertain care that they will need will not be covered under this system. That means that they will still be in need of health insurance to cover the costs of the additional services that they require but are not included under a single payer health system.
These are just a handful of issues that can come up with single payer healthcare. As California continues to look at SB 562 we will need to answer these concerns otherwise we will end up with a very broken system.