Monday, June 15, 2009

President Obama meets with the AMA

The president, as mentioned in my earlier post, met with members of the AMA today to discuss the public option for health care reform. There was a lot of interesting points made on both sides of the table and ABC News, via Yahoo!, has a pretty good video explaining what the new health care plan would offer using an analogy regarding the Federal Postal Service.

Essentially, the president wants to offer some type of government-run coverage the some 45 to 50 million Americans currently without health insurance. They explain in the video that it would be like the current insurance companies are akin to UPS, FedEx, and DHL where as the new government insurance would be like the Federal Postal Service: it will get the job done for basic yearly checkups and such, but for the quicker, "shinier" services and options, you'd need to have a private plan. This sounds pretty good, but I want to hear and see the guts of this plan before I decide for sure.

And the AMA brought up some very valid points with the main discussion revolving around malpractice suits. Many doctors, good doctors, are constantly, vigilantly looking over their shoulders for lawyers and suits because so many Americans (probably less than we think due to media exagerrations) have become greedy. I loathe stories where people, hospitals, and doctors are sued because they couldn't do the impossible and the "victim" can no longer live the life he/she once lived. Juries need to be reigned. I fully understand that there are malpractice suits that are fully substantiated and should be pursued fully, but I agree 100% with the AMA that something needs to be done about petty law suits where the "victim" is lucky to be alive thanks to the doctor yet wins thanks to a jury's pity party.

Also, I think the government needs to be really careful how they handle this because it can end up costing those private insurance purchasers even more than it does now if the public option does not receive the attention and oversight necessary to create a balance for everyone, and the AMA and government need to work together to decide "necessary practices and procedures" or this has the possibility of backfiring in a big way. Funding oversight needs to be locking a team of CPAs in a room once a month to keep a constant review of spending. This cannot go the way of the bailout money or there will be nothing left.

Either way, I truly look forward to reading and hearing more as this issue progresses. I like the bold stance the president has taken, so let's see how Big Pharma and Big Insurance bite back!