Did Someone Call For a Doctor?

, Tilla Bradley, Leave a comment

Someone once said that two things were certain in life: death and taxes. The new healthcare bill provides both. Granted, for some of  senior Americans, it will be quite a race to see what gets them first, death from healthcare rationing or the exorbitant taxes to pay for healthcare. Yet in all the hype and furor, three primary problems, so intertwined they are impossible to separate, have yet to be considered or solved.

  • The quality of medical personnel;
  • The quantity of medicine, medical supplies, and hospital space available; and
  • The cost of supporting the entire system on taxpayer funding

According to a survey conducted by the Medicus Firm, 46% of the surveyed physicians said that they would stop practicing medicine if the healthcare bill passed. Steve Marsh, a managing partner at The Medicus Firm in Dallas said that “The reality is that there may not be enough doctors to provide quality medical care to the millions of newly insured patients.” In addition, even if the estimated number of physicians did not leave the profession, the quality of care and general morale of the physicians is likely to decrease due to the increased workload and reduced salaries.  Add to that an ongoing shortage of medical support staff members such as nurses and technicians and this dearth of personnel almost guarantees across the board poor medical services. And, unlike other industries where poor service can be tolerated, poor medical service can and will kill patients.

In addition, the new taxes that are imposed on the pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers will either force them out of business or these businessmen will pass the additional costs onto the consumers. In an interview with MassDevice.com, Tom Sommer, the president of the Massachusetts Medical  Device Industry Council said, “In addition to job cuts and rollbacks on expansion plans, you’re going to see a reduction in R&D spending. Innovation in this industry is definitely in jeopardy, which is shameful.”

Finally, who’s going to pay for all this? The recent economic difficulties have wreaked havoc on everyone’s finances and people are more reluctant than ever to let those extra few dollars go. Poor people don’t have money to spend on insurance. The uninsured might have money, but just not for insurance. And the people who actually have insurance, well, they’re already paying.  The solution was to raise taxes across the board, except for the poor since they can barely afford to exist. So, the uninsured are going to pay and the insured are going to pay more so that everyone can be technically insured.

Tilla Bradley is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

 

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