I wasn’t able to attend Congressman Reye’s Town Hall Meeting on health care reform at the Ray Pearson Forum last week-end. I don’t know how many, if any, of the following questions got asked and answered. I hope that these are among the points that he will address at the meetings that I understand are upcoming:
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DRAFT FORM OF HB3200 ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
Is there anything in the proposed legislation that would force someone with health insurance to give up their current policies?
Medicare and Veterans’ Health Insurance account for close to 40% of all health insurance. Those are public plans. Do you hear widespread complaints from your constituents about those government-financed programs?
Private health insurance premiums have doubled in the past five years. Have medicare premiums risen that much?
Do public plans like Medicare deny coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions?
Given the fact that seniors are overwhelmingly satisfied with Medicare, why can’t we just expand that program to anyone who wants to buy into it? Wouldn’t allowing younger people to participate in it make the program more solvent, since they would consume less health care for the same amount of premium payments over a longer period of time than seniors?
We spend roughly twice as much on health care as other industrialized nations. Why is that, and is the quality of our health care that much better?
Health care costs are rising three times faster than wages. What measures in the proposed legislation are designed to rein in these rapidly rising costs?
If Medicare, or any other public option were made available, would people be required to buy into the public plan?
Are there measures in the proposed legislation to make insurance more portable, so that if I lose my job I won’t automatically lose my insurance?
While it’s true that wealthy foreigners sometimes come to the US for treatment by specialists, at which our country excels, do you know of anyone clamoring to drop their health insurance under the French, German, British, or Canadian systems in favor of buying private health insurance in this country? (I don’t! Whatever complaints foreigners have about their systems, I’ve never had a single one tell me they wish they lived under the American system of health care.)
Is there anything in the pending legislation that would restrict anyone’s access to treatment, or “ration” health care?
Enabling doctors to own the labs that conduct the tests they order, or the hospitals in which they do their surgery, would appear to be a conflict of interest. Does the proposed legislation deal with that problem, as one step toward controlling costs?
Is there anything in the pending legislation that necessarily would force private insurers out of the market?
Does the proposed legislation have any provisions for tort reform, to reduce the incentive to practice wasteful defensive medicine? If not, why not?