Donna Smith @ Common Dreams - The national legislative healthcare fix that may be passed by the 111th Congress and then signed by President Obama will do little to relieve the stresses felt by most patients in this country. The steady decline most of us have seen in the kind of quality medical services we need is not likely to be mitigated. Insurance companies will grow ever stronger and more deeply ensconced, and the patient voice will fade more quickly from prominence than it has in recent years.
Patients have been props in this discussion. Patients are widgets in an economic system. Patients are an annoyance to insurance companies who worry about the medical losses (claims) as a loss of profit and often even to providers who must carefully screen patients to make sure they come with profit potential via their insurance coverage or very deep pockets full of cash for payment. Pesky patients.
I know scores of patients - people who need medical care - who tell me about their personal journeys. They are often shuffled from provider to provider getting whatever medical tests or procedures are approved by their insurance companies while not receiving even one stitch of treatment or relief for the issue that brought them to seek care. The money flows; the patient is not treated. Maybe a pill. Maybe.
Nothing in the reform bill will interrupt this hideous and relentless process for many patients. You simply cannot legislate a system drunk on money and massive profits to care about patients. We, the people, need to control the system - our money, our system, our lives. Nothing but a progressively financed, single standard of high quality care should be allowed. It should be a crime to do less. Read more.