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As a Physician, I'm Not Sold on Health Care Reform Bill

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So, the Health Care Reform Bill passes yesterday in the House.

Some people want to embrace this moment as a victory because any health care 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 is 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 yesterday. I so wanted to believe that yesterday’s “win” would push the health care 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 for these reasons 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did a nice recap of the top “immediate” effects of the Health Care Bill, should it truly become law and that law not be rescinded by the wheeling and dealing that we seem to be in for.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…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, 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.


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