Health Care Reform in the United States
In the United States, more than forty million people are without health insurance. Of these people, many are employed by firms that do not offer coverage and many others fall just below the poverty line. Many are poor but still do not qualify for Medicaid. At least twelve million of those without health insurance are children. Reliable sources indicate that the number of uninsured people could rise as high as sixty million by the year 2010.
There is also a dilemma that the insured United States citizens face, that their healthcare system is sick, and everyone is aware of its illness: profit. In 2008, Malike Hassan's, an HMO stockholdings CEO, salary was 166.4 million dollars. Most experts agree that the lack of plan participants' personal involvement in the healthcare system is largely responsible for inflation within the plans.
However, as the debate rages on about how to best resolve the issues, it is certain that, as individuals become more involved in the healthcare process, they become an integral part of the solution. If people wish to change the system, they must change their role in healthcare reform from passive to active. In order to bring unification and unconstrained functionality to the U.S. healthcare system, people must first educate themselves on how their healthcare works, voice their opinions, and finally join together to bring reform.
The first action people must take to insure their own well being and safety is to stay thoroughly informed on how their HMO plans run. Managed care is often criticized for encouraging the withholding of beneficial care from patients. People need to be aware that many HMOs contain Gag Rules. These rules, in contracts between managed-care organizations and physicians, expressly prohibit the physician from telling patients about therapies that are not covered by the plan. Therefore, the physicians are not part of the decision making process involved in determining what services to provide. These rules can apply even when the patient's life is at stake.
Other terms prohibit the physician from disclosing how he or she is paid, especially when payment methods reward limiting referrals to patients. Why do HMOs want physicians to be less than honest with their patients? Because patients might demand care that would raise costs and reduce profits.
According to Jeffrey Koplan, M.D., "Patients should learn how to become active participants in their own healthcare, which means taking part in decisions involving diagnosis and treatment." Koplan is the president of Prudential Center for Health Care Research which conducts research to evaluate and improve how healthcare is delivered to managed care customers. If all insured citizens were more aware of the actions of their HMO, then there would be a decline in the immoral policies.
Also, there are few American citizens who are striving for a real cure. The current fashion is to...