Debate and skepticism over the healthcare reforms

A few years back a law that was meant to cover millions of elderly extending their prescription drug coverage backfired with many who could not access their medicines or were charged more all because of computer generated errors. Administration, industry and consumer groups are gearing up to prevent the same thing from happening after the healthcare bill became law last week.

The new health care legislation extends coverage to 32 million Americans. Most Americans will be required to purchase insurance for the first time or face financial penalties, according to Associated Press reports. The main problem with these reforms, feel many is implementation.

This 10-year, $938 billion health care law includes $1 billion to ensure that implementation of the reforms are reality. According to the Congressional Budget Office projected implementation costs could be around $10 billion to $20 billion, which would come from future appropriations. The chief responsibility will come upon Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The Obama administration already has begun an education campaign.

The private "Enroll America" campaign aims at allowing people to sign up when they see a doctor or apply for other benefits, with simple applications printed in multiple languages. The "Enroll America" campaign is headed up by Ron Pollack, executive director of the health consumer group Families USA. This effort will involve health care workers, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other supporters and opposers of the law.

While this law plans to raise billions of dollars in new taxes and cuts hundreds of billions more out of Medicare there are still criticisms. These "savings" will be then to subsidize private-sector health coverage and a Medicaid expansion. But some criticize that the need to restrain costs will make the third party in the doctor-patient-payer relationship increasingly more important than the second. The decisions regarding your healthcare thus shifts to healthcare bureaucrats rather that you or the doctor deciding. This model will bring down costs but will it mean good patient care, question many.

The problems of the present healthcare system of America are not only high prices, low access to quality health care but also shifting costs, unequal quality and efficacy. Many blame the current government interventions in the market for health care and health insurance.

Solution in the form of not bringing in the reforms is inadequate feel the same people who criticize it so vehemently. A real overhaul they feel lies in changing from the base of the healthcare system. They feel a genuine, consumer-driven reform of the American health care system is the answer.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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