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Healthcare Reform And The “Time Will Tell” Camp

So, the healthcare reform bill passed in the House. Some people want to embrace this moment as a victory because any healthcare bill that becomes law is better than nothing. I heard a lot of “this was a long time coming,” “finally,” “it was our time yesterday,” and comments like that. I also heard a great deal of “time will tell,” “who’s the really winner?,” “is it a victory with a country and government so divided?,” “is this the right path?,” and comments like that.

I’m uncertain. As a physician, I so wanted to be able to feel good about it. I so wanted to believe that the “win” would push the healthcare industry in a positive direction, even if in baby steps and even if in just the insurance industry. But I have to be skeptical about a plan that doesn’t address the needs of American’s paying high co-pays today and having trouble getting timely doctors appointments today.

As a physician, I see too many patients not filling prescriptions and going without seeing doctors for these reasons. As a patient these have been my recent concerns, and I don’t see those being addressed. Do you?

The Huffington Post did a nice recap of the top “immediate” effects of the healthcare reform bill, should it truly become law and that law not be rescinded by the wheeling and dealing that we seem to be in for. Scroll through them and you’ll notice the best ones don’t kick in until 2018, such as the provision for insurance companies covering well visits without co-pays, and many other needed provisions are just not there, such as lowering drug co-pays and insisting that hurdles for seeing specialists are finally removed.

So as a physician and a patient, I have to admit that I’m just not sold yet, nor are many many Americans, according to MSNBC yesterday. I honestly wish I could be, but I’m not. I guess I’m in the “time will tell” camp for now.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

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One Response to “Healthcare Reform And The “Time Will Tell” Camp”

  1. Arthur Veilleux, PT says:

    We all know that the biggest and potentially greatest health care reform will only occur when individuals take responsibility for their own wellbeing. More doctor visits, medical tests and drugs will not improve Americans health as much as exercise, a good diet and lifestyle changes. Current health care reform focuses much more on process accountability through oversite controls then on good outcomes for individuals. Health care providers will be spending more time on compliance, paperwork and chart audits in the hopes that accountability and transparency will improve quality instead of more time assisting their patients through education, encouragement and evidenced-based practices. Yes, time will tell, but current health care law is not the paradigm shift I was hoping for.

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