Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We still need to fix the health care system

With the election last night of Scott Brown in Massachusetts , a lot of people think health care reform is dead. Many people hate the reform on the table so much, they were downright giddy.

Brown's election may very well be the death of health care reform, but it's death doesn't resolve the problems we have in the system.

This new change doesn't help that there are a lot of people using our medical system, who have no way to pay for it. The change doesn't help the people, who need medications but can't afford them. The change doesn't help create a more cost-effective way of delivering health care to those in need.

I hope once all the happy dancing and finger pointing is over both constituents and elected officials in Washington will take another look at reform.

Just yesterday I was sitting in a program on pregnancy. The nurse conducting the class mentioned that a simple tape measure was once used to determine the baby's growth throughout a pregnancy.

Today, doctors rely on ultrasounds to track a baby's development. Most insurance and government programs pay for ultrasounds, so most patients aren't directly footing the increased medical bill.

Are they really necessary? The nurse presenting the program didn't seem to think so. One can debate the medical and cost merits of each method. Mothers-to-be might have some strong input on the issue. Ultrasounds give them an opportunity to see their growing baby on a regular basis. A tape measure couldn't compare on an emotional level, but it would save money.

This is just one random idea of how health care expenses could be turned into savings. I hope the momentum for change whether it began in the 2008 election or began in Massachusetts in 2010 will move in a positive direction for health care reform. We still need to fix our health care system.

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