Sunday, August 16, 2009

Health Care Thoughts

Blood testing in a medical facility in Ethiopia.Image via Wikipedia

Like a lot of Americans, I have been thinking a lot about health care. Without a doubt, there are aspects of the current system that need to be fixed. The question is how to go about fixing things. Polls show that the majority of Americans are satisfied with their current health care. The question is do you overhaul the entire system for the minority and possibly alienating the majority, or do you make adjustments to help the minority without negatively impacting the majority.

I have insurance through my employer, and for the most part I have been happy with it. There are a couple of things that have happened this year that have made me a little perturbed with what I have. Recently, I called to see if some lab tests would be covered or if I would have to pay and have the cost applied to my deductible. The answer left me somewhat bewildered, "It depends." Insurance would cover the tests if they were part of a preventative care visit but would not be covered if the doctor sent me because he suspected there might be a problem. Even though it might be the same test, it could be covered under one scenario but not the other. That doesn't seem to make sense to me.

The second one concerns a medication that my son's doctor has prescribed for him. The particular pill comes in either a 10mg or 20mg tablet. His doctor wants him on 30mg per day. The insurance company will only cover 30 tablets per month of either the 10mg or the 20mg tablet. So the insurance company, and not his doctor, is better able to determine the amount of medication my son should be taking? Again, that doesn't make much sense to me. His doctor, actually said we should vote for a single payer system because of this kind of denial by my insurance.

To be honest, I am not sure what the answer is. Daniel Hannan of Great Britain fiercely recommends that we do not go down the road that Britain has gone down. I know for sure that we need a change in the current system. I do not, however, trust the government to run our health care efficiently. They have yet to show, in my opinion, that they can run anything efficiently. Also, there are all the horror stories that you hear regarding the British and Canadian health care systems. All I want is for my doctors to decide what care needs to be taken and for my insurance to be consistent in covering the different options.
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