Mr. President, we need Insurance reform!

When did we as patients and practitioners lose control of our health benefits? When did the balance of power shift from the consumer to the insurance companies. For many years patients complained that payer systems in which patients paid based on “fee for service” were unfair and excluded too many patients. Is our current system any better? A system in which insurance companies are in complete control and patients as well as practitioners are on the outside looking in. At least in the old “fee for service” system, in which patients and physicians were n control, money was spent to deliver quality health care. In the current system many of pay way too much money to insurance companies who then try their very hardest to not spend any of that money on our health care. Our system is currently one which excludes the best interest of the patient and eliminates any incentive for the practitioner to provide quality health care. the best interest of the patient is determined by a third party payer. the fundamental problem lies in the fact that the same third party payer making the health care decisions is at the same time try to protect their bottom line. It is counter intuitive to assume that a company can provide good health care at the same time that they are trying to make a profit. In order to provide good health care they must spend money–something that they are quite frankly not willing to do.

This weekend I experienced two separate incidents in which patients assumed they had health benefits for addiction therapy only to find out that they were being left out in the cold. Insurance companies do not want to pay for addiction therapy. It is often expense (although less so than diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and any cancer you can think of) and the patient who need it are often the ones that no one wants to talk about ( unless of course you are a celeb). Even when you have insurance it takes an act of congress to find out exactly what those benefits are and when they will be paid out.

So now we need an act of congress to open up the health insurance industry to independent evaluation and review. It is time for government regulation to step into this industry. the solution to our health care crisis is not to force employers to pay for health care they can not afford. The answer is to make health care affordable by regulating. health insurance company. No family should go uninsured at the same time that insurance companies are making record earnings.

That’s my plan Mr. President, what’s yours?

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